Talon by Julie Kagawa (Talon Saga #1)
In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey—and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence, and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa with Caitlin Davies (Narrator), MacLeod Andrews (Narrator), Chris Patton (Narrator)
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Publishing
LENGTH: 449 pages (12 hours 32 minutes)
AGE: Young Adult
Partial Queer Rep Summary: No canon queer rep.
DNF 7 hours 33 minutes in (60%).
The plot is very slow, with a lot of time spent on the characters having the same worries over and over. I wanted a story about dragons, and instead it's a contemporary-ish teenage romance where some of the characters happen to be dragons but are generally human-shaped. The love triangle involves a teenage dragon (female), a teenage human (male), and a young adult dragon (male). I wasn't sure how big the of a deal the dragon-to-dragon age gap was, but once I got to a section from his perspective I found out he thinks of the teenage dragon as a hatchling, which makes his interest in her much creepier. If I'd been more interested in the plot this might not matter (that's not automatically a DNF reason for me), but this was one thing too many when I was already not engaged in the story.
CW for ableist language (brief), adult/minor relationship (brief mention), misogyny, sexual harassment, fire/fire injury, violence, gun violence, parental death (backstory), murder, death.