I remember this book exploding into popularity in the blogosphere a few years ago, and I can see why so many people love it!
I’ve apparently been on a dragon kick lately, and I liked this version. They’re essentially shifters, although their dragon form is their true form. They have a lot of magic. What’s really fun though is that they’re different from humans personality-wise because they’re all greedy and manipulative and ruthless and ambitious, and they consider humans beneath them, akin to pets or slaves rather than equals, which is why Julius is such a bad dragon—he’s too nice.
The world-building was interesting too. It’s a future in which a meteor brought back all the magic that the world once had, so now there are spirits and dragons and all sorts of creatures. The whole underground area was unique. Even the details about the dragon clans and how differently they do things, like Bethesda and her many clutches, was cool.
The plot and pacing were fantastic. I wanted to keep reading and never had trouble staying focused on this book.
The characters were also great. Julius was easy to like and feel for, despite his lack of ambition (I could understand why he hid in his room all the time, considering what his family was like). He really was a nice guy, and I felt for him every time someone treated him kindly and brought him some happiness. And it turned out he could be crafty, as long as he didn’t have to hurt people to do it. Marci was easy to like too, full of life and energy, determined even in the worst situation, intelligent, skilled at magic, but also just quirky and imperfect enough to be relatable and realistic. Even the side characters were unique and interesting, albeit dangerous and manipulative.
Overall this was some really solid urban fantasy, but in a way that didn’t feel like the same thing I’ve read a million times. It stood out from the pack, it gripped me, and I enjoyed it!
Anyone who likes dragon shifters, magic, a whole cast of unique characters, a fast-paced story, and some unique futuristic world-building.
More Books in the Series:
Book Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers Book 1) by Rachel Aaron
Book Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers Book 2) by Rachel Aaron
Book Review: No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers Book 3) by Rachel Aaron
Book Review: A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers Book 4) by Rachel Aaron
Book Review: Last Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers Book 5) by Rachel Aaron
As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep quiet, don’t cause trouble, and stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t fly in a family of ambitious magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience.
Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ–a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit–Julius has one month to prove that he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test.
He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons…