Nice Dragons Finish Last

I don’t remember who recommended this Rachel Aaron series to me. I resisted because paranormal and I don’t see eye to eye. That was a mistake which I rectified once I got a sample of this one.

So Julius is a dragon who can’t change from his human form. This isn’t actually a problem because he lives in the Detroit Free Zone where being a dragon could get him killed. That’s just the first of his problems. They get more complicated – and often funnier – as the series goes along.

This is popcorn really fun* reading. I read the heck out of the series and loved every popcorn-minute of it. Maybe you will, too. Why not grab a sample and try it out for yourself?

ETA: Greg Lynn has some salient points to add in the comments. Because of those points, I changed the genre to Urban Fantasy.

* I also took out the reference to popcorn. Apparently the word does not mean what I think it means.

About the reviewer:

NathanLowell_150x150Nathan Lowell has been writing science fiction and fantasy most of his life. He started publishing in 2007 and has no intention of stopping any time soon.

Learn more about Nathan Lowell and his works at

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8 thoughts on “Nice Dragons Finish Last”

  1. I’d probably call it urban fantasy or contemporary fantasy. Mostly I think paranormal is for ghosts and vamps and things.

    It’s a lot of fun. I’d just suggest that there’s more to it than just fun. It’s a whole series making the point that you don’t have to be an asshole to get ahead.

    1. I wouldn’t argue with UF or Contemporary. I only assign one per review. Think I should change it?

      I agree with the idea that Wheaton’s Law is a theme that runs through the whole series, but what made this book (and series) work for me was a) characters and b) fun.

      1. I definitely agree it is fun, and has great characters. I kind of agree with Gregory, though, that – while kind of loving, “popcorn” has a slightly pejorative slant. I would argue that popcorn books have a slightly guilty edge, like a really fun Mary Sue, or a story with shallow characters or themes that nevertheless bounce along with brightly colored edges and energy – or a slightly hackneyed store that is not original or new, but comfortable, and if well done can be enjoyed, even if completely predictable.

        I really don’t think that this series is any of those things, and so the protest. 🙂 But you are right on the money in that it is fun, well told, and the best of all humorous speculative fiction – a story that has some depth and purpose – while still being enjoyable … and pulling out the popcorn and nachos along the way.

        Of course, your mileage may vary – opinions in the mirror are close than they appear.

        Speaking of which – your stories absolutely delight me – funny and poignant and heartbreaking and uplifting in turns… and absolutely worth a big tub of popcorn while riding the rollingcoaster. Please keep up the good work! Just read Ashes and looking forward to Suicide run! Take care and keep happy! Don’t worry about the pace – you’re worth waiting for, like all good things, and it’s better to do it right than to do it fast – as perhaps Freddi would advise!

          1. Popcorn is light, fluffy, pleasant, and rather lacking in substance. Yeah, I’d say it’s…not necessarily pejorative, but perhaps slightly dismissive. Gah, now I have to think back to this one, cuz I just finished the final book (book 5 just came out a couple days ago). If it feels a little popcorn-like…lemme just say, it’s a setup. 🙂 Certain things that are going on, are much deeper than I believe are fully revealed.

            I’d call it contemporary fantasy. It’s not urban so much, as I take that as grittier. Yeah, it starts out with a strong street-level feel, but it transitions big time in the later books.

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