Author: Julie Kagawa
Published: April 28th
By: Harlequin Teen
First line: I stood before a silent, watchful table, six pairs of eyes on me, keen gazes ranging from suspicious to appraising as we waited for the charges to be declared.
Last line: “Welcome to the future”
Synopsis: 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?
I actually read Talon (#1 in the Talon series) and Rogue in one go which anyone who gets addicted to a series knows is a dream scenario as you get to avoid the agony of the year long wait between instalments. In this case that was certainly a bonus as I think I might have gone crazy if I’d had to wait for the usual period of time!
I liked this sequel immensely. As the plot progresses we find Ember, Garett and Riley all trying to find their own path away from the confines of whichever organisation they were previously aligned to and it’s a process which is, predictably, not as easy as it sounds. Garett is now a traitor and an enemy of Talon whilst Riley and Ember are now deserters and therefore the enemy of Talon as well as being potential fodder for St George. Escaping from both therefore should be easy but when is life ever that simple. Ember is still clinging to the hope that her twin Dante will leave Talon and join her, refusing to see his blind devotion to the corrupt society and Riley is still entwined with the same group as he tries to help those who see Talon for what it is and want to escape. Garett is to all intents and purposes a wandering soul looking for somewhere to lay his hat.
There are some points in the plot which are sort of predictable, but every word written still had me glued to the page nonetheless, as much as I was screaming at the characters at times! I do like multi POV here. It highlights the conflict between the three major players. There’s Ember who struggles with her two personas – Dragon vs Human and the way that each of these identities differs in their feelings towards Garett and Riley. There’s Garett who is struggling with his past as a dragon killer and his feeling towards Ember, a creature who he should hate and then there’s Riley. Rogue finds our rebel leader struggling with his role in aiding Ember to ‘rescue’ her brother which is to all intents a suicide mission. At the same time he finds it hard containing his dislike of Garett, his natural enemy and his rival for Embers affection, a situation which he feels defies nature. The additional storyline which detailed his background was enjoyable too as you are left with a clear picture of how he became rogue and you can certainly understand his reasons!
That said, the dynamic between them when they’re really up against it is strong and it’s clear that above all else they all want to do what is right. I do see the potential for an almost ‘Puck and Ash’ type relationship developing between Garett and Riley. I’d like that very much! And given the way that Rogue ended there’s the potential for a rather explosive next instalment. There are loads of unanswered questions. For example, will Garett find some kind of peace of mind? What is so important about Ember that they don’t just destroy her like they have the other rogues? Who is destroying the safe houses and where are they getting the information from? And ultimately will they be able to put a stop to the destruction that threatens wyrmekind and will they get St George to realise that their bloodlust is all kinds of wrong? I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
4/5 Really enjoyed it! If you haven’t started this series yet I’d recommend it.