[eARC Review] Talker 25 by Joshua McCune

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Title: Talker 25
Author: Joshua McCune
Series: Talker 25 #1
Genre: YA Fantasy, Dragons
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow / HarperCollins
Source: eARC received from publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

Debut author Joshua McCune's gritty and heart-pounding novel is a masterful reimagining of popular dragon fantasy lore, set in a militant future reminiscent of Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker and Ann Aguirre's Outpost.

It's a high school prank gone horribly wrong-sneaking onto the rez to pose next to a sleeping dragon-and now senior Melissa Callahan has become an unsuspecting pawn in a war between Man and Monster, between family and friends and the dragons she has despised her whole life. Chilling, epic, and wholly original, this debut novel imagines a North America where dragons are kept on reservations, where strict blackout rules are obeyed no matter the cost, where the highly weaponized military operates in chilling secret, and where a gruesome television show called Kissing Dragons unites the population. Joshua McCune's debut novel offers action, adventure, fantasy, and a reimagining of popular dragon lore.

I am usually hit and miss when it comes to Dragon themed books. For me they are either really good or really bad, and to be honest I haven't found one that I really loved, so when I saw the premise for Talker 25 I thought I would give it a try and hopefully finally find the illusive Dragon love. But unfortunately I didn't love this one as much as I hoped.

The one thing that makes a good book is world building, and I will say that Talker 25 has a great one. These characters live in a world where Dragons have "infested" the earth and in doing so created a new kind of war. And because of this war the military have created a new line of defense to fight against these Dragons. And of course with new creature some rebellion against the current government. I loved the Dragon aspect of this story, I liked that they were a mystery and that we didn't really understand (until later) why they came to earth and what they ultimately wanted. I also loved that there were different kinds of Dragons and each had its own distinct power and ability and that created a great world for these characters to live in.

Unfortunately the world building was the only part of this book that I liked. I found, overall, that there were way too many characters in this book. And these characters were introduced very quickly and without explaining exactly who they were and what they meant to the main character. And because I didn't know what they meant to the main character meant that meant that I forgot who they where seconds after I was introduced. That became my biggest concern because if I couldn't keep track of who was who, then it was hard for me to feel anything for any of the characters. This was especially true when the main character when to a compound that was filled with other teenagers that could talk to Dragons. It was at this point that I become very confused with character and plot because everything happened so fast and I didn't understand any of it.

It was at this point that I thought the plot got a little messy and unorganized. We were introduced to so many different characters and they were explaining what the compound was for and what was happening and I just felt like there were too many voices and not enough continuity. There was also a love interest that to me distracted from the real story and made no sense plot wise. I felt like it was inserted for the "female" reader and honestly I would have liked the book better without that distraction.

Overall this book was a big disappointment and I really hoped for better. I hate to bash on a book that was worked so hard on, but I really disliked it. I did not feel anything for the narrator and she really made no attempt to help me along on the story. I wanted more explanation and more continuity in order for me to follow the story until the end.

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  1. I was also hoping to love this one. I like dragons, but I haven't read a really good book about them so far. This was a DNF for me, so credits that you finished it. I couldn't get far enough to explore the world-building, which is a shame because it sounds okay. The characters just didn't work for me :)