Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review: Rogue

Rogue (Talon #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Page Count: 464 pages
Source:  Netgalley Kindly Offered by Publisher
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy


Well…that was one heck of a ride!  I don’t think my heart stopped racing from the first page to the last.  This second instalment in the Talon series was intense!  Lots of close calls and sneaking about, and me chewing on my fingernails.  Mix together a bit of Mission Impossible, A Few Good Men, The Sopranos and some dragon fantasy, and you’ve got Rogue.


That’s quite a mix, huh?  Well…in my mind, it is accurate.

As usual, I will try to avoid any spoilery action where Rogue is concerned but be forewarned that elements from Talon will be hard not to mention.
Rogue picks up where Talon left off with Ember and Riley fleeing Crescent Beach while Garret has been captured and is awaiting a trial that will ultimately see to his death for his betrayal to the Order, and Dante joining forces full-on with Talon to bring his sister back to the fold.  Ember is left reeling from all the revelations that came at her like bullets…Talon’s true corruption, what her place was to be in the organization, and the betrayals of both her brother Dante, as well as Garret, the human boy who is a lot more involved in her secret life than she ever would have guessed.  But one thing is for certain—she is seeing things much more clearly now and has some plans of her own.

Ember is one feisty girl.  While I had a good sense of who she was in the previous instalment, I think Ember reinforced those traits ten fold here.  Like I said, she’s feisty…and stubborn…and a wee bit na├»ve…although she is learning.  Not wanting to believe in the worst in people, she sort of started off with an unrealistic view of things…until each step revealed just how nasty and cruel her own society could be…and how far their influence has touched her personally.  I felt for her, while I still wanted to shake her at times…but I got where she was coming from.  Quite impulsive and ruled quite a lot by her inner-dragon, she is a stubborn force to be reckoned with…just ask Riley/Cobalt.

Ember’s heart is quite literally split right down the middle when it comes to the two boys vying for her heart.  Her dragon side naturally calls out for Riley/Cobalt…and she can’t fight it, as her inner-dragon is quite tenacious on that front.  Meanwhile, her human side that is emerging longs for Garret, the human boy who is so wrong for her on many fronts, but she cannot deny her burgeoning curiosity of what loving a human feels like.  Strong feelings for both these boys are further complicated by their declarations…leaving Ember a mess and confused….and me as well.  However, I think I can’t help but root for the forbidden/impossible love with the human.  But there is MUCH to overcome…which is a HUGE part of the appeal of this story for me…aside from all the other fun and intense elements.

Riley/Cobalt (Riley is his human name, while Cobalt is his dragon name) gets a lot more attention in this instalment.  We get a bit of his back story through some flashbacks which illustrate how he came to be the rogue with one of the biggest price tags on his head.  Getting to know why he is doing this just made me love him all the more.  His first priority is helping to free young dragons from the clutches of Talon, but this newer mission in his life is being complicated by his feelings that have grown exponentially towards Ember.

The other boy whose feelings for Ember are growing fast is Garret.  Meeting Ember has literally turned his life upside down.  Before her, his life was simple…he was a soldier…the ultimate—perfect—killing machine.  He had little to think about except staying alive and killing dragons.  Now he sees things so differently, much like Ember--and thanks to Ember--and this unsettles him immensely.  But he can’t deny how he feels and the emotions that both unnerve him and excite him too.  It’s a huge leap of faith for him…but I found myself rooting for him the entire way.  I also think my heart goes to Garret because he also vaguely reminds me of a certain broody prince from another of Julie’s series that I fell hard for many moons ago and still carry that torch high.

Regardless, both boys are equally good, and bad, for Ember so she definitely has a tough choice ahead of her.

Dante also gets a voice in this instalment as well.  Part of me wanted to strangle him, while the other part knew Talon’s TALONS were in him deep.  I kept praying for him to see the light…so does he?  You’ll have to see for yourself.

The Talon organization gives new meaning to the term ruthless.  They are like an elite corporation that is not above explicit corruption.  They no longer care about ‘collateral damage’ as long as they continue to gain ground against their foes and keep absolute control over their race.  Their mission is to strengthen their society to the point where they can never be challenged again, yet they are quite willing to extinguish those who think for themselves—those who question their tactics.

And The Order of St. George is not really much better.  They shoot first and don’t bother asking questions later.  Their structure leaves little room for questions and understanding.  Their mandate has never changed in hundreds of years, and thus, they have raised soldiers that are virtually mindless killing machines.

It was also not lost on me that they actually share some similarities despite their centuries old war.  Both seemed to have lost their objectiveness where the other is concerned.  Both are unyieldingly structured and soulless. They no longer question WHY they fight each other…they are just consumed with annihilating each other.  But with Riley’s rogue movement, I’m hoping that the lines between The Order of St. George and Talon become further blurred, and more members from both sides question their respective societies.

And so, I’m anxiously awaiting the next instalment…Soldier!  I hope we don’t have to wait till 2017!!!  Waiting till next year will be excruciating enough!

I’d also like to thank Harlequin Teen for the Netgalley.




Goodreads:

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?






12 comments:

  1. I'm still waiting to see if I get a NetGalley copy... if not I will buy it. :-) Great review!

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    1. I hope you've had the chance to read it Fredamans! Let me know what you think when you do!!

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  2. Julie said next year when I asked on Twitter. Great review, much more articulate than mine :)

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  3. I had previously thought to get Talon and Rogue for my birthday this year but that does, I can't control myself anymore ...... I want both now.

    Awesome Review :)
    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

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    1. I hope you got both for your birthday too, Aparajita! Happy Birthday too!

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  4. This is the type of book for which I have to wait until the end of the series. I cannot stand waiting for a sequel!

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    1. Yes, those cliffhangers are tough...but the story is so worth it! I hope you start reading it soon!

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  5. Uuuurgh...I've been meaning to get my hands on the first book of this series for awhile now...and this review makes the book sound like such an adventure....I must read this series sooooon!

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  6. I'm one of the shallow people who judge the book by its cover and this one always caught my eye but I never seemed to get to it since my TBR is huge enough but I might binge read it once the 3rd book is out then :)

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    1. Lara, I have to confess I love a pretty cover too. But I've read all of Julie's books and loved them all. And I actually loved the cover of Talon with the dragon-scale embossed cover (and it happened to be in my favourite colour). I hope you give it a go when Soldier comes out (book 3)! It's too good to wait for! But I also understand that too...I hate waiting for the next book and often don't have time to reread to get back into that world so I often wait till a series is complete as well. But I'm missing out on all the talk in the meantime. So...it's a hard decision sometimes. ;)

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