by Julie Kagawa
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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?
It was our job to find and kill as many of the monsters as we could, in the hopes that one day, we could push their numbers over the brink and firmly into extinction where they belonged.
That was what I’d once believed. Until I met her.
Bawling sick upset emotional dying a slow and painful death…. Yeah. So….Is it weird if I’m not okay? This one….wasn’t one of those books that I would say out-shined it’s predecessor in any way, shape, or form. Normally, with Kagawa, I don’t enjoy her first book much, but know I’m in for a treat for the rest of the series, whereas it’s the opposite here-except, I did enjoy it. I did swoon over my dear Garret and his adorable soldier-ness. I did love the action and the perilous situations but…my heart. My heart was torn into pieces time and again, and like my great friend, Anna, I have to agree that some of this heartbreak is unnecessary. However…I disagree with her on one front: I don’t know that there is one certain boy that she WILL end up with indefinitely. I think that, while both guys are great, that this turned into an unnecessary love triangle and it’s clear who she SHOULD end up with, but it’s gotten all twisty and turny and I don’t know that it’s quite that clear, anymore.
I didn’t regret my choice. I’d meant every word I said in the courtroom. And if it came down to it again, and I stood on that beach with the dragon I was sent to kill, knowing that if I let her go I would die instead…I would still choose to save her.
And OMG guys, I love cliffhangers. I am so frikkin’ obsessed with an amazing, well planned out, explosive, heart-breaking, TEAR ME TO SHREDS cliffhanger…but I wasn’t ready for this one. This one gutted me, mutilated me, ripped my fucking heart out and stomped on it. Kagawa chewed up my heart and spit it back into my face. I love Kagawa, but she has finally created a cliffhanger that killed me mentally-it wasn’t a thrilling end-It was a soul-crushing emotional tornado. And I can barely see straight through my tears.
And that’s what is so funny to me-This wasn’t even a bad ending!!!! Literally no one else will probably have this demented and dramatic visceral reaction to such a simple little folly that so frequently occurs during these fantasy/YA/dystopian/sci-fi/LIFE books. I mean…I knew from my friend’s reaction that things went into a light love-triangle land, but, it was so clear to me that it was the way it was supposed to be and…well, look at that-it’s not. It’s fucked up and heart-breaking and even though nothing horrible even happened, my soul is destroyed, just a little. And I am truly shocked by my reaction. Check-mate, Mother Fucker.
I knew that wishing was wasted energy, and regret changed nothing, but for perhaps the first time in my life, I wished we’d had more time. If I’d known what would happen, I would have spent every moment I could with her. I would have done a lot of things differently, but it was too late now.
So, I am and forever will be, in love with Garret-the soldier that was sent to kill Ember in book one. Mortal enemies. Raised to hate each other from birth. A secret operation that brought these two together by fate-Garret never knew if she was actually the dragon, but even without knowing for sure, he fell in love with her. So Talon turned into a forbidden love story that had my heart soaring and made me choke on butterflies. Now, book one, while scary as we watched everything unfold, was still so light-hearted and fun and care-free…it was young love at the beach, fighting how they’ve been trained to be since birth, never knowing where it could possibly lead…and finally ending in the ultimate sacrifice. My heart still stutters thinking about it. But this installment was no longer care-free. Decisions have to be made, they can trust no one, no place is safe, and they are constantly fleeing….and each of them has a death warrant on their head. And, GD if I wasn’t BEGGING Garret and Ember to just LOVE EACH OTHER ALREADY!!!!!!! All the frustration AGH! You KNOW YOU LOVE EACH OTHER!! Now kiss each other already, damn it!
I could go on and on and on about Kagawa’s writing and how absolutely fucking fantastic it is, but we all know that. We all know Kagawa is a fucking master manipulator who doesn’t hesitate to rip the rug out from beneath you, but we all still keep reading her wonderfully evil stories. I just never imagined I’d be so drastically bitch-slapped by one of them-and I’ve read them all. So, instead of gushing about Kagawa, because, you know, she ripped my soul to pieces last night, I’ll just show you all how fucking loyal I am-to the point of being more annoying than even I can handle.
Anna: Hmm. I don’t like where this is going.
Me: Whatcha mean?
Anna: Well, they are making it all about Cobalt. He probably will end up alone or dying so why is she doing this? Making us love him?
Me: Hmm…I dunno. She has a reason for everything. I really do like Cobalt/Riley, but I will rip his head off if he takes Ember from Garret.
Anna: I am so mad.
Me: GARRET *heart eyes emoji* AGHHH
Anna: Why is she making this a love triangle? It wasn’t in the first book! Why?
Me: I don’t know…GARRET *heart eyes emoji*
Anna: I am just so upset.
Me: GARRET. OMG. THAT SCENE WHERE OMG YAS HE DID IT AGHHHH YES. Garret *heart eyes emoji*
Anna: Well, I’ve finished. I can’t say anything because I don’t want to spoil you.
Me: Is it a cliffy?
Anna: Hmm…kind of. Yes.
Me: AGHH!!! Garret. It’s guna be epic. EEEEEPSSSS.
Anna: I can’t wait to see what you think…
Me (as she has fallen asleep but I text endlessly on-as per her request for updates): Garret
Squee!! He just….
OMG. My heart. I’m bawling. I’m dying omg. *And I’ll cut it off there*
At which point, I’m sure Anna was to this point:
So, as you can see, I wasn’t much fun to read this with…because…Garret. My Garret fangirling was out of control.
I glared back at him. “I wouldn’t let you go, anyway. So you can stop being so damned fatalistic. No one is giving anyone up. We’re getting out of here together, or not at all.”
He blinked, a raw, almost vulnerable look passing through his eyes, and we stared at each other a moment. Outside, it was eerily silent. The sunlight slanting through the broken window caught on shards of glass and glittered red, like drops of blood.
No, this wasn’t what I wanted or expected it to be, but it’s still Julie Kagawa who rarely does wrong in my eyes and she is still a master manipulator of my heart and soul. Soooo, you know, here we are. A ‘not what you wanted’ Julie Kagawa story is better than a great book by an author I barely care about, so, I’ll still take this as a win. As for those who didn’t love the first book-You will probably like this one better. Everyone seems to. As for people like me, who worship the first book, you probably won’t. It’s just an inkling. I still loved this story, but it definitely tried my patience more than once-it’s just like, WHO THE HELL CARES? Ugh. That’s wrong, though. This was a well-rounded story with lots of action, forbidden-and-not-so-forbidden love, and a great back story…for Cobalt. I want people to read this, but ultimately, I am ready for book three NOW. I need more Garret in my life and, oh, hey, oh yeah- FUCK YOU, EMBER!
AWESOMENESS, HERE I COME!!!!! GARREEEEEEET! ♥
I NEED YOU, GARRET!!!!
AAAGHHH! After the ending of that last installment I. Am. Going. Insane!!!!
I NEED IT NOW
APRIL 28, 2015. Okay…I guess I can do that…I’m just not happy about it.
Now, I wait.