Book: Talker 25
Author: Joshua McCune
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.-Goodreads
Review: I just finished binge watching Game of Thrones before I started this so I was really excited to read something focused on dragons. I've never read a dragon book so it seemed interesting. The book started out very strong and I was surprised at how much I was loving the story. Melissa was written like a real teenager (being irrationally angry at her father in brother was right in line for her age) and doing a stupid prank with her friends. The world building was minimal (dragons just kind of showed up for no apparent reason, there was a war) but I was still enjoying the story. Eventually, Melissa ends up with the insurgents (people supporting dragons) and the story went downhill. Her mother was killed by a dragon and her father researches them, it seemed like she should have had more of a challenge with what the insurgents were doing. Eventually she gets caught and sent to a reconditioning camp. Now here I will give McCune credit because he really created a location where it is almost impossible to escape. Melissa and her fellow 'dragon lovers' are also made to do horrible things, including torturing dragons, which was sad and horrific. There was a weird Hunger Games esque show she had to appear on (kind of like the interviews Katniss and the other contestants were forced to participate in). Probably my biggest challenge was that the government was portrayed as such a big group of evil guys it was too cartoonish. Some characters should have been in the grey zone when it came to dragons. On a good note-Melissa had a love interest and that was not a strong focus in the book, which I think was positive.
Oddly enough, although I'm giving this book 2 stars (it was okay, I didn't hate it by any means) I want to read the next one and see where he is taking the story. There is potential in the story.