No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, Book 3)

Monday, August 29, 2016

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, Book 3)
Rachel Aaron, 2016

Premise: Julius is on top for the moment, but political turmoil in a dragon clan brings out a lot of opportunists. Sequel to Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another.

Oof. I was so looking forward to this book, that I think it really suffered from my heightened expectations. It’s not bad, per se, it’s just not what I wanted.

It’s still well written, in an interesting world. I liked the new characters and the new things we learned about established characters. But I also got two things I wasn’t expecting from this author: realism over story and book six syndrome.

In the first case, the book is bogged down by a lot of machinations and conversations and plot points that don’t really progress the bigger plot enough. I felt like a number of the twists and happenings weren’t essential, even though they were things that would have happened in ‘reality,’ given the set-up as it was.

It isn’t a lack of action, it’s the presence of repetitive action: this person says or does something very similar to the last three attacks/arguments/etc.

I also didn't know, going into this book, that it is not the end of the story. In fact, this book is more of a cliffhanger than books one or two. So I had one problem, which was that for some reason I was expecting a trilogy, and it’s annoying that I still have to wait to get to the actual end. The other problem was the aforementioned book six syndrome.

I call it that because it’s more likely in long series. (See: Song of Susannah, Half-Blood Prince) It’s when the penultimate book in a series is spent lining up all the characters to where they need to be for the end of the plot (or the next part of the plot, if the next book isn't the last). It’s sometimes necessary action, but it leaves the book in question thin and frustrating.

I’ll still turn in for part four, because I do really like this world, I love the characters, and I trust the author, and maybe I'll like this volume better on some future reread, but for now I’m a little disappointed in it.

2 Stars - An Okay Book

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