The Saturday Reading List: The Heartstrikers Series

The Heartstrikers Series by Rachel Aaron

Book 1

The Stats:

  • Available books: Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another 
  • Upcoming book: A Dragon of a Different Feather
  • Fiction, Sci-fi, fantasy, series
  • 3.8/5
  • Warnings: This book is part of a series. So far there’s two books of the series available now with a third book on its way. Not for those who like to get through a series in one go.

From Amazon (About the 1st Book):

“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 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…”

Zo’s Review:

I really like mashups, whether it be food, music, or whatever else you can mashup. So, when I found Nice Dragons Finish Last I was really excited because it mashed up two things I loved – science-fiction and magic – together. The premise, at first seemed to work, and to a certain extent, after reading both the first two books, I still agree that it does have a nice balance of science-fiction and fantasy. The elements of urban fantasy was definitely fun and had a take that I hadn’t really seen before or at least not in awhile. I liked how the second book went deeper into plot elements that were hinted at in the first book, like finding little easter eggs left behind. It was fun to be like “Oh! That’s how that from the first book fits in!”

The plot itself is not what I found faults with…

I should probably start by saying that Nice Dragons Finish Last is the first book of Rachel Aaron’s Heartstrikers series. Currently, there are two books published, the second being One Good Dragon Deserves Another, and the third book which is still in the works will be titled, No Good Dragon Goes UnpunishedNow that that has been explained, I can now explain my frustration with the currently available Heartstrikers series, books 1 and 2.

The character development for the two main characters Julius – the dragon stuck in his human form due to a seal placed on him by his mother – and Marci – the clever human mage that Julius first hires to help him in his disadvantaged state but who later turns into his first friend – had their characters developed at seemingly glacial paces. Though I like Julius and Marci, I didn’t really love them. Their characters just felt too stiff and not really realistic which made things like the attempted subtle romance seem kind of disconnected and awkward.

Honestly, I liked some of the side characters – like Bob, one of Julius’s older sibling who is a powerful but very eccentric future seeing dragon – more than the stories main heroes. I think part of the reason is that there are a lot of characters that are introduced, especially in the second book which takes attention away from the Julius and Marci. For the two current books of the Heartstrikers series, Julius and Marci felt really stagnant for most of the books. I wondered if the completed series was made into one book, like Aaron’s The Legend of Eli Monpress (which are the three original books made into one), if the character development wouldn’t seem so oddly paced. However, I suppose the really interesting side characters and the plot redeem the series enough that I’m still eagerly awaiting the next book set to come out in 2016.

Though I probably wouldn’t recommend Good Dragons Finish Last and Every Dragon Deserves Another to those who dislike reading a series before it’s finished, once the final -hopefully- book, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished is published, I would recommend this series for those who like the urban gritty feel that can be found in the science-fiction genre mixed in with magic.

Book 2

What do you guys think? Have you read the first two books of The Heartstrikers series already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Saturday Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.

UPDATE: Since writing this review, the third book, No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished, has been published and the review can be found here.

 

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