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Nice Dragons Finish Last

(Heartstrikers #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  11,476 ratings  ·  1,191 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published July 13th 2014 by Aaron/Bach, LLC (first published July 11th 2014)
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Keri That would depend on what you consider acceptable for your kids. I would consider this a YA book even though the two main characters are in their mid-…moreThat would depend on what you consider acceptable for your kids. I would consider this a YA book even though the two main characters are in their mid-twenties. There isn't any cussing. Julian and Marcie kiss once and they wrap their arms around each other and press their bodies together but that is about as graphic as it gets. Marcie appreciates seeing a shirtless Julian once. Julian appreciates Marcie's legs in a skirt she's wearing. There is a side un-married couple that have gone to bed together and it's inferred that they've had sex but no details are given. I can't remember if there is mention about nudity. I think maybe one of them gets out of bed and walks naked to their clothes. I can't remember about that detail. My son is 14 and I would be ok with him reading this book.(less)

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 ·  11,476 ratings  ·  1,191 reviews

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Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I'm still debating whether to put Nice Dragons finish last in my list of favorites...I'll wait to see how I feel about the sequel.

Ok, ok, how do I start. I was freaking bored with this book... XD Yep, that's how I felt at first. Julius, the protagonist, was too nice, too misunderstood, too predictable. The supporting cast failed to impress me too, as if they all had a couple of personality traits and that was it (the nasty and dangerous big sister; the crazy, all-knowing brother; the hyper-activ
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Urban fantasy fans
Recommended to Petrik by: TS Chan
3.5/5 stars

This is literally the second urban fantasy book that I enjoyed reading.

My great friend, TS, recommended this to me since the end of 2016. She said, “I know you have a long TBR but I think you might like this.” Fast forward almost one year six month later, here I am. Yes, I have a long TBR, who doesn’t? As far as I know, Heartstrikers is one of the more popular and well received self-published series, ever since my friend recommended it to me, I’ve seen tons of people loving this serie
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
***10/30/2017 AUDIBLE DAILY DEAL $4.95 IS A STEAL Y'ALL***

I've talked about my rocky relationship with Urban Fantasy in the past. It's often formulaic & it usually doesn't satisfy my craving for a Fantasy adventure because of its tendency to focus on sexual encounters.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Nice Dragons Finish Last.

The Heartstrikers are a large clan of dragons known for their ferocity & power. Headed up by their matriarch, Bethesda, they exude the type of uny
Robin (Bridge Four)
Audible Daily Deal Sale until 28Jan18 $4.95

4.25 Just try to forget I’m watching your every move while silently judging you and make the decision as you normally would based on the information provided. Thank You! <3 <3 Stars

What a breath of fresh air. Where has this book been in my tbr pile I should have dusted it off to read/listened (the audio is really good) forever ago.

Another YA book that proves that you don’t have to have sighing teenagers, whose eye dilate in a spectacular shade of blue
TS Chan
I didn’t have any expectations when I picked this book up and was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. At first glance, one might mistake this for young adult fantasy. Rest assured, it is not and neither does it have all the standard overused YA tropes which are prone to induce eye-rolling.

This is an urban fantasy tale about dragons which are able walk the earth in human form. Rachel Aaron created a really interesting world that takes place in the future where magic which had disappeare
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I found this book surprisingly enjoyable…or perhaps that ought not to be so surprising. After all, I loved The Spirit Thief and the rollicking sci-fi Paradox trilogy that the author wrote under her pen name Rachel Bach. Still, combining dragons, magic, dystopia, humor and urban fantasy? Seemed just a tad ambitious. But boy, does Aaron pull it off with flying colors. I think Nice Dragons Finish Last may be my favorite boo
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 dragons/stars!

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. Me.

THIS BOOK. I loved it. I bought the audio version based on a recommendation (well, a number of recommendations, really), and the fact it had been sat on my TBR list for a while. I LOVE all things dragon. I love fantasy. I love magic. I love world building. I love character-driven stories. On occasion, and when done well, I love humour.

Nice Dragons Finish Last delivered everything and more, and the audiobook narration by Vikas Adam made the experienc
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Celeste by: TS Chan
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Full review now posted!

Rating: 3.5 stars.

Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be nice. But it’s always the right decision. Even if you’re a dragon.

Julius Heartstiker is having a hard day. His mom kicked him out with nothing but the clothes on his back, and has threatened to eat him if he doesn’t mend his ways. By mend, she means stop being so darn nice. Why is being nice a problem, and what kind of mother threatens to eat her child? Well, the answer to both of those questions is DRAGON, because that’s
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eon ♒Windrunner♒ by: TS Chan
Nice Dragons Finish Last is a delightful start to what looks like a very promising series.

I might love the fantasy genre, but urban fantasy has ever been my least favourite of its sub-genres, making this latest foray of mine a rarity. Despite my reservations, I am impressed though. Once again, my friend, TS, has proven that the title I have bestowed upon her - Queen of Recommendations - is not a ceremonial one in the least. I am confident that this series is going to be one of my favourites.

Milda Page Runner
Dnf at 50%
This isn’t working for me. Too childish and naïve for my taste. It doesn’t help that author has a habit of stating the obvious and then explaining it just in case you didn’t grasp it the first time, repeatedly. There is just so much groaning and eye rolling I can do. Giving it 2 stars since worldbuilding is passable.
Feels like this is directed towards much younger audience. Could work for adults who enjoy reading children’s books.
I really like Ms. Aaron as an author. I loved Eli Monpress and now I have Heartstrikers.

From a purely narrative standpoint, the story was a lot of fun. Great pacing, compelling characters, and an interesting story line. You will likely read many reviews to that end. I hope you also read some great reviews about how kindness isn't weakness and finding your own identity. This will not be that review.

I will focus on the art of collaborative negotiation as taught by this book. These lessons are impo
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Julius is a 24 year old dragon, the youngest and smallest in his family. He's been cast out by mom because he basically spends all his time shut away in his room, earning online degrees, playing online games with humans (and not even winning!), and just basically not doing anything dragony enough with his dragon life. Part of me sides with mom on this, even if she's a bit more ruthless about the way she goes about things. All this because, as the title of the book suggests, Julius is more this

Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I am giving the sequel a space to grow! I loved it and can not wait for the next one!!! It is not a secret that I am nuts about dragons and my all time favorite series is about the flying magical beasts, so my falling for this book was not particularly surprising. What did surprise me was the ease with which the author emersed us in this magic infused world and the Heartstriker family politics. Everything unfolds with increasing pace and the end promises a lot more fun to follow! love ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Nov 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
I'm bowing out of this after a couple of hours listening. I can't take the character/background mix seriously. Julius is sold as a "nice" guy in a bloodthirsty and conniving family of dragons. He's smaller than the rest and keeps a low profile so he, literally, doesn't get eaten. Literally. Like, his mother will actually eat her offspring if they don't live up to her dragony standards. His siblings bear this out and we see examples of their avarice and vicious manipulations.

So the stakes for him
2.5 Slooooooow starter stars

First, you should know that I have friends that LOVED this book. It was a buddy read for one of my groups but it was scheduled at the same time as Life so I missed it and was incredibly bummed when all of the great reviews began popping up in my feed.

When one of my other reading groups added it to their schedule I knew I had to get in on it because DRAGONS!!!
(view spoiler)
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: Once Rachel Aaron mentioned this book to me in one of our email correspondence, I begged pleaded with her to let me read it in its draft form. To my joy, she agreed and I was able to read it a year ago. To say I was pleased with the book would be an understatement. But first I was curious as to why she was going the self-publishing route and she wonderfully explains this decision in this blogpost over at Civilian Reader. Go take a read or otherwi
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even though comedy is one of my favorite things in any genre, I tend to be wary at first about up comedies from unfamiliar authors because humor is so subjective that even though something comes highly recommended it can still fall flat - SO HAPPY this didn't happen this time. This book hit all the right buttons for me!
I haven't a read a ton of urban fantasy, nothing against it I just haven't explored it much, and I think this has just topped the list for me. This book is set in the future and t
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[Books 1-3 Review] [4 stars for book #1] Rachel Aaron (who also writes as Rachel Bach) is easily one of my top ten favorite authors – I’ve read everything she’s published so far and have been blown away with every book (check out her Eli Monpress fantasy series and Paradox scifi series if you have a chance – you won’t be disappointed!). Then along came the Heartstrikers series – an urban fantasy about a clan of shapeshifting dragons and one who doesn’t quite fit in – and I was beside myself with ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a slightly silly but highly amusing story about a dragon named Julienwho is the runt of his litter. As he's part of the Heartstrikers this just can't be, they don't show weakness, so Julien has to prove himself somehow.
After a few years when Julien still hasn't proven his dragon skills his mother decides to send him out trapped as a human to complete a quest and prove himself a worthy dragon. This is where the story really begins

What I liked about this urban fantasy is that it's kind o
Nice Dragons Finish Last was our audio book pick for our summer road trip and happily it lived up to our expectations. I initially thought it was a YA book, but it isn't. However it was still appropriate for my young teen daughter's to listen to. The narrator was great, and that's something that is so important when listening to an audio book. I've enjoyed all of Rachel Aaron's/Bach's books so far. My daughters enjoyed this one just as much as I did. One of them said she would give it 5 stars. W ...more

For some, there is no more harsh judge than family. Imagine a family of power hungry and ruthless dragons where you are the fail, the shame, the runt and worst ... NICE. Julius Heartstriker is one of the youngest of Bethesda, he is pacifist and accepted that as the runt he better keep out of the way of big predators hiding in his room, being a slacker, playing games and studying online. Well, mommy dearest take the 'swim or die' approach and kick him out of home with no clothes or money, and
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Very enjoyable start to a new fantasy trilogy by the author of Fortune's Pawn. This story is full of dangerous magical creatures who returned to the world after a comet strike in 2035. Julius is the black sheep of his family because he refuses to act like a dragon. His mother takes away his power to shift to dragon form and drops him penniless in the middle of the Detroit Free Zone, a place where dragons are killed on sight. He teams up with a mage (Marci) on the run from her father's killer and ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
In a future world where a meteor strike in Canada has reawakened magic in the world, dragons exist. And they're not at all nice. Greedy, magical, power-obsessed and dominating, the various dragon clans maneuver against each other for status and control. Individual dragons accumulate power and wealth like breathing, usually by the most ruthless means available, and competition within clans is almost as vicious as competition between them. And the Heartstriker clan is the largest dragon clan there ...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ by: Tabitha (Pabkins)
This was surprisingly good. And NOT just b/c dragons. RTC.
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
When this book first came my way, I didn’t recognize the name Rachel Aaron and was surprised when a friend talked about her like she’s someone I’m supposed to be very familiar with. The joke’s on me though, guys, because Rachel Aaron is Rachel Bach, author of the Paradox trilogy, published by Orbit, which I’m currently enjoying in audio format.

For reasons I can only assume, Aaron/Bach chose to take the self-published route with her new Heartstrikers series, and while I’m sure promoting it will
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 dragon stars

Dragons, magic, humor, Urban Fantasy ... a great recipe for great entertainment! Throw in an underdog in the mix and a fabulous family of dragons .... I'm sold!!

This one was fun and entertaining from the beginning to the very end and I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Review from Tenacious Reader:

I’ll admit it. I would never have picked up this book if it were not for rave reviews and recommendations from fellow bloggers. I know I really shouldn’t, but I guess I sometimes judge a book by its title. As a reader who tends to prefer darker books a title like “Nice Dragons Finish Last” just leaves me a bit less interested. Not that all the books I read and enjoy are dark, but hearing a title that feels the opposite of dark
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I can't recall where I read about this author trying her hand at self--publishing with this book but I thought I'd check it out, mostly because I like dragons, humour, and magic. I am glad I did check it out and will definitely read more by Rachel Aaron.

This book had the feel of a story written for youth but it is not immature or 'bopperish'. The main characters; a young dragon shape-shifter, on the outs with his clan because he's "too nice", and a young mage, on the run from
Series review:

Warning: this gif is NOT representative of the dragons in this series, except maybe Julius;-)

Who knew that "niceness" could be so...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but a "mere" YA series has become my absolute favorite new-to-me series of the year.

The plot is super fun, sweet, blood-thirsty and action-packed. It follows Julius; a young dragon sealed in human form, who is kicked out of his home for being too NICE - and Marci Novalli; a down on her luck mage with dangerous secrets
3 stars !!

“Why are mortals always so eager to declare things impossible, anyway? It’s not like things do or don’t exist just because you say so.”

Julius likes to sit in his room and play video games. His mother thinks that his a failure at being a dragon, so she puts a curse on him that keeps him in his human form. She has also banished him to the DFZ- a place where dragons are killed on the spot. His mother wants him to prove himself as a dragon, or else she will kill him. He is swept away
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci-Fi & Fantasy ...: May 2018 - Nice Dragons Finish Last 13 16 May 28, 2018 10:20PM  
Fringe Fiction: heartstrikers 2 17 May 25, 2018 06:50PM  
Wyrms of Words: What makes a shapeshifter a dragon? 2 20 Jul 03, 2017 12:21AM  

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Hello, my name is Rachel Aaron, and I write the Heartstriker books, a new Urban Fantasy series about misfit dragons, starting with Nice Dragons Finish Last. I also wrote The Legend of Eli Monpress fantasy series for Orbit Books about a wizard thief and the poor bastards who have to try and stop him. PLUS I'm also the author of the new, rolicking fun Science Fiction romance Fortune's Pawn under the ...more

Other books in the series

Heartstrikers (5 books)
  • One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)
  • No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, #3)
  • A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers, #4)
  • Last Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers, #5)

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