Inferno by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Ember Hill has learned a shocking truth about herself: she is the blood of the Elder Wyrm, the ancient dragon who leads Talon and who is on the verge of world domination. With the Order of St. George destroyed, Ember, Riley and Garret journey to the Amazon jungle in search of one who might hold the key to take down the Elder Wyrm and Talon—if they can survive the encounter.
Meanwhile, Ember’s brother, Dante, will travel to China with a message for the last Eastern dragons: join Talon or die. With the stakes rising and the Elder Wyrm declaring war, time is running out for the rogues and any dragon not allied with Talon.
The final battle approaches. And if Talon is victorious, the world will burn.
Inferno (Talon, #5)Review:
This conclusion was a wild ride. This was the last book I read in 2019 and I had to listen to it on a zillion speed. I usually can’t enjoy an audiobook when I listen to it on too fast of a speed, but I was so into this story that the narrators basically speaking jibberish didn’t even phase me.
I loved this final book. The characters have really grown and developed throughout the series. I ended up loving Ember. She’s not an annoying girl anymore. She’s passionate and does her best to do the right thing. She refuses to bend when it comes to her morals. She faces reality and does whatever she needs to keep her loved ones safe.
I loved the final battle toward the end of this book. It was so well written and I was absolutely sucked into the story.
Though I’m not totally happy with who Ember ended up with, I still loved this book. I thought it was a wonderful ending to a complex series. The stakes were higher than ever and some unlikely allies came together to save the rest of the world from Talon.
Overall, I really ended up enjoying this series. I’m glad I continued on even when Ember really annoyed me. I think the development of the characters was incredible. Seeing the former enemies come together against a bigger evil was so good. I also really liked the epilogue. I loved seeing where the characters ended up after everything happened.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Legion by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all, let alone with a human and a former dragonslayer. With Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself.
Ember vows to stand against St. George and her own twin brother, Dante–the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known. Talon is poised to conquer the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who will not yield.
LegionReview:
I’m finally starting to get really into this series. I’m liking Ember more and more. The action is getting more intense the more secrets that are revealed. The love triangle is sort of resolved (though not to my liking).
Ember has really grown. She knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to fight Talon. She doesn’t shy away from the hard things anymore. While they still bother her, she understands what she needs to do. I really loved the moment she had where she was in her head and came face to face with her dragon. That really made me happy because the separation in Ember’s mind of her dragon and the human side was something I complained about in my review for the last book.
I liked that while Garret and Riley still had their own chapters, they sort of took a backseat to the other characters. I still like them both, but this book was meant for Dante and Ember to shine.
Dante makes me so mad. I just want him to come to Ember’s side and understand that everything he thinks he knows is a lie. I hate that he’s being fooled and I’m really hoping to see him learn the truth in the final book.
Overall, this one was probably my favorite of the series so far. I’m excited to read the final book in the series and finally finish this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Soldier by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.
As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragonslayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.
Soldier (Talon, #3)Review:
Things are finally starting to get good in this series. The first few books I couldn’t stand Ember. She was whiney and annoying, but she’s starting to see the world she lives in is a scary place and has had to do things she never thought she would. So, she’s grown.
I started to finally like Ember in Soldier. She’s struggling with the fact that she’s killed people, that her brother betrayed her, and of course, is stuck in a love triangle. I liked that Ember’s grown but I still don’t care for the love triangle.
I don’t like that Ember sees herself as two different parts: the human and the dragon. She sees them as separate entities and I don’t care for that. I’m interested to see if that changes as the series comes to an end.
I love Riley. That will never change. I love his cleverness and his clear attempts to show Ember she should choose him.
I don’t dislike Garret, I just want her to choose Riley. So, even though I prefer Riley, I liked getting to see a bit into Garret’s past in this story.
Overall, I’m starting to get more excited about finishing the series. I don’t hate Ember anymore and I’m dying to know where things will go next for this group.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogmas Book Review: Rogue by Julie Kagawa

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GoodReads Summary:
Deserter. Traitor. Rogue.
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?
Rogue (Talon, #2)Review:
I just am having a really hard time WANTING to read these books. I remember loving them when I first read them. But I’m just over it. Antonia said that they get really good in this book and the next one. While I didn’t hate Ember in this one as much as I did in the last one, I still didn’t love her for most of the book.
Ember is now a rogue dragon. But instead of helping Riley figure out who the mole in his system is or literally doing anything useful, she is determined to rescue Garret, who is going to die because he spared her life. I get that she loves him, and in any real situation I probably would do the same thing, but I just hate him. Aside from that, Ember does and experiences things that really affect her. It was nice to see her trying to work through these issues rather than just glossing over it like too many stories do.
I love Riley. He is the end game I want and if I don’t get it I’m going to be very upset with Julie. We get bits and pieces of his backstory and the events that led to him going rogue and I really enjoyed that. I just love Riley.
Garret is okay, I guess. I mostly just want him to go away. I don’t hate him only because he does anything in his abilities to protect Ember. I just wish Ember had never gotten involved with him.
Overall, Ember did grow and become less annoying in the second half of Rogue. I’m interested to see what the gang does next. I am going to do my best to finish this series, but if I’m not enjoying the next book I might just have to give up on it. There’s no shame in DNF’ing friends.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Talon by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of “normal” teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she’s also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.
As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.
Talon (Talon, #1)Review:
This is my third time reading Talon by Julie Kagawa. This was clear to me because I ended up skimming the first fifty or so pages. I just felt like I’ve read the start of this story so many times. I think because of that, I was a bit ‘meh’ toward the rest of the story. Also, already knowing parts of what will happen in the future had me rolling my eyes at certain events. I think I’ll end up liking the next books in the series more because I don’t remember them as well as I do for the first book.
Ember had me rolling my eyes left and right. The fact that she was suspicious of Garret being St. George but repeatedly ignored the signs and convinced herself that he couldn’t be was so dumb. Like, WHAT TEENAGE BOY HAS NEVER BEEN TO AN ARCADE EMBER??? This really drove me crazy. He said and did so many suspicious things and she just brushed it off like an idiot. But other than that. I liked her. She wasn’t willing to just do what she was told, even when he brother tells her she needs to fall in line, she doesn’t let her love for him push away the doubts she’s having. I liked that.
Garret was interesting because it wasn’t as obvious that Ember was the Dragon he’s been sent there to find. But then he falls in love, and when he realizes that she is a Dragon, his whole world is changed. I think he was interesting and complex, fighting what he’s been taught with what he has seen for himself.
Then there’s Riley. He’s my favorite. He’s just a dude trying to help little dragon babes escape Talon. He’s completely my first choice for Ember. I wish I could just get rid of the love triangle and have Ember be with Riley.
Overall, this was a pretty average book. Maybe if I didn’t remember parts of this story so well I’d feel differently. But Ember was a little annoying when it came to Garret and don’t even get me started on her brother Dante.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters

This weeks topic is High School First Love (Pick a character you’d want for your first love! Would it last forever or be a passing relationship?!)

Amanda-  Rather than picking a smoking hot bad boy that I would have LOVED to date during high school, I’m going to pick someone that I would totally have actually dated while I was a high schooler. Ronald Bilius Weasley is absolutely my favorite character from the Harry Potter series. He is exactly the kind of person that I would have dated in high school. A little awkward. Smart but not super nerdy. Great sense of humor. A big crazy family that does all the fun family things. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for redheads.

Antonia- I was not good at dating in high school. I tended to jump into relationships too quickly then realize I wasn’t all that interested so my relationships were always really short. I’m going to choose a character that I WISH I dated in high school. Garret Xavier Sebastian from the Talon series by Julie Kagawa would have made an excellent first boyfriend. He’s mature, kind, and grounded in a way most high school boys aren’t. There’s no drama with him. He accepts Ember for who she is and gives her space when she needs it. He’s exactly the kind of guy I wish I’d dated in high school; I think he would have been a good influence on me.