‘Talker 25: Invisible Monsters’ by Joshua McCune: Great young adult fantasy


Rating: 5 stars

“Talker 25: Invisible Monsters” is the second book in this fabulous fantasy series. The first book in the series “Talker 25” is a young adult book about dragons. And if you don’t like dragon books, this series will convert you.

The action takes place in a future world where dragons appeared almost overnight. No one knows where they came from — even the dragons don’t know. Melissa Callahan is the protagonist. Her father is a dragon specialist, and he is famous for being the one to discover that dragons can’t see the color black. So soldiers, cars, planes, everything is black in this world. At the beginning of the first book, Melissa learns that she can talk to dragons. She hates dragons because her mother was killed when trying to lead a dragon away from her family’s house. She saved her family but died in the attempt.

Color becomes very important. Blue dragons can’t fly. Red and green dragons can fly, but green dragons also like to eat people. They are notoriously vicious and unpredictable. In this second book in the series, Melissa has escaped from what is basically a forced-labor camp in Antarctica, where she and other prisoners were forced to lure dragons into traps so the government could kill them. At the same time, the government was torturing and testing the dragons they caught so they could learn more about the dragons in order to better be able to fight and kill them.

Melissa, or Talker 25 (her name there), has her work cut out for her in this story. Her good friend and “sister” Allie was captured by the evil Diocletians, a group of humans whose mission is to kill humans in retaliation for the killing of dragons. The group uses green dragons in their efforts.

The series is not for the faint of heart. At times, it’s gruesome and heartrending. Descriptions in the first book about the torturing of dragons could give some tenderhearted readers nightmares. It’s pretty graphic. In the second book, there’s just as much violence.

But the story? Fabulous. It’s truly a hard book to put down. The action and emotion are nonstop. By the end you will love dragons — at least red and silver ones. But don’t bother reading the second book unless you’ve read the first one. In fact, this reader reread the first book so as not to miss one reference or detail. Loved every second of it.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Greenwillow for review purposes.