No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished is the third book in the Heartstrikers series. It’s another great installment and as far as the middle book of a series goes, this can be considered really great. The story picked up immediately after the end of the second book and the story deals heavily around the aftermath of the previous book.
This is a book that revolves heavily around politics and because of that, expect a LOT of talking. Although the book was another great read, I found the first half to be quite draggy and less engaging. To do a bit of comparison, I was engaged completely when I read the second book, I found myself always stealing time to read but unfortunately that’s not the case here; I can always put it down and read it whenever I want to.
The main reason behind this is because the main character, Julius, infuriated the crap out of me with his niceness that I need to take a break from reading once in a while before I accidentally break my kindle. Julius’s nice personality here has simply gone overboard and it makes me want to scratch my head off. I know this is important to the story and the future sequels, it’s all part of the plan and I know there’s a purpose behind all of these, but it still doesn’t change the fact that reading him behaving like Jesus or Gandhi reborn—forgiving mass murderer repeatedly—was not fun, AT ALL. The world is a harsh place and some people just don’t deserve forgiveness. This niceness logic just doesn’t work for terrorist and religious extremist, to name a few examples, I guess that’s also why this is a fantasy book because this kind of niceness would only backfire in real life. Call me pessimistic if you want, but there’s a limit to being nice and being TOO nice that you end up becoming the idiot who people used. This doesn’t mean that Julius’s character was bad, it was actually very consistent and well-written; it’s just infuriating seeing his damn too nice decision making. Out of every character, I also think Julius has the least character development in comparison to every other character, he’s just nice from the first book up to here.
“You sound like a comic-book villain,” she told him, locking the magic firmly back in place. “Haven’t you ever heard that with great power comes great responsibility?”
Luckily, Marci and her relationship with Ghost, plus literally all the other side characters completely saved the book for me. I can’t emphasize how great the characterizations for all these characters were, they have been the main stars of the series and at this rate, it seems like this tradition will continue all the way to the end of the series. World-building also received so much more information with the book diving deeper into the spirits, a bit information of Chinese Dragons, more knowledge on clutches and most of all, Chelsie’s past which I think will be explored more in detail in the next book. Unlike the previous book, this installment doesn’t have a lot of action sequences. However, the last 20% of the book was incredibly gripping that it made the struggle in the first half of the book worth it.
In terms of quality, there’s no doubt that I think the second book of the series was superior to this one, But don’t let it fool you into thinking that this is not a great book or series because it is, on both account. There are only two books left and Heartstrikers continue to catch my attention. I was going to take a one book break but nah… after that ending? Nope, I’ll binge read this to the end.