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Talon: Combat Tracking Team (A Breed Apart) Paperback – May 5, 2013
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Kendig’s fans are in for a real treat with this second installment in the A Breed Apart Series. For those who have yet to pick up a book by this brilliant author, trust me, you won’t want to wait a moment longer. The pages in Talon are brimming with twists and one in particular is bound to thrill readers. There is no question, this novel has made my “Best of 2013” list.
Book 2 in the riveting A Breed Apart series from author Ronie Kendig delivers another action-packed story starring military war dogs, our unsung heroes. Aspen Courtland wants her brother back—dead or alive. But only his traumatized combat tracking dog, Talon, knows where to look. Can he muster the courage for one more mission?
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Aspen has never given up that her twin brother, Austin, is still alive. Even though the military has written him off as dead, she just knows he's out there. She's willing to put her life on the line to get answers, but everyone tries to protect her.
Cardinal has agreed to find the man he trained to be a spy, but he needs the help of his former combat dog, Talon. When he finds out that he'll have to be working with Aspen, he wants to back out. He doesn't work with women. Threats are handed out and he agrees.
Working with Aspen begins to get under Cardinal's skin. That's not even his real name. He has to push her away for her own safety, but she keeps trusting him when times get tough. Cardinal knows he doesn't deserve her love and tries to focus on the mission.
This book was very well balanced between action and romance. There's just enough of both to keep the pages turning. I have to be careful picking up a book by this author because it ends up being hazardous to my eyes! Finished in two days. And that's only because I needed to sleep...
Great series. I read Beowulf first, then Trinity. After Beowulf, I thought it would be okay to read them out of order, but wasn't as sure once I'd finished Trinity. Overall, I think it's possible to read them out of order, but you're going to get a much more complete picture if you read them in order. For instance, we see quite a bit of interaction between Candyman and Timbrel in this book. Their rocky relationship is the basis for the third book and you'd understand them better.
This entire series was a great read and I would recommend any and all of the books.
Kendig has created a great character in Dane `Cardinal' Markoski. Cardinal has a troubled past which is intriguing and it simmers below the surface for the entire novel until it crashes into the present in it's climactic ending. Great, great writing.
I hope Kendig builds a series around Cardinal. She has developed a character with wonderful apparent complexity (or is it just male aloofness?) that drives both the action and much of the dialogue.
Aspen, his romantic interest, didn't really grab me. There was too much reference to flicking curls away but more significantly I didn't see the underlying strength of character that her colleagues in the book saw.
Talon, the Labrador Combat Tracking Dog, was masterfully crafted. He was an emotional wreck through losing his handler and throughout the story we see his journey from skulking under buildings through fear and uncertainty to tentative steps of courage to a heroic final encounter that brought tears to my eyes.
The fast-paced action, the supporting cast, and a story that takes us global to Djibouti, Africa all make this an absolutely compelling novel.
I so wanted to give this novel 5/5, however, there are a couple of plot points that I struggled with that led me to rate it 4.5/5.
The third in the series, starring Beowulf the beast, handler Timbrel and her suitor, Candyman, is set up to be an epic. Can't wait!
TALON consistently gives us characters to stand behind with conviction, grieve with in moments of sorrow and regret, and cheer for with smiles as we fall in love with their moments of triumph each time. There were twists to the story I didn't expect--and I love that Ronie Kendig never ceases to be predictable in her writing. At one point, I found myself holding my breath and slowly exhaling before I pursued the next page--intense, powerful, exciting. I canNOT get enough of this author's work--get ready to ride an awesome roller coaster with TALON, Aspen Courtland, and their band of incredible brothers/broads! Kendig is packing some serious heat with this one!
(P.S. I've already bought three extra copies for friends--yep, it's THAT good.)