As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep your mouth shut, stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t fly in a family of magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has reached the end of her patience. Now, trapped 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.
Let me start with telling you that there were several things in this book I was very grateful for. The author composed an solid post-apocalyptic reality which was original enough to keep me interested. There were interesting monsters, many of them females. The romance story arc was never overshadowing the main plot and its progress was mercifully slow. Slow is good. In this part Julius Heartstriker and Marci Novalli, the human thaumaturgist he helped and fancied, never progressed beyond their first kiss. It made me want to clap and cheer. After reading too many paranormal romances in which dragons in human form simply had to rip the clothes and drag their love interests to bed in no time as if it was a kind of Olympic sport, I really appreciated such a slow approach.
Still it annoyed me a bit that all those dragons in human forms had to be so irritatingly handsome/beautiful; to be honest they reminded me of a collection of Barbie dolls (or Ken dolls) and frequent descriptions of their superhuman prettiness bore me to death. Not to mention the fact that their looks were a very distinct, tell-tale sign of their real nature and in this one dragons were not welcome everywhere; in DFZ they were actually hunted for bounty. If I were such an old, clever creature I would never flaunt my beauty; I’d prefer to hide under the cover of complete mediocrity.
Also the presence of several seers was a plot device a tad too convenient from my point of view. Seers, like time travelers, should be used sparingly because they are problematic to say the least of it. Actually nothing kills my interest in the narrative progress more efficiently than a prediction or a prophecy which must come true. It’s kind of spoilerish, don’t you think?
The cover is not completely bad but I find a bit too obvious and not especially fantastic. Oh well.
Not a bad beginning of a series which includes elements of urban fantasy, science fiction and futuristic dystopia with a dash of romance. A lightweight read, perfect for hot summer. As far as I know the second book is also available.