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Talker 25

(Talker 25 #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  427 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Debut author Joshua McCune's gritty and heart-pounding novel is a masterful reimagining of popular dragon fantasy lore, set in a militant future reminiscent of Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker and Ann Aguirre's Outpost.

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 unsuspecti
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Greenwillow / HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  427 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Start your review of Talker 25 (Talker 25, #1)
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Over the next hour and a half, twenty more dragon names cross my computer screen. All ignore me.
“Why aren’t they answering?” I ask Lester.
I scan the script for what I’m supposed to do but can’t find anything that applies...the section near page bottom—For arrogant or annoyed dragons. “Please help me. I am weak. Without your help, the invisible men will...”
DNF at 58% because there's just no point in continuing. This is the worst book about dragons that I've ever read.

I still have enough to ra
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
“I won’t run from death. I won’t run from pain or fear. Life hurts sometimes, sometimes so much that you think it’s never gonna stop hurting. That’s a beautiful thing.”



You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!

First we should appreciate this freaking awesome cover.It looks like it has something to do with military and there are wings,freaking dragons' wings which make it pe

Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted onTangled in Pages

This book is a big fat joke and I really wish I hadn’t been drawn to it because of it's pretty cover. I should have learned my lesson but I never do. Plus I decided to not read any of the reviews which could have prevented me from wasting the painfully long time it took me to read this book.

At first there was some potential. The first couple of pages made me think this book stood a chance and could either blow my mind or go down the drain. It
Laurie Thompson
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-teen
Wow! This book is insanely intense and very well done. There is a lot to think about in addition to the action. And fantasy dragon lore set in realistic modern times? Yes, please! I must admit that, as an animal lover and general softie, some parts of it were pretty hard for me to take, but it just drove home the themes and made me sympathize even more with the main characters. I couldn't put it down, and I definitely can't wait for the sequel! ...more
Joshua McCune
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
So, yeah, I wrote this, so I may be a little biased ;)... and while I think the sequel's even better, I'm extremely proud of this guy.

Parental advisory: violence and explicit language.
Mike Jung
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
TALKER 25 is fantastic. I'm a believer in the central importance of the main character's emotional journey in any book, and it's to Josh McCune's credit that a story filled with richly detailed worldbuilding, high-octane action, and a genuinely original take on dragons still makes me connect to and empathize with its protagonist. Mel is a character with real emotional depth and personality, and it's not hard to feel her struggles as her circumstances grow increasingly dire.

That said, the book s
Suzy Manning
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
A super-good read. Action, Romance, Danger, and DRAGONS.
The Twins Read
This review can originally be found at The Twins Read.

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
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya
I loved this epic, brutal story, and can't wait to see it continue.

I will admit that, for a while, I wasn't completely sure about it. I found the near-future world dominated by human-dragon war interesting, and the descriptions of the dragons fascinating, but sometimes had a little trouble understanding all the backstory and following the sequence of events that led to Melissa ending up at an insurgency camp.

But around page 150, all of that changed--and the book became unputdownable for me. I
Debbie Narh

0.5 Stars

Close your eyes (do it.) Now, imagine a mythical creature that terrifies you, it's okay you don't have to tell anyone what it is. Got it? Good. Keep that creature in your head, think of how scary and fucked up it is, now turn it into a fluffy adorable version of itself. Disney-fy the shit out of it if you have to. That, is what you get in Talker 25. You get these badass creatures lying around sleeping and then getting ridden like some kind of pet. That's pretty much it and I'm sad t
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
INTENSE! This action-packed dragon tale takes place in a near-future America, giving it a whole different feel from your typical dragon fantasy. The story doesn't sugarcoat the atrocities of war, making it a great vehicle to launch discussion on topics such as torture, coercion and whether the end justifies the means. ...more
Brandy Painter
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I was pretty excited to read Talker 25 by Joshua McCune because, well, DRAGONS. Despite futuristic-the-world-sucks novels not at all being my thing, I couldn't wait for this one. Again I say, DRAGONS. I will read anything with a dragon in it. Unfortunately this book is heavy on the life-sucks and light on the dragons. (Except when they are being tortured in horrific graphic detail.)

I read an ARC received in exchange for a fair review.

Ornella (Nyx)
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
75% of this book was a major struggle. Had to keep making myself read it, and just when it was finally starting to get good, it ended...I usually don't mind cliffhangers, but in this case it didn't help the book at all.

This book was a hot mess. I could not stand Melissa at all. First it was the way she thought of her friend (the whore look) and then when she publicly humiliated her younger brother. I have a younger brother and I would NEVER do that. It's just messed up on so many levels.

The plot
Take Me Away To A Great Read
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a really cool, dystopian-dragon read!!! Joshua will definitely pull on your heartstrings as to what the characters should do. In this book you want to choose sides and feel that there is a right or wrong side but the author does such a great job of showing that all have played a role in the war of hatred and destruction. This really is a brilliant novel and I look forward to where it is heading.

Melissa's mother was killed by a dragon. She hates the monsters and wants nothing to do
Jodi Meadows
I loved the concept of this novel -- dragons in the modern world -- but I struggled to connect with the main characters (more a personal issue than a story issue) and was hoping for something a little more action oriented. I did think the whole idea of a reality TV show based off killing (kissing, but not the fun kind of kissing) dragons was well-explored, though.

I had to skim past some of the details of human and dragon torture, as well as the sexual exploitation. While it fits with the world
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Nope, can't do it any longer. The MC is infuriating, with her arrogant and nasty personality. I'm done. ...more
Loved this new dragon mythology. Dark, gritty and well thought out, but definitely not for the squeamish.
Questions I asked myself for the little I read:

1-Where the hell is the worldbuilding?

I can tolerate a lot of things when it comes to fantasy, but when you want to introduce dragons to a contemporary setting, you better have a really strong worldbuilding to back that shit up. The worldbuilding is absent here. I read 5 chapters, and I have no clue what the fuck is going on and dragons. why. dragons. how. No clue.

2-Has the author met a real woman in his life? Like ever?

I think ALL the girls of thi
Kathy Martin
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down! In the future, the Earth has been invaded by dragons. In the initial invasion, 80 million died. The Earth forces mobilized and now, fifteen years later, have the upper hand. They have learned a lot about the dragons including that they can't see black. Melissa Callahan lives in a military base on the outskirts of a reservation of blue dragons. Her father is a high ranking military officer who does research on the dragons. Her mother was killed in Arlington in a dra ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Rating: 1 star

I love dragons, which is why I immediately added Talker 25 to my TBR-list when I heard about it. No matter in what form or shape, dragon stories are my jam. Unless, apparently, Talker 25. After a very promising first chapter, this book went downhill almost immediately. I had a lot of difficulty finding myself in this story, and I had little patience for the world building, which may be just because I read it at the wrong time for me, but I can’t help but let that influence my overa
Jul 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 1.5

I found this book to be so hard to get into. There wasn't nearly enough world-building for me to understand what was going on. The characters changed behavior without us seeing enough of a change in them to justify the behavioral change.
The timeline didn't flow - I couldn't tell if it was days/weeks/months.
I had a hard time figuring out who was 'bad' and who was 'good' - there wasn't really a clear line of who was on which side.
There were a number of times things just happened
Matt Viton
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book got off to a rough start for me, as I am not a fan of writing in the first person present tense. I also dislike lackluster descriptions of characters, even minor ones, such as referring to a man simply as "big." However I love dragons, so with this books well designed cover and the promise of sentient dragons picking up this book was a no brainer. After working past the writing style and really immersing myself in the story I began to like it more and more, particularly the dragons. At ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Read as digital ARC.

With the huge popularity of dragons on the 7-12 wall, I was waiting for more of them to pop up in the teen department, joining Eragon and Eon/Eona (the only other dragon books I recall seeing). Although I wasn't always quite sure of what was going on in TALKER 25, it was a natural read for me because of the writing style.

I would like to point out that, while everyone seems to be weary of the dragon torture going on in this book, no one appears to be bothered by the human

I love Baby! I also knew she wasn't (view spoiler)

I do feel that the entire character of James was annoying and unnecessary. I think we could just remove him entirely and the plot would be unchanged. The book might even be improved. If we still really need a antagonist that's one of the Talkers, Evelyn could fill in. And I honestly felt no chemistry between him and Mel, so he fails as a love interest.

Also, I'm confused. Was he actually reconditio
Andi S
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. It was exciting from the second I picked it up to the second I put it down. The love story is very, very minimal (which I love) and the dragons are so bad ass. I loved Melissa as our protagonist. She is so strong, even when faced with adversity, she defies authority and damns the man. I also love that the military is the enemy in this book. That is so different and refreshing.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
1.5 Sadly, totally disappointed. There is a lot of torture (dragons) that I didn't get the point of. The characters were not really likable either. I felt disconnected to the whole story and felt lost while reading. On top of it, there were things that either weren't explained or I just didn't get it....

Lyudmyla Hoffman
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Modern days dragon story, dark and heartwrenching. A girl possesses a rare gift of talking to dragons, and is recruited (without much choice in the matter), to hunt them. Never thought I cared this much about dragons! Joshua McCune has a new fan, and I sure hope that sequel is underway. So help me, I don't have the patience for these things... *sigh* ...more
Angela Hanson
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an emotional ride. I went from being completely ecstatic to having a hard time reading the travesties that fall upon Melissa and the dragons.
I dare you to read this and not get hot under the collar caused by the total injustice and lack of respect for life you experience in this book.
What. A. Read.
I am really looking forward to the next installment.
Noelia Alonso
Jan 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at page 140

I said I was gonna get to part 2 to decide whether to DNFing it or not but I can't read anymore of this. As I said, no world-building, the dragons aren't a bit interesting and the main character? annoying as hell; and I'm pretty sure that lovely feature is not gonna get better... I don't have time for this.
Jennifer Bertman
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a wild ride. Fast-paced, fascinating alternate world, loved the depictions of dragons. I couldn't predict where the story was going next, which kept me turning pages. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. A good book to give Hunger Games fans. ...more
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Dreaming of the stars. Searching for the wild air. Writing about the tangling nature of the sometimes symbiotic, sometimes internecine interplay of light and dark.

Other books in the series

Talker 25 (3 books)
  • Invisible Monsters (Talker 25, #2)
  • Untitled (TALKER 25, #3)

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“I won’t run from death. I won’t run from pain or fear. Life hurts sometimes, sometimes so much that you think it’s never gonna stop hurting. That’s a beautiful thing.” 2 likes
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