by Julie Kagawa
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A ruse. That’s all it was. Pretend to like this girl. Pretend to have feelings, to pursue some kind of relationship. Earn her friendship and trust, knowing I might have to destroy it, and her, in the end.
Ruthless. Julie Kagawa is ruthless. Mad. Intoxicating…Brilliant. I just….I don’t get why people aren’t loving this one. Is it the content? Is it because it’s about dragons and you just can’t get past it? Is it the non-existent love triangle? The not-so-insta-love? Is it because it isn’t over-packed like an action movie full of explosions and power-plays? Is it the substance? OR, is it because it isn’t all about her abilities as a dragon and it focuses more on the romance? Well…see…that’s the problem: That’s why I loved it so much.
Those eyes. I felt like they pierced right through me; that if I didn’t break away now, they would peel me open to see what lay beneath. Deep within, the dragon stirred, growling. She didn’t like this human, I realized. Maybe he scared her, or the intensity of his gaze reminded her of a predator. Or maybe she felt that, if I stared at him much longer, I would lose myself in those stormy eyes and forget all about a certain golden-eyed rogue, waiting for me in the darkness.
This story isn’t about learning her abilities, about Talon itself, or even how she got to where she is now: It’s about being free. It’s about having one summer to be free from the system, to have fun, to not look at her past, to not face her chosen future, to fall in love. And, not only that, it’s about falling in love with the enemy. You know, that person that is sworn to kill you without blinking an eye? That person that would soon rather stab themselves in the eye than to be in the presence of the very thing they fear and loathe more than anything in the world. I mean, how could that ever work? A human and a dragon? But, as they find themselves wrapped in each others’ embrace, one undercover as a ploy to get close to the ‘sleeper’ and one actually being said sleeper, they start to wonder what it would be like to be normal, to stay frozen in that moment together and to never face those harsh realities and responsibilities ever again. But how could they ever be normal when they are both hiding a deadly secret-a deadly secret that could kill each other?
I wanted to spend more time with her; she was constantly in my thoughts, and right now the only thing I wanted was to lean in and kiss her. Which was, of course, disastrous for the mission, but I couldn’t help it. Somewhere between that day on the beach when I’d met her for the first time and the night of the party when we’d kissed in the ocean, she had become something more than a potential target. She had, very inexplicably, become the most important thing in my life.
And that terrified me.
This is Julie Kagawa-Her romance is unrivaled and she embraces forbidden love like she would coddle a child. No one compares and I admire her work greatly. Kagawa is the type of writer that can suck you in without you ever intending for it to happen. She writes beautifully and has a way with words, as my friend said, erasing any remnants of the novel before that you read and loved dearly and holding nothing back-Kagawa takes no prisoners-you will succumb to her writing and drown in her expertly woven pages…there is no way around it.
I clenched my fist around the railing, finally forcing myself to acknowledge what that meant. I’d always known, of course. It was always there, at the back of my mind; I just didn’t want to think about it. But if Ember was the sleeper…I would have to kill her.
If it’s possible, I think her writing is even better than before. This is so different from her previous novels and it really showed in this story. I didn’t once feel she was drawing ideas from her previous works and nothing felt recycled. It was fresh, clean, like a whole new slate. And despite the fact that I had my doubts on whether I would like this story or not, I never once thought, ‘oh, this might be a four,’ or ‘should I take a .5 star off?’. No, this was a five through and through-and as another friend said-she finally beat the 3 star book one curse! I always three star her first books in her series only to love and adore the rest of the remaining books. I am so happy with this book, it’s unreal-seriously.
I sighed again, tipping my head back. My skin was still flushed, whether from anger or adrenaline or both, and my dragon crackled and snapped in myriad different directions. I needed to calm down. I wished I had my board. It was impossible to stay tense while floating on the surface of the ocean, its cold, dark depths lulling you to sleep. The sea was fascinating. It always amazed me how calm and peaceful it was one moment, only to bear down on you a moment later with the power and savagery of a hurricane.
Ember and Garret were just…so fun to follow. Maybe at first I was skeptical as to how the alternating POV would work because she’s never done it before, but I loved every minute of it. I was never mad it switched to one or the other and I loved seeing the events through each of their eyes. I didn’t think it was possible, but I fell in love with yet another of her male leads. Garret, for real, doll, you better watch out-I. Am. Obsesssssed with you.
I found myself hating him, wanting to hurt him, to drive him away from the red-haired girl who was supposed to be mine.
Breathless, I slumped to the wall, numb with the realization. This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possessiveness…I was jealous. I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking, seducing, for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature. This had become more than an objective, more than a mission.
I was falling for her.
An undercover soldier out to kill the girl he’s falling in love with??? Come on. Come ooooooon. How. HOT. is. that? Every look, every touch, every caress…every kiss…..I couldn’t breathe. I was choking on butterflies, my heart swelled to immeasurable proportions. I was biting my lip and covering my mouth with the largest smile on my face because I couldn’t contain my geek out. I don’t know when or how, but he got under my skin…and every time he doubted himself or how he would ever be able to kill this girl he was holding and hoping wasn’t the sleeper, my heart broke a little more…and my evil side cackled without remorse.
At certain (okay, many) points near the end of the story I was gasping out loud, shooting my hand up to stifle my weird sounds, chanting ‘oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no…’. I was smiling so big and then tearing up when the hard decisions had to be made. It was a roller coaster of emotions-up, then down, up, then down, thrown to the side against a massive rock and then pummeled with the ocean waves, then up again. Not once was I bored and it came to a point where this was unputdownable, because I just didn’t know when that ball would drop and they would find out they were sworn enemies…and, hey, I loved those stolen kisses-I am a girl, after all.
Being with him did strange, twisty things to my insides. My dragon instincts did not approve; they still didn’t like this human with his amazing reflexes and bright, intense eyes. They eyes of a predator. But there was another part of me that couldn’t resist. And the thought of never seeing him again was unfathomable. Even if I knew it was probably for the best.
Jealousy (yaaas), lies, betrayal, true love, angst, and much more, this story became an instant favorite. The beginning was mild, I’ll give you all that. But I know Kagawa, and if I know anything, she’s hiding in the shadows with a malicious smile and steepled fingers because the pain will come. Oh, she’ll bring it. I don’t doubt that even for a second. I know her, and I know the end of this book was just the beginning of what we’ll face in the future books. Our little Ember (on a side note, how damn cute is that name? Ember. Like a spark, a flame, a fiery soul trapped and hidden in a tiny, harmless body. So clever and fun-I love her spirit.) and my dear Garret are in for a world of trouble. I don’t know what all is to come or what’s up Kagawa’s sleeve. But I do know one thing: She is a genius and I’ll never doubt her ideas again. Because, in the end, she got me, I’m rooting for the impossible: I want that human and dragon together, damn it!
Urrrmmmmmmm….another book by Julie fuckin’ Kagawa??
In 2014, you say?
PLEASE! ! ! ! !
Never in a million years would I have guessed that a book about dragons, DRAGONS, would excite me…but I would read ANYTHING this woman writes-now…..GIVE IT TO ME IMMEDIATELY