It’s by all means not a perfect or amazing series and I know I haven’t read a lot of urban fantasy for my opening statement to hold a lot of strength. However, the reason why I rarely read UF in the first place is that my experience with the genre—with the exception of Paternus by Dyrk Ashton—is more or less the same as my experience towards YA books: mediocre, disappointing, and 100% rate of overhyped. Heartstrikers, like Julius Heartstrikers, managed to do the unthinkable and grabbed my attention until the end of the series; I binge read this series in less than two weeks after all.
The blurb stated it already and I won’t be talking about anything other than this is where we finally get to see Bob’s grand plan revealed in full. Bob in this book be like
As far as conclusion goes, Heartstrikers landed its ending wonderfully and satisfyingly. Do know though that if you expect this to be action packed like the majority of the final installment in an high/epic fantasy, you’ll most likely be disappointed because this book is still full of talking. I have to admit that after the first 30% of the book, which was basically the characters standing around talking and planning, I’m starting to get impatient despite how much I enjoyed the prose and dialogues. It’s not only 30% but 75% of this book consisted of the characters simply standing around and talking. I know this has been the same since the third book of the series but I truly expected the pacing of the last book of this series to return to greatness like it did in the second book, which in my opinion is hands down the best installment within the series. This brought me to the minor issues I had for the book.
I won’t lie, I probably will stop myself from starting any five-book series in the future, the number five seems like a curse for me because every five-book fantasy series I’ve read have the same issue: it should’ve been four books and this series is no exception. A lot of info dump sections (more or less 200 pages) in the fourth book could’ve been replaced with contents from this book. Replacing the info dump in the fourth book (which believe me, I forgot all of them already even though I just read it three days ago) with the important part of this book would make Heartstrikers a super incredible series.
The final 25% was satisfying and worth the conclusion. A lot of positive messages can be gained from reading this book and the ending was satisfying. I’ve had the fortune of reading plenty of great indies (or originally indie) series such as Books of Babel by Josiah Bancroft, Arcane Ascension by Andrew Rowe, Paternus trilogy by Dyrk Ashton, The Lot Lands by Jonathan French, and Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan, and I strongly believe that despite its flaws, Heartstrikers belong in that list.
For those of you who are looking for an urban fantasy series with a unique take on dragons, superb characterizations, a simple prose that doesn’t get it in the way of the plot, but most of all fun, look no further because most likely you’ll have a blast with this series like I did. I highly recommend Heartstrikers and special thank you to my friend, TS, who recommended this series to me.
Nice Dragons Finish Last: 3.5/5 stars
One Good Dragon Deserves Another: 4.5/5 stars
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished: 4/5 stars
A Dragon of a Different Color: 4/5 stars
Last Dragon Standing: 4/5 stars
Heartstrikers: 20/25 stars