Book Review : Night Shift Dragons

Book Review : Night Shift DragonsNight Shift Dragons (DFZ, #3) by Rachel Aaron
Published by Aaron/Bach on May 5th 2020
Pages: 398
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three-half-stars

They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning.
My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great Dragon of Korea. That wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t such a jerk, or if every dragon on the planet wasn’t out to kill him, or if he was my only problem.
Turns out, things can always get worse in the DFZ. When a rival spirit attacks my god/boss with the aim of turning the famously safety-optional city into a literal death arena with Nik as his bloody champion, I’m thrust onto the front lines and way out of my comfort zone. When gods fight, mortals don’t usually survive, but I’m not alone this time. Even proud old dragons can learn new tricks, and with everything I love falling to pieces, the father I’ve always run from might just be the only force in the universe stubborn enough to pull us back together.

Night Shift Dragons was a much more enjoyable return to the DFZ than its predecessor Part-Time Gods. Unlike the last book, Night Shift Dragons did not want to make me strangle the heroine the entire time. In this novel, Opal Yong-ae, daughter of the Dragon of Korea, the Great Yong, is finally putting aside her pettiness and inner-spoiled-rich-kid and making amends, at last, with her father. The only problem is that this long-awaited resolution happens so quickly and easily that it didn’t seem at all realistic, but instead, forced and rushed. This problem was also present with the other main relationship of the series, that of Opal and Nik’s. It was disconcerting to see such major events of previous installments get brushed aside in favor of magical action and what not.

 

“I thought you didn’t even like your dad.” 

“I don’t, that’s why I’m desperate. You think I like being trapped in my apartment with the monster I’ve fought my whole adult life to escape?” I shook my head. “Just because I’m not willing to throw him to his enemies doesn’t mean I want to be his nurse. The sooner he’s off death’s door, the sooner I can ship him back to Korea and out of my life.” 

 

Though I was pleased that Opal and her father were finally patching things up, the circumstances were less than ideal. All it took for them to talk was for Opal’s father to be completely dependent on his daughter for his well-being! View Spoiler » What a letdown.

 

 Despite my disappointment with these quick band-aids being slapped over mortal interpersonal relationship wounds, I was very sad to realize that this series was coming to an end. I assumed that like author Rachel Aaron’s other series, The Heartstrikers, the series would continue past the trilogy mark. To my dismay, there would be no more adventures solely focused on Nik and Opal being Cleaners in the DFZ, doing what they do best. There would be no awkward visits home to Korea, where the Great Yong would have to learn to look past his disdain for Nik’s criminal background and Opal would have to live with her mother’s unwavering devotion to her father. There was no mention of White Snake coming to this reunion or either of the great Korean dragon clan burying their hatchet and joining the Peacemaker’s dragon coalition. 

 

Color me bummed. I feel like the series is ending just when it could be getting really interesting and Opal could grow up a lot. Though Night Shift Dragon gives us part of an ending View Spoiler » I was dissatisfied. I think it’s because much of the novel glossed over these interactions–the ones I cared about the most–in favor of action sequences, magical explanations, and lots of talking with the bad guys. There was simply too much going on in Night Shift Dragons to give it the time it deserved. I wished the author could have split this into two books–one focusing on Opal’s training and healing of both her father and their relationship and the second focusing on rescuing Nik and starting their business back up.

 

My father shrugged. “You have a top-of-the-line AI. Can’t she take them over?”

 “Uh, no,” I said with a snort. “Sibyl’s a social support bot. She doesn’t hack.”

 “I can ask about their work satisfaction,” Sibyl offered helpfully.


Ultimately, I feel like Night Shift Dragons really only scratched the surface on healing these relationships and not only did I wish author Aaron went deeper into these feelings, but I also wish she had given them more time.  I guess I didn’t realize how invested I was in the series until it was over. Like all of her books, I enjoyed the world-building, quirky humor, and Rachel Aaron still remains an ever-present fixture on my instant buy list. Even when I find parts of her novels disappointing, I still love to get lost in her worlds and on the crazy adventures of her characters. I will miss all of the characters, even bratty Opal, and I sure hope we can see these characters in future installments.

three-half-stars
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Book Review : Night Shift Dragons - Blogging with Dragons

Posted July 20, 2020 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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