I have found myself completely invested in the world that Julie has created and the characters she has brought to life. Soldier, which is the third book in the Talon series, blew me away with the depth of characters and the way the story has been taken. I can not believe that I have to wait a year for the next book. Soldier is a bit darker than the first two but the writing is beautiful and flows really well from one moment to the next. Not to mention how well Julie pulls off multiple POVs in this series. As well as the reveals that happen throughout the story. Making this book incredibly exciting to read you won’t want to put it down. And those last two reveals really blew my mind. This is one I would recommend. There are so many questions after finishing this book and I am eagerly waiting for the 4th book.
I really enjoyed Ember as a character who is pushed far past her comfort zone. She is sassy and strong, but in Soldier we get a sense of how big a toll this fight is really taking on her. The sleepless nights. The Guilt. It’s all weighing heavily and you can sense that she might snap at any moment. I think Julie’s willingness to take a darker approach to Ember in Soldier rather than have her be happy and ready to go all the time, really draws me to her. She’s told her whole life that dragons are above humans and it isn’t until she falls for one that she understands how wrong Talon is. Which makes her go on the run with Riley, another Rogue dragon. Riley is the cocky bad boy who really has a heart of gold. All he wants to do is protect his kind. Now normally I would be so on bored for Riley, but I just couldn’t do it. Not this time. Especially with Garrett around. I mean I ship him and Ember so hard. It’s like Riley who? All Garrett wants is to protect Ember. I believe that they complement each other really well. They are both going through their own inner struggle and just trying to survive. They bring out the best in each other and really work hard to protect and fight side by side. I find myself liking the way Garrett treats Ember way better than the way Riley does. That being said the way Riley started acting towards Garrett toward the end of the book makes me like him a little better.
Near misses are my bread and butter. Which is why this story was so impressive. We get so many close calls within just Soldier alone, that I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for it to be over. The way Julie handles the fight between Talon, The Order, and Riley’s group is what is so interesting. We really get how hard it is for the group to kill. They don’t want this life, but they will continue to fight because that is what Talon and The Order has forced them to do. I love that the writing is both dark and humorous. Julie pulls both off brilliantly and we get characters that are interesting and really pop off the page. You don’t see anything coming until it’s already happening. Which is what makes you so uneasy but also causes this to be such a great read. You can never fully guess what is going to happen. Every theory that I had was completely blown to bits after every reveal. I felt as if I was in a movie watching this happen rather than reading a book. One of my favorite things is that all of these characters have a bit of snark to them. Always have to have the last word even if it causes them to get themselves killed!
What left me wanting more:
One of my favorite things about this series is that it’s multiple POVs, We get Garrett, Riley, Ember, and Dante. I love being able to see their side of things and hear their motivations. But while that is amazing, the characters who don’t get their own voices kind of fall flat for me. But characters like Wes and Jade are still amazingly interesting and not being able to know their motives or if they’re on the same side is all part of the mystery!
One thing that I feel with multiple POVs is that it can get a little overwhelming. While I was interested in 99% of the story, there were a couple chapters that I wanted to skip because I wasn’t as interested. But I think overall the story wouldn’t be the same if it was just Ember’s head we were inside and I think it definitely adds to the epicness of this book. Because you can see things and you know things the other characters don’t.
And that love triangle. I am not a fan of them at all. Mainly because I totally choose Garrett, but overall I don’t find them interesting in a storyline. And while I don’t like them I do think Julie does a great job of not making that the main focus. Yes there definitely is one but it’s in the background to everything else. There are definitely some authors who can pull them off and I think Julie is doing it spectacularly.
Soldier was a terrific third book in what is an amazing series. It left me wanting more and more of this world and also to know that my favorites were okay in the end. The build was slow but again with 5 books, the ability to really delve into the world is just one of the reasons I will stay with this series till the end. I myself can’t wait to see where Julie takes this series, and how far she’s going to push these characters. All in all I would most certainly recommend this to any one who is a fan of dragons, Mari Mancusi, and stories with strong female leads.