Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Talker 25 by Joshua McCune

Series: Talker 25 #1
432p.
Publisher: Greenwillow
Published: 4/22/14
Source: Edelweiss and Publisher for review
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.
My thoughts:
 This book seemed to have everything: dragons, a heroine named Melissa... paranormal abilities, but I still don't know how to review this book.

The first half of the book was pretty good. A girl finds that she has the ability to talk to dragons and a mess occurs until she finds herself on the wrong end of the government... or government like organization. She learns a lot about a once feared entity and finds that they are quite interesting and magnificent. Things escalate until she is captured by the military organization that is intent on obliterating dragons from earth. She is then forced to help them decimate the species.

That is where I couldn't really go on.

But then I still had to know the fate of at least one of the dragons... so I skipped ahead.... and regretted it. But I still had to know so I skipped some more... and found out what I needed to know.

Why I couldn't go on is often the quickest reason I DNF books. Even though they are imagined creatures (but then so are the animals in the fictional realm of books) I just can't stand to read about their torture. There was a LOT of torture going on in the second half of the book. Now I need something light and fluffy to read so I can get that "taste" out of my mouth.

Here is the thing. I don't think this is a bad book at all. It is me, the reader, and what I personally like and hate to read about. I don't like animal torture (little kids too, but you rarely see that in books, especially in YA... if it is there it is just suggested and not in detail). I now know I don't like mythical creature torture done in a way that makes me cringe. I know not everyone will feel the way that I do and I have no doubt that others will love this book because it is very dark and harrowing. Oddly enough, if I find that the second book is sans torture, I would be glad to read it to see what happens. I think I would have to find out first before I dive in though. :) I won't give this one stars since I don't think it is fair when I didn't read the whole book.

27 comments:

  1. DANG! I DNF'd a book with a Felicia character once and it felt like I was doing something. I will hold out for a torture-less 2nd book.

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  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one to feel this way. Thanks for the warning.

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  3. Man . . . I got really excited when I read your first sentence . . . and it all went downhill from there. I too am not a fan of torture--it always strikes me as unnecessarily gruesome, and yes, it makes me cringe too. Sorry it was a fail for you, but I'm grateful to be spared the agony myself. I almost certainly would have picked this one up b/c dragons. Great review, Melissa ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. If it was more suggestive than detailed... I may have finished it, but maybe not. I just don't like it personally.

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  4. Danny had a similar issue with this one Melissa, so I know this won't be the book for me. Like you, I just can't handle animal torture, mythological or not, so I'm going to pass on this story. I'm huge fan of dragons though, so like you said, if book 2 is free of the same abuse, I might channel you and start in the middle of the series ;-)

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    1. *evil laugh* See what happens when you hang around me enough? ;)

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  5. I can handle almost anything in books or movies except torture. I just get so sick over it. Never mind when it's happening to animals. Even if they're fictional dragons.

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  6. I can't handle reading about torture. I'm glad to see your review cause by the description I might have picked it up. I'll definitely skip it now.

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    1. I'm hoping the second one is w/o because I'd like to know what happened.

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  7. I do NOT do well with animal torture or death (I had a horrible dream last night about my dog getting stung by hornets and it's still traumatizing me today. Sorry.). I was excited about this one because dragons but...I might skim it and attempt to pass over the torture scenes. Or pass on it totally.

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    1. :( I hate dreams like that. Btw, you will have to skim almost the whole second half of the book... just a warning. The very ending was good tho. :)

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  8. Oh I can't read animal torture or watch it ever. I will skip it or not read a book because of it.

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  9. I think I would have issues too with it

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  10. Aw, that's too bad. I get it though. Hopefully the 2nd book will be better about it.

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  11. I love dragons, but torture? I don't think this one is for me. Thanks for such an honest review, though, Melissa!(:

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  12. Melissa, I totally understand why you would want to DNF this, I also can't read about animals or small children being tortured, it's just too disturbing. It's a real shame because it sounds like the story was interesting enough to have you peeking ahead anyway. Hopefully book two will be easier to read. Thank you for your honest review!

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  13. I have to say that animal torture is a no in my book too. So I'm sad to hear this book was disappointing in that sense, cause it sounded cool as you started describing it.

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  14. you're right, the premise sounds awesome, I love the fact that it's about dragons annd about the name of the heroine lol. You know when I found one with my name (Delhia), I knew I had to read it. But animal torture is something maybe not for me either, it's the most difficult thing in a movie or a book, so I think I'll pass.

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  15. Thanks for being honest. Some books are just for you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  16. Sorry to hear that you skipped parts of this one, but at least the one dragon captured your attention and you had to know his fate

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  17. How could they hurt the dragons? The premise sounds fantastic, I honestly do not know how I would react to this. I appreciate how honest you were.

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  18. Aaaah...for animal lovers this is a hard one. I'd struggle with it too. But sounds interesting too.

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  19. Well, I am a dragon lover, so I'd be rooting for the dragons. And no, animal torture, mythical animal or real, I can't read it. I won't be able to read this one.

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