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Rogue (The Talon Saga) by Julie Kagawa
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Rogue (The Talon Saga)

by Julie Kagawa

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book, but there wasn't any improvement between it and Talon. It has the same flaws.

Ember: Ember is annoying. She is so hotheaded that she will endanger everyone she cares about just because she's too bored to stay in a hotel room. The dragon part of her has become much weirder than it was in Talon. In both books she refers to her dragon half as though it's a different person than she is. The main problem with this is that when she is a dragon she still seems like the human Ember. If she's always going to be talking about how her dragon wants something different then her human part, then when she is a dragon, there really ought to be a difference in the narration.

Garret: I like Garret. He's tortured, interesting and wrestling with what he was brought up to believe, and what he can see before his eyes. Add to that that he has fallen in love with Ember, and his problems are heartbreaking. I hope that his running off to see if Talon and the Order of Saint George are working together doesn't prevent him from being in the next book in the series.

Riley/Cobalt: Okay, let's be clear; I don't like Riley. I didn't like him in the last book, I don't like him in this one. He seems to think that Ember belongs to him. He treats her like a child, not telling her what he's doing or what's going on, but then expects her to behave in a mature way. While you might argue that he was waiting to treat her like an adult until she acted like one, often if you treat someone like a child then they will act without maturity. In the last book, there was a moment when I thought Cobalt was going to force himself on Ember. There was nothing like that in this book, but I still really don't like this character. I like what he is doing; trying to get dragons away from Talon, and, in the flashbacks I did like his narrative, but when he's with Ember, his behavior is just unpleasant.

Dante: I get the strong impression that Dante doesn't mean to be cruel, or betray Ember. The irritating thing is that each believes the other has betrayed them, making it so that there is probably no way for them to reconcile. Before I thought that Dante may have come out of the organization, but now it's clear that he is too deep in it to do anything of the kind. Plus, he's too ambitious. It's like hearing Harry Potter from Percy Weasley's point of view. Dante fully intends to come out on top. I wonder when he's going to attempt the assassination of the Elder Wyrm. I don't hate Dante. I certainly like him better than I like Riley, but he is headed down a bad path. Unless he, like Percy Weasley, has a change of heart (which seems much less likely in Dante than in Percy), then I think he's going to come to a bad end, even if he has usurped the Elder Wyrm's position by the time he does.

Wes: This is an interesting character, and one I'd like to hear more about. He's sarcastic and bitter, making him an unpleasant character, but somehow, he is still likeable in a way that Riley is not.

Mist: Mist is another interesting character with a lot of potential. Crazy though it might sound, I kind of hope that she might be a love interest for Dante.

There weren't a lot of other characters, and we didn't know them well enough to care when they betrayed the main characters. I do sort of hope that we see Tristan again, because he was interesting.

I only have one other comment, and that's the same one that I had with the first book: Saint George. Why? Why does the evil organization have to be named after a Catholic saint? I know, I know, legend says that Saint George killed a dragon, but can't the author come up with a more creative name for the organization? One that doesn't put me on the defense against possible anti-Catholicism?
( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
Actual rating: 1.5 out of 5

After being rather taken by Talon, I have to say that I was disappointed with this story. While Rogue is a lot faster paced and contains some well-written action sequences, it's just not as memorable as its prequel and really fails to develop its concepts into anything new.

Talon laid the foundations of a rather interesting and original world, one where shapeshifting dragons control the economy in secret and marines who following the teachings of Saint George mercilessly hunt them down in order to "protect" the oblivious humans from them. I really hoped that Rogue would show more of the inner workings of both of these worlds but, until the epilogue, we didn't really discover anything new about either.

In fact, the novel didn't really have a plot at all. Following the rescue of Garret, which happened far sooner than I thought it would, the novel spends over three hundred pages following Ember, Garret and Riley on the run to Las Vegas where the are forced to escape from both of the factions chasing them. I'm surprised, thinking back, how little happened over the course of this novel. I'd like to say that this time was spent developing the characters but this wasn't really the case.

The characters were the best thing about Talon but this time they seemed liked really different people. Ember's naivety used to be both understandable (given her sheltered upbringing) and endearing but now it's just frustrating. She does stupid things over and over again, putting everyone in danger and leading people around by the nose for what amount to really selfish reasons.

The male characters are all worse still, forever bickering and trying to control Ember. Each of them seem to have her pegged as some kind of delicate flower that needs constant protection and seem reluctant to let her do anything alone. The vague love triangle from the first book has also now blossomed, yet I didn't feel any chemistry between any of the characters. I do rather like Garret still but Ember's attraction to Riley seems very weak as the two don't even really share any romantic moments together.

All in all, I'm really disappointed. The novel made all of the same mistakes as its prequel and a whole bunch more besides. I intend to read the third book when it's released next month but I'm no longer optimistic about how it will turn out. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Apr 7, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Dragons, war, betrayal, and so much more….seriously epic tale of Ember, Dante, Garrett and Cobalt/Riley.

Opening Sentence: “I stood before a silent, watchful table, six pairs of eyes on me, keen gazes ranging from suspicious to appraising as we waited for the charges to be declared.”

The Review:

Ember, Garrett, Dante and Cobalt/Riley are back in book 2 shortly after the epicness of book one ends. From this point forth if you haven’t read Talon please stop and go read Talon because you won’t want to be spoiled. Ember convinces Riley to go in and they save Garrett before he is executed by the order. From there the three of them plus Wes go on the run, trying to outwit both the order and Talon. Meanwhile Dante is plotting and planning to recapture Ember and kill Riley.

Ember, Garrett and Riley end up in Vegas trying to find ways to stay ahead of the order, when they hear rumors of a dragon sighting. They end up trying to rescue two hatchlings, and well you have to read the book…seriously! This book is action from the beginning until the very end. It’s fast paced and flies by.

Julie Kagawa picks a subject and writes it in such a way that you just fall in love. I like dragons but have not liked a ton of dragon books, especially those with shifters. However, these aren’t shifter’s per se, they have a human form that they have learned over time to in order to blend in and hide from the Order of Saint George but these are most definitely dragons. This is a complex tale that she is weaving in which you really don’t have any idea who the good guys are, the dragons (Talon) are ruthlessly in control of the dragon world, forcing hatchlings into jobs and breeding them if they fail at those jobs. They also kill those who try to leave the fold or who really fail at their jobs. The humans (Order of Saint George) are just as ruthless in their pursuit of dragons, only drawing the line at waiting to see them in their true form before killing them. Riley/Cobalt is trained Basilisk that is trying to help and hide dragons from Talon.

It’s a perfect storm of complexity that draws you in and you totally root for them to kick Talon and Order butt. My only real complaint is the love triangle. I am not a fan and usually she does a touch of it, but normally it’s pretty clear who the female lead is going to choose. In this one Ember is clearly torn between Garrett and Riley. I will say that there appears to be resolution at the end of this book, but given that Soldier is the name of the next book I am sure there will not be a real answer until the conclusion of book three. I love, love all of her books and Rogue was no different for me. I think this might have been the first time I didn’t cry at the ending of her second book, because let’s face it, she loves to rip your heart and leave you with a massive cliffhanger.

So if dragons are your thing go get Talon and then Rogue! If they aren’t your thing go get them anyway because Julie will totally make them your thing when she is done with you! Seriously, I have read all of her books, and she is one of my go-to authors, I haven’t read a bad book by her.

Notable Scenes:

“The order wouldn’t stop hunting me, especially now that I was in the company of dragons.”

“A talon operative had died in this building tonight.”

“And Lilith’s voice, telling me I was born to become a Viper, a killer like her.”

“The boy who didn’t know I was a dragon, not yet, who saw me only for me.”

“She was impulsive, reckless, infuriating…and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.”

FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Rogue. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Nov 18, 2015 |
Ember and Riley have escaped from the Talon and are now Rogue dragons on the run. In theory they should go into hiding, especially since Riley’s network of freed dragons is under threat and needs his attention

But Garret is still imprisoned, the former St George soldier faces execution if they do not save him – and he did save their lives. But are they really going to risk everything to save someone who once slaughtered their kind?

Dante, Ember’s brother, is also desperately hunting them. If he finds Ember, bring her home maybe he can still save her – and maybe his own position in the Talon won’t be irretrievably damaged. But how far will he go against his sister for the sake of his position?

I think this book is better than the first one as it has made an attempt to get some motivations in order beyond “hot person is hot so I will happily throw away my loyalties and beliefs even though I’ve only known them for a couple of days.”

So Ember is focused a little more on how the Talon was demanding she kill, including killing her own kind since, as a Viper, she would be required to hunt down rogues. There’s a lot of her reflection that she can’t bring herself to do that, doesn’t want to become that and, even as she fights for her own survival, is afraid of becoming someone who can kill without remorse. She’s afraid that her own fight for survival will turn her into the creature that Talon always wanted her to become. It’s a level of depth to her supremely shallow story that works far better than her deciding Talon was evil before she had any evidence, or deciding to be a rebel without any good reason or trust a stranger with even less. If you forget the first book, Ember now makes something approaching sense.

Similarly Riley/Cobalt had a wonderful back story that explored a lot of his reasons for going Rogue in the first place. His motivations are excellently explored and his history really does display perfectly why he could no longer work for the Talon and why he was driven to start working against them. Through his past we see a full reasoning for him trying to get Ember and the other hatchlings out of Talon’s control and a really strong reason for why he either wants to bring them down (along with Wes who we can see has his own real motivations). This was excellently done

Which then crashes and burns with the huge chunk of this book where Riley decides to risk himself and his entire network to rescue Garrett for Ember. We spend so much of this book exploring his past, really bringing out why he has such a beef against Talon and how important his work is – but he’s willing to jeopardise all of that for Ember? Similarly, Ember is willing to risk her life and freedom (which she just fought so hard for), Riley’s life and his network (which she knows is so important) for the sake of Garrett who she still doesn’t know all that well? This book is trying to get away from the generic and dubious romance that clumsily dominated the first book but still badly undermines that progress.

The same applies to Garrett – now Garrett realising that Ember and other dragons are actually beings with feelings rather than monsters and demons should have been an excellent character moment. And I liked that he made this point before his tribunal rather than call on his love for Ember. His realisation that it is wrong to kill dragon-kind simply for being dragons should have been a powerful one and a character defining moment. It also should have been a moment of soul-shattering revelation and a whole lot of introspection because he has been hunting and slaughtering dragons for so long and so successfully his fellow hunters called him the “Perfect Soldier”. But we don’t get that – most of his storyline far more focuses on his attraction and love for Ember than the revelation that he has been involved in an unjust genocide – it doesn’t even make the character feel evil because it’s just so badly executed. Again, there’s an attempt to move on, but the romance that started this series is dragged out even when it’s grossly inappropriate.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | May 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373211465, Hardcover)

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacri

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:30 -0400)

Unable to forget the human boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, Ember is determined to save him from execution with the help of rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues.

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