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Talon improves on re-reading. Not that it's bad or anything, it's great. But I agree with a vague sense of dissatisfaction on first reading, compared to his other works. I think I was distracted by the piling up of specialness of the main character (He's Xander Caine! He's the guy who tried to stop the Rubric! And made Magnus kneel! And has a pet daemon-wolf! And a vampire not-girlfriend! And his sister's a naked computer! And everyone thinks he's awesome!).
I think I was also a bit bothered about the empty and disconnected tone, unusual for an AD-B title. But then on re-reading I realised it was either completely intentional or just a logical by-product of what are strongly drawn characters of a certain sort in a certain plot; people who are lost and failing, but who either don't know it yet or refuse to admit it, until given new purpose. Especially considering the POV of the narration. The subtleties became more appreciable and the tropes that act as the framework became much more comfortable.

He's a highly skilled, thoughtful and passionate writer I hate even having anything even vaguely negative to say about, as his work has been so enjoyable and touching, and I liked your write-up. I would say that, as comparatively strong as his female characters are, I'm slightly over his main (male) characters all having a (female) confidant or foil. It's not objectionable and he does wonders for female representation compared to most others, it's just that I'm kinda bored of the 'child-man and mother/lover' thing. I'd quite like Aaron to do a novel with a female lead, I think that'd be great. As you said, his main characters are all excellent (including Khayon, who I kind of slagged off above) and his take on a woman protag in this setting would be excellent.

To reiterate, negative things only came to mind to have some sort of counter-discussion, I think his stuff is largely outstandingly good.
 
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