Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rogue by Julie Kagawa: Review


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?


"A flame that burns twice as bright lasts half as long."

I like Talon, but it's nowhere near my fondness for, well, The Iron Fey or Blood of Eden. After reading Rogue, though, I have to say I'm glad that I made the choice of picking it up in the first place. 

Rogue is set almost immediately after the events in Talon, with Ember being sold out by her twin brother and going rogue, and Garret being arrested for his crimes. Things started off slow at first, with Ember and her friends on the run, trying to evade both Talon and St. George. But as the situation escalated, something is unveiled that leads to conspiracy and dangerous secrets of the two organizations.

The book is told in four perspectives. Ember, Garret, Riley and Dante. Some of them play a bigger part in the book than the others. I will talk about them one by one, because I have a lot of admiration to share with you guys, and a lot of pent-up aggression to let out.

To my surprise, Ember shares a relatively little portion of this book, despite being the main protagonist in the book. I like her in Talon, but I was not sure what I thought of her in the first book. She's magnificent in this book. Strong and fast yet still caring, she's more human than most of the characters in the book. The fact that she still believes in the best of everyone, even if they mean harm to her, is pretty amazing. Like Riley said, she's a flame that burns bright. However, it doesn't mean that she doesn't make bad decisions because of her good nature. In fact, this personality trait gets her in a lot of trouble, particularly trusting the wrong people and putting her faith in the most twisted ones possible. Sometimes she's just too naive. But, the good outweighs the bad, and I grow more attached to her.

Like Ember, Garret shared almost half of the first book. I have grown to like him in the first book, so I am disappointed when Garret's PoV makes up a small part of Rogue. He's no different in Rogue than who he was in Talon. Maybe a little less uptight and more fun, which is more than fine by me. He has an easy sense of humor and I have a fondness for it. I also like the idea of him with Ember, more than Riley with Ember. Ember and Garret are great as a team, working together to save people and evade the forces. The third book is titled Soldier, so I hope I will see more of him in the sequel.

Rogue is Riley's book. His perspective makes up most of the book's content. Riley was an enigma in the first book. I was curious about how he ended up as a rogue dragon in the first place. And the answer is delivered in the book. A brief history of how he questioned things in Talon and finally decided to desert the organization and went rogue. The history is short, but it gives us some more background information. He's very badass in this book, and he will make a good hero. I respect him a lot. Unfortunately, like I said, I can't visualize him with Ember. It's just... kind of weird. But, he's very interesting, and I would like to see more of him in the upcoming book.

Dante doesn't show up much in the book, but his perspective matters a lot. It gives us hints about what will happen later in Rogue and in the upcoming books of the saga. After all, he's in charge of bringing Ember back by whatever means necessary. I have mixed feelings about this guy. On one hand, I hate him for what he has done (and will do). Ember and Dante are supposed to be close siblings having each other's backs. But he sold her out at the end of the first book and is in charge of bringing her back to an organization that doesn't have a reputation of being honest. His anger at Ember only makes me furious and I loathe him. But on the other hand I feel a sort of pity for him. After all, he doesn't know better and he thinks what he's doing is beneficial for Ember. He does what he thinks is best for her. His motives aren't exactly evil. But that sort of sympathy is fading fast, especially after a certain scene at the end of this book.

Despite my liking towards Ember, Garret and Riley, I felt bored when I read the first half of the book. It was basically about them running from St. George and Talon. There was a lot of action involved and those scenes are quite epic on their own. But it did get a little old after a while. However, abnormal information emerged in the second half of the book that made the characters question the motives of both the organization. I liked that twist a lot, because both of the organizations have zero honesty and integrity, and bad things are bound to happen later in the series. The book becomes infinitely more exciting after that twist. While the first half might be a little bit of a let down, the second half has the imperfection completely canceled out. 

The ending is equally awesome and disturbing. It's like... Frankenstein on crack. I'm not gonna dwell into this topic, but even as a biology student who study biotechnology (and is fascinated by the concept), this is just horrifying and sickening. I have a feeling that Soldier will just get crazier and darker. I'm game. 

Rating: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment