Gergana's Reviews > Nice Dragons Finish Last

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron
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it was amazing
bookshelves: clairvoyance, dragons, magic-users, setting-usa-and-canada, shapeshifters, urban-fantasy, favorites, to-buy


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-active and annoying side-kick and so on). So, it was "no" surprise that by the end of this book...I TOTALLY LOVED IT!!!

WHAT?!? How did this happen?!

Well, one day I was looking at my list of books to read...


And like many goodreads members, I was slightly concerned about my capability to finish it during my life-time. Others are far more relaxed about it...(because they are aliens from another planet, of course)

I was trying to decide on what to read next when this gorgeous cover popped up!



I mean, just LOOK AT IT! The combination of colours, the composition, the city scape, the hot dude at the front, the little poster behind him! HOW AWESOME IS THAT! And it even has BIG letters that many people find ... ummm, I have no idea what, but many booktubers love them, ok? Me personally, I want to see more of that stunning background and the letters are on the way...grrrrrrr!

Back to the topic - I WAS SOLD! It's not like I've read any other Urban Fantasies for this month...

Hidden (Alex Verus, #5) by Benedict Jacka Veiled An Alex Verus Novel by Benedict Jacka The Thought Readers (Mind Dimensions, #1) by Dima Zales Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen, #1) by Rhys Ford Clean (Mindspace Investigations, #1) by Alex Hughes Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

Ahem! So I got the audiobook and I was ready to dive in!

How did it go?
0-10% - Ok, that's interesting, but still not hooked.
10-30% - I'm still not half way through? This book is so slow...I'm kind of bored.
30-40% - There are a few interesting stuff, I love the humor, but should I just move on to the next one. My TBR pile is too big...still not half-way through?!
40-50% - Ok, this is getting better, but still not sure...Wait, that's kind of cool!
50-70% - ....THAT'S FREAKING AWESOME!!!
70-90% - OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!
90-99% - NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! DON'T END! PLEASE DON'T END!
100% - Dammit!

The World

Magic is back and so are most magical creatures! The scariest and most dangerous of them all, however, are the dragons, with their uncanny ability to shapeshift into humans and blend in among the unsuspecting human population. Being the greedy and power-hungry creatures that they are, they operate similarly to the mafia (think of Yakuza, with the leader being the Mother Dragon, her followers are her children and her servants are humans with magical abilities). Nothing makes a dragon happier than to threaten, beat up and even kill anyone who gets in their way. And noone is more enthusiastic about it, then the Heartstrikers - the largest dragon family there is with 10 clutches for the past 1000 years! There is one tiny exception - Julius, the youngest and most useless to his mother dragon in the family and probably the whole world.

Protagonist

Julius is only 24 years old - still a baby for dragon standards and the runt in his family. Not only is he the smallest of his clutch, but he's also ...kind, considerate, polite, reasonable and ... not at all aggressive. WHAT THE HELL? - is the usual reaction the rest of his sisters and brothers have, who can't wait to go around subjugating and hurting anyone who doesn't obey their mother's whim.

One day, his mother has had enough of him hiding from his siblings in his bedroom and decides to lock his shapeshifting abilities. Having a useless brat in the family is not something the Heartstrikers want to advertise to the rest of the Dragon Clans, so Julius's mother decides to give him a task and if he succeeds and proves his worth, she won't have to send his older sister, Chelsie, to kill him. Don't question Dragon logic, ok?

The Siblings

We don't get to see many of Julius's siblings, but, let me tell you, THEY ARE AWESOME! I complained about them being boring and predictable, but I was proven wrong quite quickly. Not only are they more complicated than they first seem, they are also epicly amazing and hilarious! Like any Heartstriker, the few brothers and sisters Julius meets along his way, are way too trigger-happy, violence-loving and manipulative.

Chelsie (around 700 years old) is the Heartstrikers' best assassin. She's not only her mother's right hand, but she's also responsible for keeping all of her siblings in check and eliminating anyone who crosses the line or annoys their mother. Chelsie appears to know everything and to be everywhere, often popping out of nowhere to clean Julius's mess or give him a "friendly" warning.

Ian (around 100 years old) - a calculative and probably the most ambitious Heartstriker, despite his young age. Very good at manipulating others to achieve what he wants. He's the one who hires Julius to complete the task.

Bob (around 800 years old) - is the family's highly treasured Seer (able to see the future and predict any enemy attack) and also...the weirdest dragon alive. If he wasn't an immortal being with 800 years of experience behind him, you would think Bob was just high. Stumbling around, appearing out of nowhere as if by accident for no reason at all, sending strange and meaningless phone messages to his siblings (that they freak out about them and take very seriously regardless of their brother's easy-going nature). Bob is also the most dangerous Heartstriker of them all. You'll know why by the end.

Justin - Oh my, where do I start. Justin is Julius's clutch mate, meaning he's 24 as well. He's also his mother's favorite child and often the most pampered one. He gets the best tools and a lot of his mother's attention. And no surprise, Justin's dragon form is very large for a Hearstriker, he's one of the best fighters in his family and he's a relatively valuable asset considering his age. Only problem is...he isn't very smart and his common sense can be hard to find. Most of his older siblings would much rather avoid dealing with a baby brother who has the tendency to be way too trigger happy even for the Heartstriker standards. So when Justin is sent over to help Julius during his task, it's difficult to say whether "help" is the right word.

Of course, there are a few more dragons in this story, but this review is getting way too long as it is.

Marci

Marci is hyper-active, too curious for her own good and a highly powerful mage with a very complicated life. She's also Julius's side-kick/ human servant (according to his siblings), who has no idea that she's working for a dragon, nor the mess she's getting into (or is it the other way around?) Anyways, she's a cool character, just not as interesting as the dragons. Oh, and she also bonded herself to a rather menacing ghost cat for life...due to some weird circumstances.

My final impression:

I absolutely loved it! The story was alright, the pace I thought was a little too slow at times, the world-building wasn't phenomenal, but it was interesting enough (I found the Yakuza-dragon mafia element highly entertaining), but what really made this book great for me was the Characters. They are hilarious, complex, despite their nature, and, interestingly enough, relatable (yes, even the menacing dragons). I can't describe it with words, all I know is that by the end, my hands were itching to get the sequel.

Audiobook

Vikas Adam is hilarious, he adds even more humor to the dialogue and I loved his narration!

Conclusion
Will I read the sequel?: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
Will I reread?: Sure, probably once I finish the series.
Will I buy a hard-copy?: Depending on whether a like the sequel. A few times I bought the whole series just because I enjoyed the first book and I regretted it later.
Will I recommend to friends?: Yep, if you're looking for a light and entertaining Urban Fantasy read with good-quality humor, give Nice Dragons Finish Last a go. If you find the first half a little bit boring, like me, don't worry - it gets far better!

Published on the 15th of July? My birthday? It's a sign!
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Reading Progress

June 12, 2015 – Shelved
June 12, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read-later
August 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 19, 2015 – Started Reading
September 21, 2015 –
28.0% "“So far as I can tell, 'good dragon' is just another name for coldblooded sociopath," he said. "No friends, no trust, no love. Why would I ever want to live like that? It's not like any of you good dragons are happy.”\n \n I love the idea of the Dragon Mafia! It's like a Yakuza, but with the boss being the mother dragon and the minions - her children. The Mages don't stand a chance!"
September 22, 2015 –
77.0% "I absolutely love the characters! ALL of them! Miss Aaron knows her stuff! My only issue is with Julius over-explaining himself for minutes, trying to be considerate and polite can become excruciatingly boring...Otherwise, definitely having a great time listening to the audiobook."
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: clairvoyance
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: dragons
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: magic-users
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: setting-usa-and-canada
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: shapeshifters
September 22, 2015 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
September 23, 2015 –
100.0% "I'm seriously debating whether to put this book in my list of favorites! It's far from perfect, but the characters are just unforgettable! (make sure you last to the middle though, the beginning is slow) A very light and entertaining read with high-quality humor! Definitely recommend checking out the audiobook - the narrator was hilarious! Review to come."
September 26, 2015 – Finished Reading
November 6, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
March 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-buy

Comments Showing 1-42 of 42 (42 new)

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message 1: by Damian (new)

Damian Dubois Love your illustrations!!!


Gergana Thank you ^,^


Choko Darn it girl, you are so awesome! Your reviews are awesome, your drawings are awesome, and the combination is out of this world awesome!!!!! O am going to get that book tomorrow!


Gergana Thanks for the awesome compliment Choko G!!! X) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


message 5: by Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ (last edited Oct 06, 2015 02:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ The new ones out already but just not on audible. /slash wrist

Glad you liked this one too! I felt the same way about the beginning as well. I had to get into it a bit more before it caught me up.


Choko Not out yet. It is up fro pre-order, but is actually coming out on 10-15-2015 in Audible... Unfortunately for the impatient :-)


Gergana @Alisi: You too? Several times I almost gave up XD but I'm so glad I didn't! Now that I've finished it, I realize the beginning is not so bad, but just difficult to get into unless you know how cool everyone will end up being X) At least for me.

@Choko - That's what I saw too ;( Oh, well, at least I can catch up on everything else I have planned to read this year.


Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ Choko wrote: "Not out yet. It is up fro pre-order, but is actually coming out on 10-15-2015 in Audible... Unfortunately for the impatient :-)"

It is out, just not the audible version. I have it on my kindle atm. I might wait for the audible version though.


Choko Oooo , sorry. I read Audible and that is what I checked... I might check the kindle version than, thanks!


Choko OK. I just started it and am already in love with Marcy!!! I love her!!! She is adorable! And I know you said that it started slow, but you obviously do not read books like the Anna Pigeon Series by Nevada Bar - half way into the books and you still have no idea what she is talking about and are familiar to death with all the flowers, plants, scenery and what the weather is... This is fast-forwarded in comparison :-) Thanks for the great review that prompted me to finally read this - I have had it around for more than a year...


Gergana @Choko - Eeeeep! Hope you like it! If you think the beginning is eventful, wait to see what happens later on! XD I'm looking forward to your review!


Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ Gergana wrote: "@Choko - Eeeeep! Hope you like it! If you think the beginning is eventful, wait to see what happens later on! XD I'm looking forward to your review!"

We just need to get her to read The Cloud Roads and our work will be complete!




Gergana Sooooooon my diabolical friend. >XD we wait until we gain everyone's trust, then we throw the Raksura books at their heads and we'll be worshipped as the Book goddesses 4EVAaaaaa!


Choko You got me! I am a putty in your hands! The next series has to be the Raksura books... I am getting brainwashed slowly, insidiously and methodically!!!


Gergana Choko wrote: "You got me! I am a putty in your hands! The next series has to be the Raksura books... I am getting brainwashed slowly, insidiously and methodically!!!"




Choko Hahaha!!! The diabolical plans are obviously working! Now Maria is also reading it:):):)


Maria Dimitrova I decided to follow the author on Tweeter and the first tweet I saw was about this review. https://twitter.com/Rachel_Aaron/stat...


Maria Dimitrova I decided to follow the author on Tweeter and the first tweet I saw was about this review. https://twitter.com/Rachel_Aaron/stat...


Gergana HOLY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! NO WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY! XD Dammit! I feel like doing a proper fanart now, but I'm abroad and I don't have my PC and Wacom tablet! At least I have my sketch pad!
So happy! My face is all red and I think I'm gonna cry XD


Maria Dimitrova Gergana wrote: "HOLY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! NO WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY! XD Dammit! I feel like doing a proper fanart now, but I'm abroad and I don't have my PC and Wacom tablet! At least I ha..."

Please don't cry! It's not draconic ;) Anyway your art is amazing and if you do go full speed ahead with this I'll be very happy :) Also you so deserve the recognition!


Choko I told you you are awesome! :-) But the book does deserve your artistic presentation. It is fun and I foresee wonderful future for the hopefully many sequels :-)


message 22: by Vikas (new)

Vikas Gergana, I've already posted this review as one of my favorites of all time! The illustrations are incredible and thank you for the awesome review! I hope you get a chance to hear the sequel which just came out--it was a blast to record since Rachel really pulls out all the stops and DRIVES the story forward!!!!! No stopping now! And of course, in addition to Bob, a new sibling is intro'ed whom I LOVE.


Gergana Vikas wrote: "Gergana, I've already posted this review as one of my favorites of all time! The illustrations are incredible and thank you for the awesome review! I hope you get a chance to hear the sequel which ..."

Thank you so much Vikas! That's super kind. Not to worry! I already have the audiobook in my posession and I can hardly wait to dive into it! The anticipation is killing me, I don't think anyone can top Bob, my favorite character so far, but who knows? X) Miss Aaron is super good at surprising me with awesome characters!


message 24: by Marina (new) - added it

Marina Rupova Ok. You convinced me.


Gergana Marina wrote: "Ok. You convinced me."


Mission: Complete

;) Hope you enjoy.


Ren Puspita Love your pics, so cute!! :D Tbh, I prefer this cute character images over gifs on review <3


Choko Ren, she is an amazing artist:)


Gergana X3 Thank you ladies! You're super kind and you're making me blush (I think that's Choko's secret mission in life)


Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷ Love your drawings :) Nice review.


Gergana Thank you LaylaNoir ^.^


message 31: by Cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat I just read the book because of your cute drawings - and it was really awesome! Thank you^^


Gergana Cat wrote: "I just read the book because of your cute drawings - and it was really awesome! Thank you^^"

^.^ Yuppieeeee! Glad you liked it Cat!



Jennifer Your review convinced me to put this book on my list and, now, to finally read it! You're right, it's a little slow in the beginning, but the writing style is to much fun to give up on. :D


Gergana Eeeep! Thank you Jennifer! Super glad you're enjoying it!
Trust me, I was very close to quitting around the middle of the first book. Second half was definitely worth it, but it was the second book that made this series one of my favorites :)


message 35: by Cillian (new)

Cillian You're so talented it's unreal. You almost make me want to be an author so I can get one of your special illustrated reviews. ;)


Gergana Awwwwww! Thank yooooou!



message 37: by EsteeLTeng (new) - added it

EsteeLTeng Such cute pictures... Adorable!


Gergana Thank you EsteeLTeng! :D


message 39: by Mara (new)

Mara Balfour OMG, I love your illustrations! *heart eyes


Gergana Mara wrote: "OMG, I love your illustrations! *heart eyes"

:3 Thank you Mara!


message 41: by Laurie (new) - added it

Laurie Putting on my reading list because of your review. Amazing & fabulous drawings


Gergana Laurie wrote: "Putting on my reading list because of your review. Amazing & fabulous drawings"

^.^ I really hope you enjoy it Laurie!!


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