Title: One Good Dragon Deserves Another
Author: Rachel Aaron
Series: Heartstrikers #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Received for review from the author
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Refusal to play along with his mother’s plans means death, but there’s more going on than even Bethesda knows, and with Estella back in the game with a vengeance, Heartstriker futures disappearing, and Algonquin’s dragon hunter closing in, the stakes are higher than even a seer can calculate. But when his most powerful family members start dropping like flies, it falls to Julius to defend the clan that never respected him and prove that, sometimes, the world’s worst dragon is the best one to have on your side.
I timed listening to this really badly in that I listened to it just before NaNoWriMo. Which meant I didn’t even think about actually reviewing it for a whole month. And when I came back to the blog at the beginning of December, I was struggling to remember what it was about.
So I had to listen to it again. OH THE HARDSHIP.
Seriously though, the guy who narrates this, Vikas Adam – I could listen to him all day. Not only is his voice really sexy, but he does female voices incredibly well. He’s playful with the playful characters, menacing with the menacing ones, bringing the story to life in a very literal way.
One Good Dragon is a step up from its predecessor, Nice Dragons, with a plot that’s twisty-turny and convoluted in a way that, with a lesser writer, could easily have become overwhelming and confusing. Aaron manipulates her plot threads with the mastery of Heartstriker Seer, Bob, though, taking the reader on a thrill ride through clan politics, vengeful Seeresses, Dragon killing spirits and the planes of existence themselves. The world is bigger, the stakes bigger and the characters all the more larger than life and hilarious than ever.
I was listening to this at work and had to bite my tongue on a number of occasions to stop myself cackling. Even though I’ve listened to it twice now, it was still funny. The ridiculousness of the Dragons, the way they constantly battle against each other, never wanting to concede any ground allows for lots of comedy situations (We’ve been enemies for centuries, cries Amelia during a fierce battle, that’s almost the same thing as being friends) and watching Julius try to navigate it all while holding to his values about being nice makes it all the more hilarious.
Ah Julius. I just want to hug him and pet him on the head. It would be easy for him to be the most boring character going – niceness isn’t usually a good quality in a protagonist, we like characters that make choices and take action, which often precludes being ‘nice’ – especially among his older and more exciting siblings. But he’s just so sweet and ‘adorkable’ (I hate that word, but there’s really no better one) that you can’t help rooting for him and hoping that he’ll not only find a way to beat the machinations of his mother, but pluck up the courage to finally kiss Marcie already.
I could go on gushing about this, but I think you get the idea. Immensely enjoyable. Get it in Audiobook form, too – you won’t regret it!