Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ, #1)” as Want to Read:
Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Minimum Wage Magic

(DFZ #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,855 ratings  ·  560 reviews
Making a living is hard. In a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, it can feel downright impossible.

Good thing freelance mage Opal Yong-ae has never let little things like impossibility stop her. She’s found a way to put her overpriced magical art history degree to use as a Cleaner: a contract municipal empl
Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published November 9th 2018 by Aaron/Bach
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Minimum Wage Magic, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,855 ratings  ·  560 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ, #1)
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Every now and then I've seen one of Rachel Aaron's books come across my feed, and I usually pause to consider whether or not I want to read it (trying to keep my TBR somewhat realistic here). I was finally tempted by her DFZ series, and by the lure of 'minimum wage.' Because who doesn't want to read about trying to make it in a magical world as low-wage jane, right? Come to think of it, many of the ones I've read have minimum-wage protags: a merc, a tour guide, a mechanic, and a waitress.

Montzalee Wittmann
Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron and narrated by Emily Woo Zeller is a fantasy book with magic, gods, and dragons. The world building is fabulous and so original! The characters are well developed and amazing. There is a lot of magic in this book, a sentient town where the town shifts around, and powerful Dragon families. There is a magic puzzle that needs solved that could lead to something important and people and mages are trying to kill for it. This book is witty, has suspenseful action sc ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

This book answers the question what if Storage Wars was mashed up with a world where ‘gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own’. Minimum wage magic is a spin off series set in the DFZ (Detroit Free Zone) of the Heartstriker Series. You do not have to have read the prior series to enjoy this, it is completely new and set after all the events of the HeartStriker Series.

Minimum wage magic explores th
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] Minimum Wage Magic was such a delightful read!

Even though it’s a spin-off of Aaron’s Heartstrikers series, it felt completely fresh, going a long way towards reinvigorating my love of this author (the last two books of HS were a bit too repetitive and drawn out for my tastes). I loved the premise – “cleaners” in the DFZ (magically altered Detroit) buy abandoned/reclaimed living units and turn a profit from what’s left inside. If any of you have spent entire days binge-watching Stor
TS Chan
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would to thank the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review an advanced reading copy of Minimum Wage Magic.

Rachel Aaron has become one of my go-to authors when I need a pick-me-up. She has such an uncanny knack of writing stories that are just so effortlessly engaging, immensely enjoyable and just plain fun.

Minimum Wage Magic is the start of a new series taking place in the DFZ, a huge metropolis setting first introduced in her self-published Heartstrikers series - my current f
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I never really got on with the Heartstrikers series but this was fantastic! Very impatient for the next in series.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a die-hard fan of the Heartstrikers series, the first series set in this world known as the DFZ, or the Detroit Free Zone. It’s a rebuilt version of Detroit set about a hundred years from now and it’s overflowing with ambient magic allowing for the largest group of mages, magical creatures, dragons etc in the world. This is set after the events of Hearstrikers and can be read totally on its own, there’s a whole new cast of characters and despite references to the first series, you definitely ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It gives me physical pain that I am unable to rate this any higher than five stars! This. Was. My. Jam.

Wait, I'm British. This. Was. My. Cup. Of. TEA!

Wondrous world-building, compelling characters, p... perfect plot? Okay, so it wasn't perfect, but it's been a long day and my alliteration game isn't quite up to par right now.

I love world-building, characters, and plot in that order. I can deal with a plot full of holes as long as I like (at least) one or two of the characters. I can deal with un
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

Overall rating = 3.5 stars

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Rachel Aaron is a special talent and it has been highly evident with all of the sixteen books she has written so far. With this book, she does something unique as she writes a sequel series for the very first time since she started writing professionally nearly a decade ago. While also making this new series more grounded within its genre and less of the eclectic genre mixes that she’s known to write.

The story
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed

I like the setting & the ideas behind the world + magic. I'm not on board with the character because the author didn't make her a believable Korean. It's hard to get to know a character when you keep thinking, "That's wrong. Nope. That sounds dumb. Well that's a big editing fail. That should be Korean. Not Korea."

It did not help that the MC came across as whiny and (intentionally ignorant) about magic.

I like the world though and willing to try out the next book when it comes out. Th
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was fun! Exactly what I needed to get out of a reading slump.

Technically, AIs don’t have actual emotions, but Sibyl was a top-of-the-line social companion bot, and she did a good job of sounding legitimately horrified. “You can’t start digging through a dead guy’s stuff while he’s still lying on the floor!”
“Why not?” I asked. “It’s not as if he’s going to complain."

Cyberpunk plus magic.

Opal Yong-ae works as Cleaner in the magical version of "Storage Wars". They auction the content of houses or units when the rent is unpaid; only in this case the riches are magical artifacts or rare books, and the place could be warded or booby-trapped by nasty magics. A hazardous, but mostly profitable work. But Opal is now almost broke and need desperaly money to paid a debt. Her sidekick is an AI named Sybil in her googles that irritated me since the beggining.

Though thi
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The most under rated author in urban fantasy genre. Her works need more recognition. Heartstrikers series is one of my favorite books in urban fantasy.
DFZ series takes place in the same world as Heartstrikers. The story is kinda simple in it's essence but the narrative is awesome. Anyway it's a strong debut in the new series, hints at even more interesting things to come in the future.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I missed DFZ and dragons. It‘s good to have them back in my life. 

In Minimum Wage Magic Aaron revisits and develops the world. We discover the city and its secrets through eyes of Opal Yong-ae - prestigious magical university graduate who works as a Cleaner. If you’ve ever watched Storage Wars, you already know what Cleaners do. They sort through all sorts of junk hoping to score a great deal. Opal used to be the best in the business. But recently, everything she touches turns into a disaster. T
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
I really liked this spinoff although it felt like a whole new series.
Opal Young-Ae is a cleaner who is trying to survive and maintain her independe by paying her bills on time. Opal stumbled on to a house with a dead man, but his notes indicated that he died protecting a valuable secret.

While it’s set in the DFZ, we don’t get a major crossover with The Heartstriker clan although there was a mention of the dragon who protected the City. Opal lays a foundation for her own journey towards freedom
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I heard Rachel Aaron was writing a new series set in the same universe as her Heartstriker books, I was ecstatic because I love those books so much. So I definitely had my expectations high for this new book, and I have to say, my expectations were met.

One of the things that Aaron does best as a writer is make you care about her characters. Opal is an easy character to connect with even though you don’t find out some of her backstory until much later in the book. She’s got flaws, but you ro
The things we create in this life are so much more important than our names.

Yay! I finally got around to reading this one. I borrowed it on kindle unlimited the day it came out (November last year) and just got around to reading it. This was a book I knew I would love when the time was right to read it.

Opal is a Cleaner, which means she goes into abandoned complexes in the DFZ and cleans them out, selling the stuff left inside for profit. Think fantasy Storage Wars. She’s also a mage, but not
Maja Ingrid
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While it feels so so good being back in DFZ, I kinda miss having a first row seat in the dragon drama in Keeping up with the Heartstrikers, also missed our favourite Nice Dragon™ a lot. I almost screamed at the bus when he was mentioned first time in the book. Could have been more dragons in general. But I'm not going to be petty and knock of stars because of that and hopefully the future books holds more dragons. Other than that though, I adored the book. I fell in love with Opal immediately a ...more
Jun 01, 2021 rated it liked it
As always with Rachel Aaron I've come to expect just super fun reads, and this was not a disappointment. I always find the first book takes a bit of settling in, although in this one less so as it's returning to the world of the DFZ (which we know from Nice Dragons Finish Last). I'd say once again Aaron has delivered a great start point and I'm looking forward to continuing and seeing where the story goes in the next books.

We follow Opal who is a poor Cleaner in the DFZ trying to make enough mo
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review is here, on my blog!

This book/series takes place in the same world as Rachel Aaron's Heartstrikers series (which I loved. Like... a lot.), which means I could hardly wait to get my paws upon it. It takes place about 20 years after Julius and Marci's story ended, and shows the city that came to exist because of them, but it's not at all necessary to have read the Heartstrikers series first. This one makes mention of things that are... perhaps resulting from those events, but never in
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This one is set in the same universe as the Heartstrikers books, but 20 years after the events in that series and sharing no characters in common. Additionally, the author explicitly calls out that these were meant to be read without having read the first series, and I think she was quite successful.

Opal Yong-ae is a Cleaner in the Detroit Free Zone, a job that combines magical scavenging with repo work and for people who know what they're doing and get lucky, can be very lucrative. Which is som
The world building in Minimum Wage Magic is phenomenal. The DFZ is a wacky, sentient city where most things are legal, magic is abundant, dragons are real, and— did I mention the city is sentient?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, cleaners Nik and Opal are forced to work together on a job that turns out to be much, much bigger than either one of them were expecting. I wasn't a big fan of the accent the narrator (who did a good job otherwise) gave Nik, and the "they're just animals" lowkey ruined h
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Minimum Wage Magic was a whole lot of fun, and I expected nothing else of a Rachel Aaron novel! Her work would likely appeal to fans of Ilona Andrews, as this book is a fast-paced urban fantasy novel with excellent world building and a strong heroine at its center.

Although Minimum Wage Magic takes place in the same world as her Heartstriker series (start with Nice Dragons Finish Last), this series has an entirely new cast and is set twenty years after the previous series. You could read Minimum
Blodeuedd Finland
I miss the Heartstrikers! I must sadly say that there are no cameos. But people from the series are mentioned. Yes I kept hoping someone would pop up, even if it had made no sense. Cos I miiiiiss them!

But to this book then. Opal is a cleaner. She cleans out places and sell the good stuff. She studied magic at College, but she needs money, and fast. It takes a while to learn why. She also has a troubled family relationship (I was sort of right, but not quite.) She just wants to do her own thing a
But though he’d outmaneuvered, outgunned, and outmaged me in every possible way, there was still one place where I was still champion. One thing no one could beat me at. I could outcrazy anybody.

This book was right up my alley!

Great world building, a fun mystery, and interesting characters-So much fun!


Also, I really enjoyed Opal and Nik's characters and I'm looking forward to seeing how they get around her (view spoiler)

The Captain
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! Those who have been aboard for a while know that urban fantasy and I are not usually friends. In fact we tend to be enemies. I can’t explain why. It’s just a truth. And yet this here be a combined review of the first two books in this urban fantasy series. Keep reading to find out why. While I try to post no spoilers, ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .

So basically, I can blame two things for reading this series. One is the fascinating cover of book
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If it makes sense: a solid 4-stars that I think is totally turn into 5 stars in letter books in the series! The audiobook is goooood!
Jodie Martin
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the things I love about Rachel Aaron is that you can trust her.

You can trust that the plot begun in the first book has a plan to finish in the final book. That the world will expand and the characters will be challenged and grow. That you won’t be left too long wondering what’s gonna happen.

I got to read MWM as a proofreader and it was lovely to return to the DFZ of the Heartstriker series and see another angle. This is Aaron’s first ‘second’ series - until now she’s always jumped to a ne
Michael Campbell
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Finally, an Urban Fantasy type Mystery novel that didn't bore me to tears. Granted, it did have a good many Science Fiction concepts in there, and maybe that helped give it that edge over others of it's type.

It also had a fun and inventive world, characters with decent depth and development, humorous and natural feeling dialogue, and a fast paced plot with a good many well done twists.

I admit, I was a little worried when Nikolas showed up. His and Opal's initial meetings made me wonder if this
Timelord Iain
Bit of a rocky start, but I was fully on-board by chapter 5...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: pub date 2 10 Jun 19, 2020 04:30PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Minimum Wage Magic [November 2018] 31 41 Jan 15, 2019 10:19AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Junkyard Bargain (Junkyard Cats, #2)
  • Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #1)
  • Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors (The Guild Codex: Warped, #1)
  • Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #2)
  • Dragons Don't Eat Meat (Valkyrie Bestiary #1)
  • Two Witches and a Whiskey (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #3)
  • Lost Talismans and a Tequila (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #7)
  • Demon Magic and a Martini (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #4)
  • The Alchemist and an Amaretto (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #5)
  • Junkyard Cats (Junkyard Cats #1)
  • Sinister Magic (Death Before Dragons, #1)
  • Damned Souls and a Sangria (The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #8)
  • The House That Walked Between Worlds (Uncertain Sanctuary #1)
  • Dervishes Don't Dance (Valkyrie Bestiary #2)
  • How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps
  • Battle Bond (Death Before Dragons, #2)
  • The Wizard's Butler
  • Dungeon Mauling (The Good Guys, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

DFZ (3 books)
  • Part-Time Gods (DFZ, #2)
  • Night Shift Dragons (DFZ, #3)

Related Articles

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
30 likes · 4 comments
“The cost of survival is doing things you don’t like,” he said coldly. “Suck it up or give up, but don’t sit on the fence and complain. It” 3 likes
“Welcome to the DFZ,” I said, shaking my head. “Criminals all the way down.” “It is called the ‘City of Commerce,’” Sibyl whispered in my ear. “The place where anything is possible” 0 likes
More quotes…