Julius slumped against the breakfast bar, staring blankly at the miles of shiny white skyscrapers and animated ad-boards looming beyond Jessica’s floor-to-ceiling windows. What was he going to do? And how? His life back home might not have been great, but at least he understood it. Now he was uprooted, lost, tossed into the biggest city in the world with nothing and he couldn’t even change into his true form and fly away because of what his mother had done. — Rachel Aaron
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My last two reviews, Shearwater by D.S. Murphy and The Arena by Santana Young can be found by clicking on the titles. While you’re poking around why don’t you check out my Indie Author Spotlight. It’s Madeline Dyer this month and her dystopian fiction is amazing! This week I’m reviewing Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers Book 1) by Rachel Aaron.
Julius is a dragon and he’s been punished by his mother for not being a good one. She wants him to be more dragon-like and less nice. Julius wants to hide in his room, earn another degree and play video games. Instead he must survive in the Detroit Free Zone, where dragons are forbidden, and prove his worthiness to Bethesda, his mother and the head of his dragon clan. And he must do it in four weeks or she’ll eat him.
Rachel Aaron lives in Athens, GA where she writes fiction and non-fiction, check out my review of her non-fiction book, 2-10K. Nice Dragons Finish Last is book one in her Heartstrikers series but she has many others to her name. You should check her out! She can be found on Amazon, on her blog and you can find and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
What I loved
This book grabbed me from the beginning. I immediately felt for Julius and his dilemma. I found myself rooting for him when he was down, which was admittedly a lot, and cheering when he found a way out. I wanted him to succeed. Good character development Rachel! I also loved the friendship that sprang up between him and the human who decides to help him. He ignores his brother’s advice that humans are pets, not friends, accepting help which scandalizes them. It made me laugh.
What I didn’t love
As I’ve said, I never finish a book I’m not loving. In places this book got graphic and tense. Not super graphic like a pulp-fiction horror. I’d have had to put that puppy down. But graphic. And the tension! Oh. My. Goodness. Did I mention there was tension? I don’t love tension. I know it’s important. I know. I know. But it makes me nervous. Rachel Aaron did a great job with it. Now I’m on heart medicine. Just kidding about that last part. Sort of.
Other than the tension I felt like Nice Dragons Finish Last held out a long time on the climax. When I expected it to happen there were more obstacles. Rachel held back on my, I mean, Julius’s success. I know that makes a good novel, but it also made me postpone dinner one evening so I could finish it. Go read this book. You won’t regret it. I’m looking forward to book 2, One Good Dragon Deserves Another.
Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers Book 1) can be found at Amazon and select book stores. Ask your local book store to carry it and help others find it too! It’s available in kindleunlimited, as an ebook for $4.99 or as a paperback for $13.99.
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