The review -
Honestly, I hadn’t read any sci-fi or fantasy for more than 3/4th of a decade before I started this book. The only sci-fi/fantasy books I’d read in my life were children’s books and this exotic book that starts the Tales of Talon series blew me away. It was a refreshing change of pace as I’d mostly read action thrillers set in the real, current world from the last few years.
A.A. Warren made his name in the literary field with his neo-noir series built around his protagonist Thomas Caine, which he writes under the name Andrew Warren. But he’d been a big fan of sci-fi, classic pulp books, and Marvel comics from decades.
The universe of this series built around Talon is influenced by Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Conan, John Carter, Dune, Flash Gordon and lots of Dungeons & Dragons.
Talon, a young hulking muscular warrior, is initially a gladiator slave fighting his way to freedom. One of his eyes is a red crystal and his favourite weapons are a plasma axe and two scimitars.
I have to mention, this fictional world is eons in the future where humanity has colonized the galaxies and are living side by side with alien life forms. The political condition is similar to Star wars where an evil dark lord and his General have staged a coup against Prince Lucian of the Tygon Dominion. The conflict between Lucian’s rebels and the other evil players force Talon into a cosmic adventure.
Talon is broken free from his master. But due to biological ID scanners, he’d be recognized as a slave and returned to his captors. So, Lucian offers Talon his freedom in return for helping out with an operation. The mission proves to be a personal journey where Talon regains his memories and finds his purpose and his race.
Enough spoilers. The fun thing about Talon’s crew is that it consists of Selene – an immortal alien sorceress who has a mystic connection to Talon, Zobo – a humanoid wolf alien who is an aged military captain and an experienced pilot, and Arva – a former assassin who was given a purpose and rescued by Zobo. The chemistry in this team is fun and hilarious at times.
Talon’s social interactions and his relationships are fun and weirdly exciting that draw comparisons to comic book characters. His bond with Selene and Arva is a fun triangle.
The array of minor side characters could have been built and developed much better. Like I said, this book felt more like a comic-book or a graphic novel than an actual book in terms of narration, characters and storytelling. And this is not necessarily a bad thing.
With fights of all kinds and a heavy dose of adventure, this book felt very similar to Guardians of the Galaxy and many other cosmic series of Marvel comics. The plot ends up being about a conflict between two space gods, with Talon the key to solve the problem.
This has just the right amount of mystical fantasy elements and a good amount of sci-fi and technical elements. But the narration does not go in depth with both. The narrative is short, crisp, fast and not in the level of detail that would have explored this universe a bit more.
The book felt more like a graphic novel or a movie than a prose book with words due to its quick visualization and crisp flow of events. Hopefully Mr. Warren may one day make this Talon series into a graphic novel and bring out a more fantastic experience.
I was seriously influenced by this book as it made me wanna read more in the Space Fantasy genre. More than that, this book was the push I needed to green-light and develop my ideas for numerous series in the Space Fantasy genre. Hopefully I’ll start writing my projects in this genre sometime this year when my current projects clear up.
I’ll be reading Talon the Raider which is the second book in this series sometime soon. I can let you know that Mr. Warren has finished writing the third book, Talon the Hunter and it will hopefully release soon.
If you’re like me and read only a few select genres, I think Talon the Slayer is a great place to branch out your reading experience. Trust me, it is more fun than watching the current Star Wars movies or reading the volumes of the Guardians of the Galaxy.