Nice Dragons Finish Last (Rachel Aaron)

December 3, 2018 Book Reviews 11 ★★★★½

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Rachel Aaron)Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron
Series: Heartstrikers #1
Published by self-published Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Format: Kindle or ebook
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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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--a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit--Julius has one month to prove that he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test.

He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons...


Nice Dragons Finish Last is a an entertaining, well-paced urban fantasy featuring a dragon exiled in human form for being nice, rather than draconically rapacious and ruthless. Julius (the dragon) is a cinnamon roll*, and his friendship (with just a hint of romance) with mage-on-the-run Marci is delightful. Add in feuding dragon clans; siblings ambitious, helpful, or obstructive; a human Mafia-style leader hell-bent on capturing Marci; and the machinations of two dragon seers. Set the whole thing in a post-magical-apocalypse Detroit with a variety of magical creatures, stir in well-drawn characters, a dollop of humor and a heap of danger, and you’ve got an urban-fantasy winner.

I can’t wait to start book 2.




*Cinnamon roll: a character that is very kind and sweet but faces more hardship and suffering than they truly deserve. (Urban Dictionary)


Note: This series is professionally self-published by Aaron/Bach LLC. By “professionally self-published,” I mean that the content, editing, formatting and design are indistinguishable from a traditionally-published book.


Read for COYER Winter 2018




About Rachel Aaron

Rachel Aaron, who also writes as Rachel Bach, lives a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with her lightspeed son, perpetually understanding husband, and obese wiener dog. Other than her own books, the internet knows her best for writing very fast. To find out exactly how fast (and read sample chapters from all her books), visit!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER Winter 2018-2019
  • The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018

11 Responses to “Nice Dragons Finish Last (Rachel Aaron)”

  1. Lark

    I like that the premise of this book isn’t your typical urban fantasy plot. Plus, there’s dragons. 😀

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m not sure what the typical urban fantasy plot is? (As opposed to paranormal romance, I mean.) To be honest, I haven’t read a lot of urban fantasy so far, with the exception of some of the Iron Druid books by Kevin Hearne, Jim Hines’s Magic Ex Libris series, and Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy, which is sort of urban fantasy, sort of PNR, and sort of a bunch of other subgenres. Oh, and Mercedes Lackey’s Diana Tregarde books, and I suppose Gigi Pandian’s Accidental Alchemist mysteries count as UF, more or less.

      But yes, dragons. Dragons that usually look like humans, to be sure, but dragons nonetheless.

  2. sjhigbee

    I’ve also read this one and absolutely loved it – I need to dive back into this series. Perhaps a treat for 2019:)

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I want to dive right into book two, but I’ve got a lot of review copies to plow through as well, so I’m sort of saving it for a treat!

  3. Anne

    I definitely want to read this series. I even bought this one at an audible sale. I’m glad to see you liked it and the presence of humor. Good review! Anne – Books of My Heart