Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep quiet, don’t cause trouble, and stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t fly in a family of ambitious magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience.

Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ–a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit–Julius has one month to prove that he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test.

He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons…

Jenia spent a lot of time trying to get me to read this book. Described to me as “a very Tam kind of book” (Jenia, 2018) I felt compelled to give it a try. I was not disappointed. Nice Dragons Finish Last is fairly lighthearted, and has an amazing and altogether loveable cast. The audiobook is very well narrated and I’ve already started on the rest of the series.


Nice Dragons Finish Last is set in a future Earth. Magic vanished thousands of years ago, and reappeared quite recently. With it have come magical animals (like dragons), spirits, and human mages.


In my opinion the characters are what really make this book. Julius is the epitome of nice; he’s a very loveable character who you just want to see succeed. The supporting cast, his family, other dragons, and his human friend, Marci, are all also great characters who I really enjoyed reading about.


The plot is driven by the characters and how they deal with the situations they keep getting themselves thrown into. I also have the feeling that there’s a complex layer of plots underlying the series as a whole, and I’m really interested in where they end up. That’s not to say that the plot doesn’t resolve itself in this book, but I have the feeling that events from this book will be relevant all through the series.

Other Thoughts

I listened to the audio version of this book, often while walking round the city, and spent most of the time grinning like a complete loon. Vikas Adam does a fantastic job with the narration, and I was so impressed that I went and bought the next 3 audiobooks, and preordered the 5th book, due to be released on March 1st.

I’m not a great audiobook person. I can’t listen while doing nothing, and I can’t listen while doing something that takes a reasonable amount of brain power, hence limiting the amount of time I have to listen to audiobooks. I enjoyed this book so much that I went and started cleaning things just so I could spend more time with it.


This book is probably best for people who like:

  • Dragons
  • Loveable characters
  • Interesting plots
  • Amusing and light hearted stories
  • Urban fantasy

Jenia’s thoughts: 

This series is one of the few books I read during my Years Long Reading Drought and like Tam I absolutely loved it! I particularly enjoyed the setting (I’m easily swayed by “like Shadowrun but less depressing”) and the genuinely sweet characters. The final book is coming out in two days (March 1st) so this is the perfect time to jump in and marathon the whole thing. I predict lots more cleaning in Tam’s immediate future. 😛


  1. I’m on book 2 right now and loving it! I’m tempted to say that Vikas Adam is probably the most technically skilled audio narrator I’ve listened to yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] A couple decades into the future magic comes rushing back to earth. Our hero is the nicest dragon ever, whose mom kicks him out of the home because he’s so wimpy. Our heroine is a very talented mage in desperate need of a job. Together they fight crime! they try to avoid getting on bad terms with our hero’s slightly maniacally evil family while they earn money in the Detroit Free Zone. A fast-paced and funny urban fantasy with one of the nicest characters around. Tam’s full review here! […]


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