Heartstrikers #1. Author: Rachel Aaron.
Julius Heartstriker has just been tossed out of his parent’s home, where he spent most of his time in his bedroom online. He’s in the big city now, with a job offered by his older brother – searching for a missing person. All this sounds quite normal. Julius, however, is a dragon. He may quite literally be killed if he doesn’t accomplish this task, a last chance to prove himself, and the runaway he’s hunting for – a dragoness – will be enspelled and dragged back to her home. Julius had better shape up fast and figure out which way his life is going, with help from a feisty human-mage, (no, she’s not my human, mother), his mysterious seer brother Bob whose predictions come true 80% of the time and are un-understandable 100% of the time, and another brother, Justin, the brawn of the outfit.
A fun, fast-paced read. The characters are distinct and interesting, from our main character – an unfortunate nice dragon born into a savage brood – to the FMC, with her dangerous past and determination and distinctly quirky housing and work arrangements. The setting is also unusual and vivid; a post-apocalyptic world of reviving magic. Here tech and magic exist side by side, although there isn’t much overlap so far, and arrangements are not so comfortable that spirits and humans mingle easily – instead, they mingle rather uneasily. Definitely looking forward to seeing where Julian goes next, and how the world unfolds.
Sexual content: Sevna was perishing of curiosity to see if the glory of the feathered serpent had bred true, so much that she actually asked him to change for her as they lay together in the aftermath. [Context, such as clothes-donning in a few minutes, makes it clear this is the aftermath of sexual congress. It may be worth noting these two are villains.] “In an innuendo-laid voice,” “Is she your human? She’s surprisingly hot.” One kiss.
Language: 9 derogatory terms, 3 d***, 2 hell
Violence: House explodes, three intruders presumably killed. Small magic explosion throws attackers down. Three more assailants are downed by shoving, kicking out legs, and bodily flinging one into the wall. Eels spit burning substance onto humans. Character cuts numerous eels in half with a sword. Character uses magical attack to drive assailants back, burning them. Ghost kills a character by biting his neck. Character is shot through the heart.