Nice Dragons Finish Last - Rachel Aaron

Back when I first read Nice Dragons Finish Last, I wasn't reviewing all that much so I thought it would be good idea to rectify that now, having re-read it in preparation for reading the long-awaited sequel, One Good Dragon Deserves Another.


Over the past few years, I've read a lot of urban fantasy and, as a result of overdosing on feisty heroines discovering their true abilities in first person, I sadly don't really have much interest in reading it any more. However, for some writers I will make an exception and Rachel Aaron is one of those - she also writes science fiction as Rachel Bach and I'd recently read and enjoyed Fortune's Pawn, which is the first of a space opera trilogy so decided I'd take a chance on her urban fantasy as well.


The eponymous nice dragon is Julius, runt of the latest litter of Heartstriker dragons and all-round disappointment to his mother. Like everyone else in his family, she regards him as a failure, particularly as he is happy to spend his time in his room, interacting online with humans of all things! In something of a 'kill or cure' attempt to unleash Julius' true draconic nature, his mother has him dumped in Detroit, which has been ground zero for a serious outbreak of magic some years back. Being his dragon self would literally be a death sentence there, but Julius doesn't need to worry about that, since he's also prevented from turning into a dragon by magic and forced to try and deal with various members of his family to keep himself alive.


Along the way, Julius crosses paths with Marci, a human mage who is also in trouble - while Julius is in difficulties with his family, Marci is on the run from the Vegas mob, who will stop at nothing to get a magical artefact she has. Unlike many urban fantasy novels, fortunately for my tolerance levels where this kind of thing is concerned, Julius and Marci do not fall into insta-lust for one another and both are quite tentative about whether the other person even likes them. This is, to my mind, much more realistic for folks meeting this way, especially when both of them have more to think about than the contents of each other's pants!


Anyway, the sequel just came out and I'm looking forward to reading it very much. If you're looking for an urban fantasy series that isn't run of the mill, why not give this one a try?