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Monday, April 28, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Talker 25 by Joshua McCune

Title: Talker 25
Author: Joshua McCune
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: April 22 2014
Publishing House: Greenwillow
ISBN: 9780062121912
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I really wanted to like this book because dragons, right? But try as I might I just couldn't get into it. I wasn't happy that it's been compared to Ann Aguirre's Outpost because that book is amazing. This just falls flat.

After sneaking into the dragon sanctuary and inadvertently catching the military's attention, Melissa finds herself an unwitting participant in the war between humans and dragons. This book is basically a war between humans and dragons. That is about as much as I could glean from it because it's all about who's on which side and a whole lot of dragon torture which is not amusing. 

The characters in Talker 25 are poorly crafted. Melissa is a crass, judgmental, insensitive and spiteful girl and I don't like her attitude at all. She flips off her dad, shames her brother in public and calls her friend a slut behind her back. From the very beginning, I knew she was going to be an issue. Add to that list the fact that she instantly swoons over a hot guy? I don't know why the dragons even bothered with her since apparently she's useless.

James, the hot guy, is as annoying as Melissa. Love at first sight? Yeah. I have nothing against that but the way it was executed here was just terrible. The romance served no purpose in the story and it just added fuel to the fire. He's a really terrible insurgent who throws temper tantrums and compromises the safety of his group by running off to mope when he's all sad and depressed. Not cool, James.

Also, where was the backstory? I don't understand how the dragons found their way to our world and apparently they don't know how that happened either. REALLY. Is this some sort of a cop-out? The dragons had no idea how they found humans? They were just dropped there? Out of the blue? They can't see the color black? What. Is. That. Where was the world-building? Someone please explain.

And the humans! Attack first negotiate later? I get that fear makes people act rashly, but having the government lash out at dragons when they haven't initiated anything? That deserves a massive face palm. And the torture scenes in this book were horrible and annoying because they were just cruel for the sake of being cruel. It's just unnecessary and unexplained hatred everywhere.

I also didn't get the role of the dragon fanatics or rebels because the dragons seemed to do okay on their own. And here comes these people who want to help them? By riding on their backs and talking to them in their heads. Ugh, if I were one of those dragons I wouldn't even bother.

Basically Talker 25 is about about dragons and dragon fanatics fighting the government and they all hate each other and try to one up the other. They also do reconditioning on humans and use them on their TV show. It's doesn't help that you've got a bratty heroine narrating the story and I wouldn't trust her with my life. If you want a dragon book I'd point you towards Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. 




  1. "Basically Talker 25 is about about dragons and dragon fanatics fighting the government and they all hate each other and try to one up the other. They also do reconditioning on humans and use them on their TV show." HAHA!

    I don't know if this is good or bad but I was laughing while reading your review Nicole LOL. Maybe they just included dragons to make it seem a fantasy novel, hate it when they do that. Thanks for this Nicole :)

    1. HAHAHA. Well, I gave the book 1 rainbow so it's pretty bad. Glad the review amused you. Lol. :)