Audiobook Review: A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron
NOTE: This series was on my TBR for a while, at the recommendation of Linda and Melanie. This past year, I listened to the five-book series as a buddy read with Anne. The reviews were written at the time the book was read.
A Dragon of a Different Color is the fourth story following nice dragon Julian and his best friend mage Marcy. The story picks up after the explosive events in the previous book. Julius is overwhelmed with grief at the loss of Marcy. Meanwhile, Marcy is lost in her death, but reunited with her deceased father. The story primarily follows both characters in parallel storylines with Julius trying to keep his clan from surrendering to the Golden Emperor of China and Marcy trying to become the first Merlin.
Overall, A Dragon of a Different Color is another exciting story in the Heartstriker series. I love the mythology and world, along with the continued explanations of how magic works and what spirits are. I adore Marcy and Julian as a team. I absolutely love that Marcy and Julius continue to remain themselves through it all, and that her mortal spirit Ghost genuinely cares for Marcy.
While the story remains that of Julius and Marcy, this time around there is a lot of focus on the clan enforcer, Chelsea. I’ve adored her character since the start. She’s been under Bethesda’s thumb for 600 years, forced to do bloody work at Bethesda’s whims. References to her past and the love she had to sacrifice have been hinted at for a couple of books. We finally get the whole story, and it’s fabulous. Her journey to her HEA makes this story exceptionally wonderful.
With that said, the book was entirely too long. While I enjoyed the story, this was probably my least favorite book. The magical explanations are overly lengthy and too frequent. And it’s not just the explanations; it’s conversations between characters. There are debates that are redundant and repetitive. I loved that the characters have huge wins and the stage is set for the final end-all-be-all battle. But the journey doesn’t go from point A to point B, it goes from point A to Q to Y to D to T to LMNO to B.
Narration: I continue to be impressed by Vikas Adam’s performance. The story is shared via shifting third-person POVs, with the primary POV being Julius and Marcy. Vikas Adam uses a neutral male voice while narrating all POVs, altering dialogue based on gender, age, and species for each character, except Julius, who shares the same voice as the narrator. I can hear the subtle differences in all characters. I love some of the voices; standouts include Amelia and the Leviathan. Adam’s pleadings as Crow, Chelsea’s reunion, and DFZ’s rantings are all emotion-filled and well performed.
The ending of the book sets the stage for the final battle and the unveiling of Bob’s big plans. I can’t even begin to imagine how it will all work out!
About the Book:
To save his family from his tyrannical mother, Julius had to step on a lot of tails. That doesn’t win a Nice Dragon many friends, but just when he thinks he’s starting to make progress, a new threat arrives.
Turns out, things can get worse. Heartstriker hasn’t begun to pay for its secrets, and the dragons of China are here to collect. When the Golden Emperor demands his surrender, Julius will have to choose between loyalty to the sister who’s always watched over him and preserving the clan he gave everything to protect.
Author: Rachel Aaron
Narrator: Vikas Adam
Series: Heartstrikers #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Audiobook Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 21 hrs and 25 mins
Audio Speed: 1.5x