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Talker 25


Talker 25

Nobody really knows where the dragons came from --- not even the dragons. After years of battles and millions dead, there has recently been a fragile peace between the humans and the different-colored dragons. Reds and Blues mostly stay in packs, but Greens are the ones you have to watch out for, as they will kill anything in sight. Melissa knows this all too well as her mother died from a Green when Melissa was very young. Ever since then, Melissa, her brother, and her father have lived on a military base surrounding a giant pit filled with dragons who seem to be up to something.

If you ask, most people would say that all the dragons should be wiped out as they are simply too dangerous. But there is a small band of people, insurgents, who sympathize with the dragons --- and rumor has it they can also talk to them. Melissa’s mother was an insurgent and could talk to dragons, unbeknown to most people, and Melissa discovers on a random night as her and her friends go ‘dragon hunting’ that she can also talk to dragons. Armed with this special skill, Melissa’s life changes forever --- but not in the ways you would expect.

You don’t want to miss it or this refreshing take on the mysterious --- and deadly --- dragon

First, a planned attack against the dragons ends up leveling the military base, and Melissa finds herself in the company of the insurgents and her mother’s old friends. There Melissa discovers what the dragons have been up to: they are breeding. Their offspring, silver dragons, possess freezing ability, quite the opposite of what you would expect from fire-breathing dragons. The dragons will do anything to protect their young and Melissa realizes that, just like her mother, she is going to have to choose a side. 

At this point in the novel, I thought for sure I had figured out what TALKER 25 was going to be all about. Melissa would choose to fight with the dragons, there would probably be a couple of spectacular battles, she would probably betray her family’s trust, and the story would end with a cliffhanger that would set the story up for the next book in the series. Instead, TALKER 25 goes somewhere completely different.

In a unique twist, Melissa ends up being captured and shuttled off to a secret military base in Antarctica where the military uses children who can talk to dragons to eliminate them one by one. Melissa is slowly reconditioned and becomes Talker 25, and she must use her unique power to hunt the creatures she grew to love. 

After reading countless fantasy books about dragons, I thought for sure it would be amazing if they existed in real life. TALKER 25 takes this premise and provides a harrowing realistic worldview that has made me think twice. I never really stopped and considered what harm powerful dragons could inflict upon humanity nor to what lengths those in power would go to prevent such harm. There is also a very astute social commentary about reality television in TALKER 25 that I will just let you discover on your own. You don’t want to miss it or this refreshing take on the mysterious --- and deadly --- dragon

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on May 14, 2014

Talker 25
by Joshua McCune

  • Publication Date: April 22, 2014
  • Genres: Fantasy, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • ISBN-10: 006212191X
  • ISBN-13: 9780062121912