A little less Urban, this Fantasy is still just as much fun
After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one, and now that he’s got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker’s gamble to put her clan on top.
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Source: I borrowed this book from a family member, and definitely plan to purchase it. The audiobook is available exclusively through Audible & Amazon.
This is Book #2 of 3 (so far) in the "Heartstrikers" series. Book #3, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished, is out now and will be available on audio 9/13/16.
**This review contains spoilers for the previous book(s).**
I am still a huge fan of Julius & Marci, and am beginning to develop some appreciation for a few of the other dragons as well.
One of the strengths of this series is the way it takes some very common fantasy elements and uses them in a unique way. And I really like the narrative voice.
Julius: I like that he is growing without changing his basic nature. He is still the "nice dragon" but not so much of a doormat, a trend that continues in this book. One of the things I liked in the last book, but referred to only vaguely in that review to avoid any hints of a spoiler, is the contrast between Julius' status & abilities as a dragon versus as a supposed human. He is seen as a weak and "pathetic" dragon with little strength, magic, or power. Yet he is so much stronger & faster than any human that he struggles to control it in order to avoid outing himself.
Marci: I like that Marci continues to be more dragonish than Julius, but is also proving herself to be a good partner for him. She makes decisions that are right for others and not just those that are best for her. She does sometimes let her enthusiasm and/or self-confidence get her into hot water when she should know better.
Marci & Julius: In the first book, we got one (overly tired) kiss; and when Julius chose to be a gentleman, Marci felt rejected. In this book Julius is so grateful to have a real friend that he's afraid to risk that by trying for more (and unlike many books with clueless best friends, he recognizes that she would quite possibly be open to trying but isn't ready to take that step). There were however some hints that a relationship might be possible afterall. I especially like how he puts up with her junker of a car because it has sentimental value to her (in the first book, he knew she wasn't some other dragon's human since none of them would tolerate it). And she puts up with them losing money due to his softheartedness.
Amelia (yes "A"melia) - I really feel for her, stuck between the rock & the hard place. I like how she is shaping up. (And I love how see calls Julius "Baby J") / Chelsie - this book revealed a lot more depth to the Enforcer, as well as an intriguing mystery. / Quetzalcoatl - although he died long before the series began, his role as the one responsible for all the brutal blood sacrifices is contrasted with his apparent tendency to be a doting father & grandfather in an interesting manner.
In addition to the DFZ, we get to visit the Heartstriker's headquarters (it can hardly be called a home) and a very interesting place on another plane. The worldbuilding is strong and very descriptive.
There are lots of interesting revelations about dragons, spirits, and the nature of magic.
I was looking forward to seeing Marci & Julius working together in their business, so I am glad we got that before everything went haywire.
This definitely isn't one of those middle books were nothing much happens except some set-up for the next books. (It helps that there will be more than 3, so this isn't actually the middle.) A LOT happens, including some very big changes. Much of what happens is tied up in some very complicated effects of having seers and manipulating the future, so I had to read those parts twice.
The situation from this book is completely resolved, but then we get some great big teasing cliffhangerish revelations.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
- Julius' determination to be there for Justin.
- Marci makes a very difficult and self-sacrificing decision that totally hit me in the feels.
- Marci sees Julius in his natural form for the first time.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: a small bit of swearing / severed heads
Character voices differentiated = Most definitely; I particularly liked Algonquin’s voice, it managed to sound both feminine & waterish. And Ghost's voice gets really creepy (in a good way) / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Accents good = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good (very) / Speed = a bit slow; listened on 1.5 speed, instead of my usual 1.25
There were a couple of small production issues - the quality of the sound changed - but they weren't too distracting
Talk to Me (pretty please)
- Can you recommend any other non-erotic dragon shifter books/series?
- Dragon's really aren't the nicest people (Julius aside) so why do we love reading about them?
- If you are a first time visitor, how did you discover my blog?
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