PROS: More world building; the return of wonderful and beloved characters; enough humor and snark to choke a dragon.
CONS: Slower than the first book in the series.
BOTTOM LINE: A fantastic addition to this series with an ending so deliciously surprising you’ll find yourself gasping aloud in shock.
I’m a huge fan of Rachel Aaron’s writing and I was bubbling over with excitement that her excellent dragon urban fantasy series was getting a sequel. It’s a much slower burn than the whip-fast first book but it gave me everything I could have wanted and more. Who doesn’t love quirky dragons, quixotic seers and quality action? One Good Dragon Deserves Another delivers on this in spades and left me begging for more.
All the awesome characters from the first novel are back. There’s Julius Heartstriker, the kindly and friendly dragon, his human mage friend Marci and his quirky seer brother Bob. This book expands on the huge Heartstriker family of dragons, giving us all new characters to fall in love with. It shows us more of the family dynamic and raises the stakes as these powerful dragons are brought to their knees (sometimes literally) by their latest enemies.
The action in One Good Dragon Deserves Another is well plotted and top-notch. There’s fire-breathing and sword fighting, hand to hand combat and magical attacks. No one comes out of this story free of bruises and cuts, that’s for sure. Aaron slowly ratchets up the tension as she introduces bigger and badder enemies. The Heartstrikers still have their own personal antagonist, an insane seer from a rival dragon clan, but now they’ve also caught the ire of Algonquin, the spirit that controls all of Detroit. Algonquin is no friend of dragons and unleashes that hatred on them to knock them when they’re already down.
The action in this one is more spread out than in the previous book. I think this sometimes works in its favor because this book throws a lot at us. My only real complaint with Nice Dragons Finish Last was that it didn’t have as much world building as I wanted, but this more than makes up for it, and Aaron takes it slowly so you have time to digest it all. We learn more about the Heartstrikers and the very nature of dragons, more about the magic that Marci uses, and some very surprising things about her small ghost cat spirit. I had a smile plastered on my face the entire time I read this. So much deliriously wonderful world building!
This volume finds Julius and Marci on the precipice of romantic affection. They’re trying to ignore their growing attraction and end up finding small success with a spirit removal business. The aftermath of the first book rears its head, causing mayhem and destruction, and Julius is once again tasked with saving not just his own hide but the precious lives of his friends and family. Where other dragons would spew fire and throw their weight around to save the day, Julius accomplishes everything with polite “thank yous”, sarcasm and perseverance. He’s shrewd, clever and lucky as all hell. It all pays off in an explosive, deeply satisfying, game changing ending. I can not wait for the next book in the series!
I missed my train stop not once but twice while reading One Good Dragon Deserves Another. It was an excellent addition to the Heartstrikers series and I am already chomping at the bit for more. This is an incredible urban fantasy series, full of humor and heart, and should be at the top of your TBR list. You don’t want to miss out on these wildly inventive and blisteringly awesome books.