Ember is recovering from the horrors she’s had to partake in in a very short period of time – but she has little time to recover or get her bearing. Riley has a new mission, a traitor in his ranks and a possible lead where female dragons are tortured and enslaved to produce young: he cannot let tjhis lead go.
At the same time Garrett uncovers a plot within the Order of St John which similarly demands their urgent attention – and for Garret to rejoin the team.
I mentioned this in my review of the previous book in this series but I really need to reiterate it now because it’s so sad to me – this book series does an incredible job of taking a really interesting, potentially fascinating concept and making it Utterly Bland Paint-by-the-numbers-Paranormal-YA.
It’s frustrating. There’s so much here that could be interesting and different and generally unique and it’s all ignored in favour of telling a story that is so utterly generic and forgettable that it’s genuinely hard to write a review afterwards.
Take the supernatural – we have dragons here. Actual dragons. Not weredragons or vampires or witches or some other magically-enhanced human. No, this is a completely alien species. Think of how we could explore how their minds work, think of the conflict this would cause over them interacting with humans. Think of how their culture would be so vastly different, how completely alien everything about them would be. But I get no sense of Ember and Riley being anything but human. Or even Ember’s brother Dante still working with Talon. Or even the guys he’s working with. No dragon in this series has shown themselves to have anything but a human mind set. Which is especially frustrating because part of the attempted conflict of this book is Ember and Riley wondering about whether or not they are becoming too human or not human enough: but they’re not inhuman! We also continue to have the weird “my dragon thinks/does/act” statements which makes no real sense. Again, it’s like someone copying a generic “wereanimal” storyline and not trying to actually adapt it to the original world building of this world.
This is especially frustrating with the romance. I mean, how would a romance even happen when the love interest is a huge lizard? “Let us press our squishy mouth parts together, small warm blooded hairy monkey creature.” Why does Ember even look at Garrett or Riley in human disguise and think of them in a sexual way? I’m not saying don’t have this romance – I’m saying develop this. Work with them AS alien beings finding love rather than just ignoring it and pulling out a storyline that could easily sit in any werewolf book out there.
Another frustration is Talon. I mean, the Order of St George is a generic hunter organisation, fine, whatever – and the corruption storyline is actually somewhat interesting. But Talon? Talon is a world-wide organisation of dragons after power and control hunting down the naughty evil rebels and any outsiders. Fine – but the reason why Talon was created was, we were told, because dragons were literally facing extinction. They had to come together, as a unified force, to protect themselves from St. George’s genocidal campaign. Even now, part of Dante‘s spooky mission for Talon which is getting him all conflicted is out of need for soldiers to fight.