by Rachel Aaron
Narrator: Vikas Adam
Published by Audible Studios on November 18, 2014
Length: 13 hours and 31 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
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...
5 Stars for Nice Dragons Finish Last!
I am so excited to have found a new urban fantasy series to be addicted to. I loved this book!
Nice Dragons Finish Last is the first book of the Hearstrikers series. This series centers around Julius, the smallest dragon of the Hearstriker clan, as he tries to survive in the human world. His goal in life was to stay out of the way of his mother and his ambitious siblings. Hiding in his room had worked until his mother finally lost her patience. Banished by his mother, Bethesda the Hearstriker, Julius is thrown into the human world of the DFZ (Detroit Free Zone), sealed as a human and penniless. But fate has plans for Julius as he finds allies in Marci, a human mage, and his reluctant siblings. This first book is the beginning of Julius adventures and I enjoyed every moment. There was exciting action scenes and a little romance. This also had me laughing out loud, which is a huge must for when I select series to read.
This was the first book I read from this author and I loved her writing and creativity. The world of this series is futuristic but easy to follow. The DFZ has a Blade Runner vibe with the high tech and out-of-this-world gadgets. The different species of creatures are unique and enhance the magical fantasy elements of this series. I loved the hierarchy the author developed for the Heartstriker clan. Bethesda is the only known dragon to have produced multiple clutches of dragon eggs. To maintain records of her clutches she used the alphabet system, in which each clutch was assigned a letter of the alphabet and the dragons produced from that clutch given a name starting with that letter. The first and oldest clutch began with letter “A”, so as we meet the Heartstriker dragons we can tell by their name how old they are. Julius is from the “J” clutch, which is often the butt of the joke as his older siblings were not aware his clutch existed. This may sound complicated, but it is actually funny when you read the book.
This series is told primarily from Julius point-of-view. I rarely read from a male POV, so this was refreshing. Julius is a nice guy, instead of being the cold-hearted dragon his family expects of him. It was surprising to see he maintained his values when approaching important decisions. His time spending hidden away in his room playing video games and taking online courses is now paying off, as he shows everyone his skill with negotiating without killing. Also in this series is a great supporting cast of diverse personalities. Marci is full of life and energy, and I loved how passionate she was about magic and gaining more knowledge of it. Brohomir (aka Bob), Julius’ older brother, is the clan’s seer and one of the funniest characters I’ve come across. He says the strangest things but his mind is sharp and has plans for Julius. Chelsie, Julius’ older sister, is the clan’s enforcer/assassin who everyone avoids. She may be tough and scary but Julius’ good guy nature is chipping away at her cold exterior, this is clear since she hasn’t killed him (yet). Finally, there is Justin, Julius’ slightly older brother but of the same clutch. He is the complete opposite of Julius with his arrogance but he cares for Julius and does what he can to help him.
Vikas Adam narrates the audiobook and I loved his performance. This is my first time listening to him and I loved the voices he created for the characters. He also does a great job of amplifying a scene by narrating with energy and excitement. I loved how he brought Bob’s quirkiness to life. I highly recommend the audiobooks for this series.
Nice Dragons Finish Last is a great introduction for a series I plan to binge read. I’m excited to find out what happens next for Julius and Marci. I highly recommend this series to fans of urban fantasy with action and humor.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobook Challenge
- 2019 New To Me Authors
- 2019 TBR List