Book Review: Last Dragon Standing

Book Review: Last Dragon StandingLast Dragon Standing (Heartstrikers, #5) by Rachel Aaron
on March 1st 2018
Pages: 311
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Dear Reader,

There is no way to write a blurb for this final book without spoiling all of the others. Suffice it to say, mysteries resolve, dragons war, pigeons abound, and Julius must risk himself in ways he never dreamed possible as Bob’s grand plan finally comes to fruition.

But the Great Seer of the Heartstrikers isn’t the only one whose schemes are nearing completion. The Nameless End is coming, and even the machinations of the world’s most brilliant dragon seer might not be enough to stop it. As the world comes crashing down, it’s up Julius to prove what he’s always known: that seers can be wrong, and Nice Dragons don’t always finish last.

Last Dragon Standing was supposed to be my fun read in between ARCs, but I was sorely disappointed. I love this series so much and it hurts me to give it such a low rating, but I barely got through this book, and even avoided picking it up. As much as I love and am invested in the characters and their world, there was just SO MUCH EXPLAINING that I could not bear it! I have never, ever been bored in this series and I was for ¾ of this book. I was shocked that there was so much dialogue dedicated to explaining and planning events! I ended up skimming the majority of the book. Thankfully, I really liked the ending and am extremely happy that this is not the end for the Heartstrikers universe. I will definitely read the next books, despite this book being the weakest one in the series.


My main issue with the explaining, which I am not exaggerating, really took up ¾ of the book—was that it was all in dialogue and the same thing was described to different characters multiple times. Then, after the characters finally tried the thing they planned and it didn’t work, they started explaining a new plan! I wanted to scream! This whole final battle and its explanations were interminable and I felt no sense of tension or urgency because of all the limitless explanations. I wondered, how was this not edited down?


But thankfully, there were portions of the novel that were not drowning in explanations. Unfortunately, the majority of these did not occur until the end. I did really love the parts of the book that did not involve these endless speeches and even teared up in the parts that didn’t include these discourses. It was amazing to see Julius’s evolution as a character come to a head with the all clan meeting to save the world. His character arc was all amounting to this moment View Spoiler » And typically throughout the series, I was annoyed with Julius’s almost magical nice dragon ability to talk to an “enemy” and change his or her mind, but in this book, with View Spoiler » it really, finally worked for me. I loved Julius’s View Spoiler » and Bob’s determination to save the brother he put through the most as a Seer, claiming “I never told you to be anything but yourself. You were already the Nice Dragon I needed you to be.” Cue my tears. It was very well written and excellent.


I also loved Amelia and Bob’s constant carrying on. They never disappoint. Amelia’s powers as the new Dragon God and her boastfulness over her godhood is hilarious. Her attentiveness to Julius is touching, as is her relationship with her rival, Svena. Likewise, Bob’s relationship with his pigeon ended up being strangely beautiful and moving. I was also thrilled that View Spoiler » This was just one of the many demonstrations of Rachel Aaron’s classic humor that makes her one of my all-time favorite authors. It was also very fun to meet View Spoiler » I would have gladly traded all of the explanations for more of these type of character interactions.


My only complaint with the characters and their happy endings was that Julius and Marci View Spoiler » I just felt that it was a little too fast and a little too storybook for my liking. I would have preferred that View Spoiler » be a sort of afterthought in the time skip—something casually mentioned in passing—rather than something that happened in the present after so little time of knowing each other.


I enjoyed the time skip, which really surprised me. Peering into the future of a series is fun, but I’ve found that it is often hit or miss. It’s definitely a hit in this novelView Spoiler » was such a fitting end to this series and I am so excited to read the new trilogy. Here is to hoping that there is minimal explaining and more of all the Heartstrikers that we know and love.

Book Review - Last Dragon Standing - Blogging with Dragons

Posted July 5, 2018 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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