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They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great Dragon of Korea. That wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t such a jerk, or if every dragon on the planet wasn’t out to kill him, or if he was my only problem. Turns out, things can always get worse in the DFZ. When a rival spirit attacks my god/boss with the aim of turning the famously safety-optional city into a literal death arena with Nik as his bloody champion, I’m thrust onto the front lines and way out of my comfort zone. When gods fight, mortals don’t usually survive, but I’m not alone this time. Even proud old dragons can learn new tricks, and with everything I love falling to pieces, the father I’ve always run from might just be the only force in the universe stubborn enough to pull us back together.


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They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great They say family always sticks together, but when you’re your dad’s only lifeline and the whole world—humans, dragons, and gods—wants you dead, “family bonding” takes on a whole new meaning. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m in way over my head. I thought getting rid of my dad’s bad luck curse would put things back to normal. Instead, I’m stuck playing caretaker to the Great Dragon of Korea. That wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t such a jerk, or if every dragon on the planet wasn’t out to kill him, or if he was my only problem. Turns out, things can always get worse in the DFZ. When a rival spirit attacks my god/boss with the aim of turning the famously safety-optional city into a literal death arena with Nik as his bloody champion, I’m thrust onto the front lines and way out of my comfort zone. When gods fight, mortals don’t usually survive, but I’m not alone this time. Even proud old dragons can learn new tricks, and with everything I love falling to pieces, the father I’ve always run from might just be the only force in the universe stubborn enough to pull us back together.

30 review for Night Shift Dragons

  1. 4 out of 5

    TS Chan

    Night Shift Dragons delivered a spectacular and hugely emotionally satisfying conclusion to Rachel Aaron's follow-up urban fantasy series set in the insanely cool, quirky and vibrant free city of the DFZ.  I don't know how she keeps it up but Rachel Aaron has done it yet again. Ever since I've finished Heartstrikers and then the Eli Monpress series, she has become my go-to favourite author for the best comfort reads that could amaze me with its awesome worldbuilding, great and compelling charact Night Shift Dragons delivered a spectacular and hugely emotionally satisfying conclusion to Rachel Aaron's follow-up urban fantasy series set in the insanely cool, quirky and vibrant free city of the DFZ.  I don't know how she keeps it up but Rachel Aaron has done it yet again. Ever since I've finished Heartstrikers and then the Eli Monpress series, she has become my go-to favourite author for the best comfort reads that could amaze me with its awesome worldbuilding, great and compelling characters that just feel right somehow. The DFZ trilogy, and in particular this concluding book, was no exception. Unfortunately for this review to be meaningful, I would need to mention a few details from the previous books which could be minor spoilers. Admittedly, I caught a slight stumble in the prior sequel Part-Time Gods where I was quite annoyed at Opal Yong-Ae, our main protagonist, as she was increasingly backed into a corner with her bad luck curse (from her dad, of all people) and started being all kinds of crazy. However, the ending of that book pretty much redeemed the story as Opal finally confronted the Great Dragon of Korea, and an epic showdown of dragons and the city of DFZ ensued. The story picked up two months after the end of Part-Time Gods with Opal finally getting the training which was appropriate for her type of magical competency, while remaining in hiding with her father. While each book has its own plotline, the overarching conflict that underscores the trilogy was the dysfunctional relationship between Opal and her father, the Great Yong of Korea - surely nothing could be more so than a father cursing his own daughter. Herein lies the emotional core of this book which transcended the trilogy from really good to fantastic. I believed that I've mentioned this too many times to count. I need to have the feels in order to love a book. And Night Shift Dragons deliver it by truckloads with the resolution of this father-daughter relationship. A resolution that was paced and played out beautifully throughout the narrative as the primary conflict of this finale's plotline began to surface. The story of Opal and Yong was totally worthy of the K-drama vibes of the book's cover. I was initially hoping that I would like Yong as he obviously wasn't painted in a favourable light from Opal's POV. As it turned out, I absolutely loved his characterisation. I certainly did not expect Yong to singularly bring out the most reaction out of me, and in a great way. Aaron has such an uncanny ability of writing characters that just feels so right and natural to what they are supposed to be. Even the other supporting characters are all equally excellently written and delightful to read. To cap it all off, there were also the much-awaited cameo appearances of beloved characters from the Heartstrikers series which came in at the most appropriate times, instead of feeling shoehorned for the the sake of fan service. This book made me teary-eyed, it made me laugh and it also made me fist-pump with a silly grin on my face as the story came to its resounding climax. Speaking of climax, another thing I've come to expect from Aaron is spectacular action scenes and she didn't disappoint. The climactic scene was all kinds of fantastic as dragon and spirit magic all come together in a truly exhilarating and cinematic action sequence. Even right in the smack of all the action, Aaron managed to sneak in some emotional resonance that made these moments soar to greater heights. Rachel Aaron continues to meet and even surpass my expectations with every new book or series that she embarked in. Night Shift Dragons knocked it out of the park with a beautifully crafted resolution to the core emotional conflict of the DFZ trilogy, and wrapped it up with a spectacular climax that showcases her worldbuilding magic at its finest. You can purchase a copy of the book from  Amazon US | Amazon UK You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maja Ingrid

    This is the concluding part in Rachel Aaron’s new DFZ trilogy, sequel to one of my favourite series Heartstrikers. Do you need to read Hearstrikers first? No. Should you read it first? IMO, definitely: it makes all the cameos and references to Heartstrikers all the more fun, but you can totally read Heartstrikers after this one. In Heartstrikers, you come for the Nice Dragon™ and stay for all the amazing dragon drama. I’m not kidding, it’s amazing and hilarious. (thousands of years old dragon ca This is the concluding part in Rachel Aaron’s new DFZ trilogy, sequel to one of my favourite series Heartstrikers. Do you need to read Hearstrikers first? No. Should you read it first? IMO, definitely: it makes all the cameos and references to Heartstrikers all the more fun, but you can totally read Heartstrikers after this one. In Heartstrikers, you come for the Nice Dragon™ and stay for all the amazing dragon drama. I’m not kidding, it’s amazing and hilarious. (thousands of years old dragon can be very petty, lol.) In this series, which is set about 20 years after the ending of Heartstrikers series, we meet Opal, a young woman who sought independency and freedom in the City of New Detroit (aka Detroit Free Zone: DFZ) to get away from her Dragon father. In an attempt to bring her back to Korea he put a curse on her that gives her bad luck (mostly concerning money). The previous instalment dealt a little with Opal searching for ways to break his curse, and when she does, it fires terribly. This book deals a little with those consequences. I loved the scenes where Opal and her father were brought closer to each other. Of course there are more than just breaking a curse your dad put on you. DFZ is full of dangerous adventures. This trilogy gives you a little bit of gods (we stan drunken spirit of dragons), a little bit of spirits and a little bit of dragons and the gist that comes with. PERSONALLY I wanted more dragons, but you can NEVER have too much dragons (view spoiler)[in all honesty I more specifically wanted more Julius even though my heart would implode but most Heartstrikers would be welcome (hide spoiler)] It’s also a futuristic urban fantasy, so it got lots of high tech along with different magics. And honestly I think it worked great. I’m not a sci-fi person at all so futuristic and tech stuff should have been a bother for me but it wasn’t. I actually adore the sci-fi elements that Rachel added into this trilogy and the Heartstrikers, though we get even more of it in this trilogy, since Opal is so intermingled with it. I was honestly bit surprised by one outcome in the ending. (view spoiler)[After all they’ve been through I had thought Yong would agree to sign Julius’s peace treaty, so Yong being all “fuck that” and Julius replying with “Well then fuck out of my city” was bit unexpected. I was also VERY busy squealing over tiny kitten Julius being furious and frustrated at 2000years older Yong. I’m not used to precious tiny kitten being so authorative but I like it, bUT WHRES’S MARCI I NEED MY GIRL. Also Justin was there to protecc his tiny kitten brother if Yong so much as touch a hair on Julius person(and also drag Julius through the dirt bc he’s too much Nice Dragon™) I might have dissolved into air alSO AMELIAS CAMEO WAS GOLD DEFINITELY A FAVE SCENE FROM THE WHOLE TRILOGY (hide spoiler)] . Though I shouldn’t be surprised considering Yong is Yong and will forever be Yong. (view spoiler)[and since Julius istoo lenient, as Justin so nicely put it, if Yong signed the peace treaty, he could likely forgive Yong for the havoc he ran in Rentfree (hide spoiler)] Both this trilogy and the Heartstrikers keep a generally light tone and both are so fun to read, which I totally recommend if you want something light in these dark times. Opal is super fun to follow and her mental health AI Sybil is a gem (a mental health AI that at times seemed to need her own mental health AI LMAO). Opal’s father is your typical old proud dragon and Nik at lot of times is your dark broody man, but he got his moments too. And the God DFZ is such a lovable little butterfly (which is weird statement of a God embodiment of freedom and a city) but she’s so precious in a childlike way. Just read the books, guys. Also: take a shot every time I mention “Heartstrikers”. Spirit of Dragons would totally approve.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mihir

    Overall rating = 4.5 stars Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Night Shift Dragons brings to an end the DFZ trilogy and it’s a book that I was highly anticipating after the emotional rollercoaster ending of Part-Time Gods. For the sake of this review, I will talk about certain events from the preceding two titles and it might be considered spoilerific by some so be warned. Over the past two books, we have come to know Opal Yong-Ae really well. She’s the daughter of the gre Overall rating = 4.5 stars Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Night Shift Dragons brings to an end the DFZ trilogy and it’s a book that I was highly anticipating after the emotional rollercoaster ending of Part-Time Gods. For the sake of this review, I will talk about certain events from the preceding two titles and it might be considered spoilerific by some so be warned. Over the past two books, we have come to know Opal Yong-Ae really well. She’s the daughter of the great Dragon of Korea and the opal of his eye. She however doesn’t seem to think of it in those sweet terms. When we first met Opal, she was a cleaner and a mage who’s down on her luck. She however is a fighter and knows that the DFZ is her last option. Opal met Nik and soon discovered why she was plagued by bad luck. Things take some exciting turns and we find out what’s the root cause of Opal’s bad luck. The start of this book is set a couple of months from the ending of Part-Time Gods and we learn what Opal has been upto and how Yong is recuperating as well. Things aren’t exactly normal and with this being the DFZ, things are beyond the normal. Opal is slowly and surely learning to become a priest while also re-learning how to operate and control her magic. That’s the easy stuff, the tougher part is for her to understand why her father behaved the way he did. The great dragon of Korea hasn’t fared well after the climatic events and he finds himself in a whole new way. Both Opal and Yong will have to learn to reconcile their differences and figure out a way to come back alive as danger circles them and their homeland of Korea. This trilogy ending was a spectacular read for me as it brought to the fore the emotional crux of this series. The bond between a father and his daughter as they refuse to see eye to eye. This was excellently laid out by the author as we learn about the authoritative dragon father and his equally strong willed and obstinate human daughter who yearns for freedom in the most basic sense. Both Opal and Yong are fascinating & deeply flawed characters, however their charisma is such that we the readers can’t help but look closely at their dysfunctional selves. Clearly Opal is the protagonist of the series and throughout the trilogy she matures massively. Yong is the Korean dragonlord who perhaps has never been challenged by any human as Opal does. He’s also quite different than many dragons as he respects and adores the human race. However his iron will and his intent to control all of his surroundings are suffocative to say the least. I enjoyed how the author peeled back layers about both of them throughout the trilogy and it’s in this book, we get the massively emotional payout. This has been the core conflict of the series and the author gives us a delightfully strong resolution to this issue. Nik is another character whom we have been left in the dark and in this volume, we learn why he acts the way he does. His relationship with Opal is a cute and funny one but it’s in this book we get to see what love truly means to both of them. After a weird character turn in Part-Time Gods, we see them acting a lot more fluidly and as normal couples would. Lastly rounding up the character cast is Opal’s AI, the DFZ & her mortal shell. All of whom are delightful and writing such characters has been Rachel’s forte. It’s very much evident how good she is at giving us readers so many wonderful characters to root for and chuckle along with. There’s some wonderful action sequences within the story and none better than the ending climax wherein human, dragon & spirit magic combine to showcase something spectacular. I liked how the action and emotional quotients complimented each other beautifully instead of competing within themselves. Another funny aspect is that each of the three books offered a look at different aspects of the DFZ world and gave us different villains to root against. In this book, we find out about the main reason why Nik is so secretive about his past as well as meet one of the most terrifying aspects about the DFZ’s negligent attitudes towards those who live within her realm. I enjoyed how the author had a wonderful call back to the Heartstrikers series with regards to creation of spirits/forgotten gods as well a very harsh but effective look against rampant no-holds-barred capitalism. I enjoyed this aspect of the story as we learn how things have been shaped after the events of the Heartstrikers series and this rarely gets addressed. The worldbuilding in this book takes a bit of a backseat unlike the first book (Minimum Wage Magic) wherein we got to the cool subterranean world below & within the DFZ. In this book however there’s a strong light shone upon the magic system focusing on human mages, preiesthood and more. I enjoyed this aspect of the storyline and the DFZ world is such a rich one that I’m sure we might see more unexplored aspects in the future. Lastly this is a personal gripe but the author has been very careful to not let this series get overridden by the Heartstriker characters and while I understand her reasoning to the hilt. I’m always on the lookout for callbacks, references and cameos to the previous series. We do get a few well-timed cameos from some of our favourites but the fan in me always wanted more. This book ended on a strong and emotionally stable note and while we got a terrific trilogy. I’m sure the fans will be wanting more stories set within this world and maybe even a return to the beloved characters. However I trust the author to bide her time and give us a story that’s worthy of her return to this world. Rather than making it a cash-grab. CONCLUSION: Night Shift Dragons is an action-packed bonanza of a book, it has action, emotional resolutions and a dragontastic climax which is unbelievably cool to read. It offers closure on all the plot threads introduced within the trilogy and yet leaves me wanting more set in the world of the DFZ. Kudos once again to Rachel Aaron for stringing my heart and my mind along superbly and closing out another fantastic series. She’s in a league by herself in this regard and I hope she continues to thrill us for many, many more decades.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    [4.5/5 stars] I’ve read almost everything Rachel Aaron/Bach has published and she’s easily one of my favorite authors. Even so, this little Heartstrikers spinoff series takes the cake as one of the best I’ve read from her. Some of her series have these amazing 5-star moments but don’t sustain the same consistency of momentum. She’s an exceptional writer who even has a book on how to write 10000 words a day, but sometimes that significant word count comes at the cost of conciseness and efficiency. [4.5/5 stars] I’ve read almost everything Rachel Aaron/Bach has published and she’s easily one of my favorite authors. Even so, this little Heartstrikers spinoff series takes the cake as one of the best I’ve read from her. Some of her series have these amazing 5-star moments but don’t sustain the same consistency of momentum. She’s an exceptional writer who even has a book on how to write 10000 words a day, but sometimes that significant word count comes at the cost of conciseness and efficiency. The final two Heartstriker books, for example, I think could’ve comfortable been edited down to a single, amazing novel. As it was, the drawn out plot and endless discussions about the plot had me questioning whether I’d still enjoy her as a self-published author as much as I did when she went the trad route. Well, this trilogy alleviated all of those concerns. The DFZ trilogy is the most consistently good from start to finish she’s written to date. And also one of the most fun, which is saying something considering how awesome her story ideas always are. I most appreciated the character growth, specifically between the main character and her familial relations. The dynamic was relatable and downright hysterical at times and I thought the growth felt more organic than not. I also loved getting more immersed in the DFZ (basically a living city) and learning more about how it has evolved. The main conflict for this book was completely satisfying and even involved an element of competition. Recommendations: while I think this trilogy might be fun on its own, you’d miss a lot of nuance about the city and the dragon society if you didn’t read Heartstrikers first. Not to mention that reading these first would spoil the entire Heartstrikers series. So proceed at your own discretion. These are an absolute delight and a really cool mix of urban fantasy setting & writing style, fantasy concepts and creatures, and YA-reminiscent characters (without all the annoying tropes). Highly recommend! Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com Other books you might like:

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenia

    I love this world so much, it's just tons and tons of fun! I guess I wish there was a little more of an arc to the adventures. It feels more like three stand alone problems, and I prefer either like 10 books of standalone problems (like Rivers of London) or a tighter overall plot (like Heartstrikers). The problem introduced and resolved here could have totally been a whole trilogy by itself and I'd have eaten it up. But it IS a very satisfying three book emotional arc for Opal, so there's that : I love this world so much, it's just tons and tons of fun! I guess I wish there was a little more of an arc to the adventures. It feels more like three stand alone problems, and I prefer either like 10 books of standalone problems (like Rivers of London) or a tighter overall plot (like Heartstrikers). The problem introduced and resolved here could have totally been a whole trilogy by itself and I'd have eaten it up. But it IS a very satisfying three book emotional arc for Opal, so there's that :) Can't wait for Aaron to write more in this setting. And kinda wanna reread the whole Heartstrikers series AGAIN now lol... I totally get why the Heartstrikers characters are just little cameos in this series, but I miss them terribly anyway hahaha

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Night Shift Dragons is the final book of the DFZ series. Opal has some daddy issues. Sure, she has the normal ones, rebellion against a controlling parent and the need to get out from under their thumb. Then she has the not so normal ones like; being the only human daughter to a dragon and a bad luck curse her father put on her so she would fail and have to come home. And you thought you had issues with your parents, bet they never cursed yo This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Night Shift Dragons is the final book of the DFZ series. Opal has some daddy issues. Sure, she has the normal ones, rebellion against a controlling parent and the need to get out from under their thumb. Then she has the not so normal ones like; being the only human daughter to a dragon and a bad luck curse her father put on her so she would fail and have to come home. And you thought you had issues with your parents, bet they never cursed you. Now Opal is stuck with her father after the curse had some unusual side effects. When everything went wrong, he ended up in a coma and now she is his only magical lifeline to this world. I guess with all this family time, being magically attached at the hip, maybe they will be able to work through their issues. Nik, the almost boyfriend, has no idea where Opal has gone and it has been months. Desperate to find her he makes a bargain that puts him in incredible danger. He has a death sentence hanging over his head unless he can find a way finagle the magical promise he made. But he and Opal have been up against worse odds, haven’t they? I struggled a bit with Part-Time Gods, the second book of this series because Opal was so focused on thwarting her father’s curse that she lost sight of everything else, even Nik, the most patient partner in the land. But the Opal I loved from Minimum Wage Magic is back with her super cute can-do attitude and ingenuity. She is going to find a way to get out of this mess she has gotten herself into and heck she might as well help Nik with his huge problem too while she is at it. There are some great cameos by a few of the characters from the Heartstriker series. Amelia being my favorite and I definitely liked seeing how you get the Spirit of Dragons to appear. The DFZ is also an interesting character, as the spirit of the city she is both the best and the worst of what people are in her city and I liked how unusual that made her. The romance between Opal and Nik is also one I really like. Each person is their own individual but they are also a team and try to help each other out. Nik made some poor choices when Opal disappeared. I loved that he owned them completely never blaming her at all. They’ve both made mistakes in the past but it was great to get them back on target and deal with the family drama that haunted Part-Time Gods. The culmination and big showdown at the end are well worth the wait and I enjoyed every twisty moment in it, even if my stomach didn’t. This is the end of this series that is an exercise in what if Storage Wars was mashed up with a world where ‘gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own’. I really like the world this is set in and all the potential of it for so many different kinds of stories. I’m sincerely hoping that Rachel Arron finds other compelling stories to tell in this world. Narration: Emily Woo Zeller is a good fit for the voice of Opal. She did another good performance of the narration overall. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed. https://soundcloud.com/audiolibrary-a...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Best one yet! I prefer this to the Heartstriker series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    L.L.

    Another fantastic read from Rachel Aaron! Night Shift Dragons is the third book in the DFZ trilogy. It’s definitely the shortest and fastest, charging at breakneck speed to its spectacular conclusion. For me, it was the weakest of the three story-wise, but that is by no means a bad thing. This book (and this series) is absolutely superb! In the third installment, Opal is able to put a lot of things to rights - many of which were her own fault from the previous books, and some are new threats that Another fantastic read from Rachel Aaron! Night Shift Dragons is the third book in the DFZ trilogy. It’s definitely the shortest and fastest, charging at breakneck speed to its spectacular conclusion. For me, it was the weakest of the three story-wise, but that is by no means a bad thing. This book (and this series) is absolutely superb! In the third installment, Opal is able to put a lot of things to rights - many of which were her own fault from the previous books, and some are new threats that are more situational. Seeing this conclusion play out is very and results in an ending that is wonderfully satisfying. Many plot threads are tied up, questions are answered, and character arcs are completed. There aren’t as many twists and low points in the plot as previously, but the story doesn’t suffer for it. This book is definitely Opal’s redemption. She is fab in the first book, but endures many mis-steps in the second (which resulted in me screaming at her!), but this book gives her room to figure things out, make good choices (still crazy choices, of course), and resolve many of the dramatic character conflicts (some of which she created through her own stubbornness). The action sequences are flawless, with the perfect amount of tension, suspense, pacing, and detail. It’s an incredibly subtle but emotional book, and by the end of it, my eyes were definitely welling up! Opal is a fantastic character supported by a wonderful cast. There are so many strong characters that I even care for security guards who only have 30 seconds of page time! The characters are definitely one of this world’s biggest strengths, and I love how every book in this adds to the world building, too. Overall, this series is a LOT of fun. It’s a little more grown up than the Heartstrikers series, and looks at the world of the DFZ through a new lens. Expertly narrated as always by Emily Woo Zeller, who brings an already bustling book to life in an epic way. And there were a couple of brilliant cameos at the end, of course! Another thoroughly enjoyable listen! I highly rate the audio version of these books - brilliantly immersive! I really do hope there are more books in this fantastic urban fantasy world! I cannot get enough of these dragons, gods, mages, and magic!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Narilka

    Night Shift Dragons is the final book in the DFZ trilogy by Rachel Aaron. The story picks up two months after where the previous book leaves off and we finally find out what happened to Opal and Yong. Winning her freedom from her dad's bad luck curse, Opal figured life could finally return to normal again. Instead Opal finds herself fretting over her dad's recovery and wondering what kind of trouble Nik has gotten himself into now. When you live in the DFZ, things can always get worse. The focus Night Shift Dragons is the final book in the DFZ trilogy by Rachel Aaron. The story picks up two months after where the previous book leaves off and we finally find out what happened to Opal and Yong. Winning her freedom from her dad's bad luck curse, Opal figured life could finally return to normal again. Instead Opal finds herself fretting over her dad's recovery and wondering what kind of trouble Nik has gotten himself into now. When you live in the DFZ, things can always get worse. The focus on this one is definitely family and the father/daughter relationship between Yong and Opal. I absolutely loved every moment of it. Yong is just the arrogant dragon you expect him to be and yet they have so many touching moments. They obviously care for each other a lot. It lends a heavier emotional impact to the book than the two previous. I so wanted to join them on their family treasure hunt! Things turn tricky once Nik shows up as he's gotten himself into a hell of a lot of trouble while he was searching for Opal. Good thing they have a scheming dragon on their side to help come up with a way out of Nik's problem. There are some great twists and turns. I did not see the reveal about the Gameskeeper coming even though I probably should have. It made so much sense! All the little cameos from Heartstrikers are highly enjoyable, especially seeing the Spirit of Dragons again. Amelia cracks me up. The grand finale is spectacular, if a little on the easy side, and provides a nice ending to the series. I enjoyed my time getting to know Opal, Nik and the Great Yong. I'm very curious what else the author has in store for this world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    I really like her dad, and I mean he is such an asshole! But then the truth is he is a dragon, a real dragon. Not like Julius, whom I loved, but no, Yong of Korea is a proud dragon. And dragons are might fickle, old beings. This is book 3, a lot has happened. Like how her dad is in a coma since he used all his power on her bad luck curse. Opal has also become a priestess of the DFC. She has not talked to anyone in 2 months. And she has no idea what to do next. But something is stirring in the DFC, I really like her dad, and I mean he is such an asshole! But then the truth is he is a dragon, a real dragon. Not like Julius, whom I loved, but no, Yong of Korea is a proud dragon. And dragons are might fickle, old beings. This is book 3, a lot has happened. Like how her dad is in a coma since he used all his power on her bad luck curse. Opal has also become a priestess of the DFC. She has not talked to anyone in 2 months. And she has no idea what to do next. But something is stirring in the DFC, something the city itself can not see. Korea needs its dragon back, what will she do about her dad? Other dragons will find out and come for her. And then there is Nick. Action, fun and just, well I really love this world. So what did I do the minute I finished this? To see if there would be more! And she is writing about someone new, and I want to know what this new series will be about! Gimme! Also, more dragons please, I love them. Narration Emily is great for this series, and her Yong, oh he is so proud and haughty. Just perfect. And her DFC! Well, yes I like how she narrates everyone so that they will stand out. And as always, definitely listen. I do love listening.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    The final volume of the DFZ series covers the most interesting relationship in the series in detail, not that of Opal Yong-ae and her love interest Nik, but that of Opal and her father, the Great Dragon of Korea, Yong. Opal's actions during the previous book have left her father nearly dead from overpowering the curse that he was powering from his own life force, and incidentally making enemies out of most of the dragons of the world. But his powerlessness and dependence on his daughter make for The final volume of the DFZ series covers the most interesting relationship in the series in detail, not that of Opal Yong-ae and her love interest Nik, but that of Opal and her father, the Great Dragon of Korea, Yong. Opal's actions during the previous book have left her father nearly dead from overpowering the curse that he was powering from his own life force, and incidentally making enemies out of most of the dragons of the world. But his powerlessness and dependence on his daughter make for an interesting re-framing of their relationship. Opal's new job with the mortal spirit of the DMZ provides an opportunity for the two to get to know each other and see each other's perspective ... right up until it endangers both their lives in a fight between the DMZ and a huge threat to her territory. Again we get some great cameos from players in the first series, but the real stars of the action are Opal and Yong. Nik provides some interest, but the relationship he has with Opal is pretty solid despite the hiccup at the end of the previous book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I'm glad I finished this series, but I have to admit that this was my least favourite of them all. While the storytelling was engaging as always and the world of DFZ was interesting and fresh, I needed more Opal and Nik. They hardly had any page time at all. Overall, the resolution of all the different plots and subplots in this series felt satisfying. Every conflict: the one between Opal and her parents, Opal and Nik, the DFZ and the baddie of this story, reached a nice conclusion. My only grip I'm glad I finished this series, but I have to admit that this was my least favourite of them all. While the storytelling was engaging as always and the world of DFZ was interesting and fresh, I needed more Opal and Nik. They hardly had any page time at all. Overall, the resolution of all the different plots and subplots in this series felt satisfying. Every conflict: the one between Opal and her parents, Opal and Nik, the DFZ and the baddie of this story, reached a nice conclusion. My only gripe: I needed more Nik in the story and he just wasn't there. I would've even taken an epilogue. All told, I still look forward to whatever this author has to share with us. Thanks, Rachel Aaron, for another fun ride. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Campbell

    A great ending to a very fun little trilogy. It's a cool world the author has created, and I'm definitely interested in reading more of the books set in it. The world building is done right which is something that's unfortunately a bit rare in the Urban Fantasy genre. Besides the world building, the characters are the best part. Their interactions, personalities, and relationships are all very well done and develop naturally. I didn't even mind the sickeningly sweet romance, because it felt real A great ending to a very fun little trilogy. It's a cool world the author has created, and I'm definitely interested in reading more of the books set in it. The world building is done right which is something that's unfortunately a bit rare in the Urban Fantasy genre. Besides the world building, the characters are the best part. Their interactions, personalities, and relationships are all very well done and develop naturally. I didn't even mind the sickeningly sweet romance, because it felt real and wasn't just angst coupled with lust flying all over the place to land the pair in the bedroom. The relationship development between Opal and her father was definitely the best part of this installment and probably the series. They've all had fast moving plots and well done dialogue, but I think the concept of the arena and the antagonist in this one was probably the most interesting. Yeah, there are some plot holes here and there, but even that feels right. It's not a series that gets tied down with all the little details but entertains, and it was a wonderfully enjoyable read, from start to finish!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    This is a 4+ read, containing all the feelz, and I would have rounded up to five if it weren't for a couple of credibility issues in the story here and there. But it's about dragons and magic and gods so how believable does it have to be? Just enough to enable suspension of disbelief. Anything that pulls me out of immersion is of note. This is a 4+ read, containing all the feelz, and I would have rounded up to five if it weren't for a couple of credibility issues in the story here and there. But it's about dragons and magic and gods so how believable does it have to be? Just enough to enable suspension of disbelief. Anything that pulls me out of immersion is of note.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    And now all I want is to go treasure hunting with Nik and Opal in the DFZ... but this is the last book in Opal's series which is incredibly sad (though the story had a definite ending and I don't know how she could've continued it, I still wanted more). If you enjoyed the other books in this series there's a pretty good chance you'll enjoy this one too. This is my favorite series from Rachel Aaron so far, even liked it better than her Heartstrikers books and I loved those too. And now all I want is to go treasure hunting with Nik and Opal in the DFZ... but this is the last book in Opal's series which is incredibly sad (though the story had a definite ending and I don't know how she could've continued it, I still wanted more). If you enjoyed the other books in this series there's a pretty good chance you'll enjoy this one too. This is my favorite series from Rachel Aaron so far, even liked it better than her Heartstrikers books and I loved those too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    wishforagiraffe

    Complicated feelings on this. More to come.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lila

    Yong! He looks like he disapproves just about... everything. :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    LexiLikesLiterature

    By Rachel Aaron Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller Love, anger, pride, and acceptance. It's all rolled up into one book. Night Shift Dragons is the third installment of the DFZ trilogy. Our main character, Opal, is finally forced to make a real attempt at working on her relationships; like her new relationship with the DFZ, her shaky relationship with Nick , and the dreadful scraps of a father-daughter relationship. Rachel Aaron does an EXCELLENT job with pacing the events in this book. Everything gets By Rachel Aaron Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller Love, anger, pride, and acceptance. It's all rolled up into one book. Night Shift Dragons is the third installment of the DFZ trilogy. Our main character, Opal, is finally forced to make a real attempt at working on her relationships; like her new relationship with the DFZ, her shaky relationship with Nick , and the dreadful scraps of a father-daughter relationship. Rachel Aaron does an EXCELLENT job with pacing the events in this book. Everything gets just enough page time. Issues aren't resolved in the snap of a finger, but also arent dragged out so that you stop caring. A perfect pace. The dialogue between Opal and her father is just what I imagine a younger me would have had with my father in this situation. There is a chapter in the book where I thought I knew what was coming. Because of that, I put the book down so I wouldnt get depressed about some sad ass scene. It turns out that I need to shut the hell up and just read the book 🤣 it went nothing like I assumed. Every character changes by the end. Every character learns something about themselves and the others they are involved with in the series. Character Development and a good story arc. You can check that off the list. Listen up folks. This is how you write a final fight scene. How many books build up and then leave you hanging. Though this isnt an action book, the final conflict is perfect for the tone of the story and characters traits. Gosh I love when writers give their all... these rare results are the reason I keep pushing through books until I find a gem. I did have a few questions: What happened to the sister? Should have had an epilogue about her. Did she still get what she wanted in the end? ... and why didnt Bob see any of this? Or did he??? That sneaky dragon 🤣 The narration by Emily Woo Zeller was perfect. 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A-freakin-mazing Story! I laughed, I cried, I loved someone, I hated someone. I debate with myself how happy or sad this author has made me. I will talk to my boyfriend about what happened to the characters as if they are real people (and he will pretend to listen). The story telling is great and this book is one I'll return to in my time of need for something good to read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David H.

    I really loved the way that the author handled Opal and Yong's relationship, finally resolving some issues. It was also fun seeing her have a handle on her magic for once. A few things did seem a bit too pat, but like with most of Aaron's work, it's fun to go along for the ride. Even though this is the last book with Opal, we are promised more books in the DFZ at some point, so I'm looking forward to that or whatever Aaron's next project is. I really loved the way that the author handled Opal and Yong's relationship, finally resolving some issues. It was also fun seeing her have a handle on her magic for once. A few things did seem a bit too pat, but like with most of Aaron's work, it's fun to go along for the ride. Even though this is the last book with Opal, we are promised more books in the DFZ at some point, so I'm looking forward to that or whatever Aaron's next project is.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ye-Won

    i'm both completely bereft and so, so, so satisfied with the ending of this spectacular trilogy. bereft because opal is one of my FAVORITE protagonists of all time (actually make her THE favorite because she easily bumps harry, anne shirley, sabriel, and all my other cherished main characters down the list a couple of places) and I'll be so sad not to get to read about her anymore but also satisfied because this was such a good ending -- both in an entertaining and narrative kind of way -- that i'm both completely bereft and so, so, so satisfied with the ending of this spectacular trilogy. bereft because opal is one of my FAVORITE protagonists of all time (actually make her THE favorite because she easily bumps harry, anne shirley, sabriel, and all my other cherished main characters down the list a couple of places) and I'll be so sad not to get to read about her anymore but also satisfied because this was such a good ending -- both in an entertaining and narrative kind of way -- that I can't see anything further that needs to be addressed or brushed up on. i'm so giddy right now. i loved the reconciliation, i loved the theme of family, i love yong and opal and nik and the dfz and everyone in this book (except kauffman and the gameskeeper whose fates i'm snickering about even now) and i do love the greater message that Rachel Aaron imparts. it never feels heavy-handed or preachy because the reader gets to experience it through Opal's POV and feelings first and foremost, and it's hard not to be absorbed into the emotional implications when we know and completely understand her feelings. how is it that rachel aaron can write such compelling protagonists and characters? not to mention the world-building? incredible. world-class. i'm gushing because i was rightly spellbound by this book, and god knows i could go at this all day. but since this is a review to try and convince people to give the DFZ series a try -- please, please do. You don't need to have read Heartstrikers to enjoy DFZ (i only had read the first book before I started this series). DFZ stands on its own with great magic and world-building mechanics that actually manages to make its urban setting compelling where so many other books fail. the fantasy aspect is great -- the action is too. the pacing of this series is perfect and it never feels like a slog to get through. there's no one beating you over the head with foreshadowing or weird meandering side plots. it's a zippy, entertaining ride from point A to point B to point C but you'll never really realize how soon you are to the end until you finally finish the book. also, because I have to mention this because it's very important to me: the diversity rep in this book? excellent. if only so many authors paid attention to how Rachel Aaron writes Opal then I'd have so much more fun reading books without having to suspect them of just writing these characters for woke points. Opal is a real person. She's not a weird mishmash of Western standards or perceptions of Eastern/Korean cultures -- in no way does she feel like a white spokeperson's megaphone on how "submission is bad!!!" "familial piety is gross and doesn't hold with the ~new world~". Instead, she tackles the relationship between a stubborn daughter and an overprotective father, accounts for its cultural background without the "eastern parenting culture is bad bad bad" and LETS Opal and Yong BREATH as real people -- and not Asian stereotypes. And at the end of the day, that's all I and so many PoC readers really want from our books. To not only be seen as people, but to get to read about people who look and think like us run around with dragons and magic and indulge in a fantasy adventure so many white readers have gotten to do over the centuries. It might sound like a bit much to pin all of this on one series, but that just goes to show how incredibly well-written and entertaining and MEANINGFUL this book is to me. this whole series in fact. i can only hope that, even if this doesn't have the exact same weight to you as it does to me, you can at least be thoroughly entertained and enjoy this book for all of its other wonders.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Yes! Enjoyed this book much more than the second. Everything came to get nicely, great fights, love the father/daughter dynamic and thoroughly enjoyed the bad guy getting what they deserved! Definitely recommend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal D

    I loved this book so much. It's a great end to the series that ties up all the plot points perfectly. The overarching plot is fine, nothing special there but there are really good twists in the climax, and great action in the last four chapters. What this series has always shined with though, is Opal and her relationships with the people around her. And I have to say, this third book is such a fantastic culmination of her story arc throughout all 3 books - her problems with her Dad, her magical I loved this book so much. It's a great end to the series that ties up all the plot points perfectly. The overarching plot is fine, nothing special there but there are really good twists in the climax, and great action in the last four chapters. What this series has always shined with though, is Opal and her relationships with the people around her. And I have to say, this third book is such a fantastic culmination of her story arc throughout all 3 books - her problems with her Dad, her magical issues, her flaws and lack of communication and not realizing where people were coming from, all were addressed in this book and it made her actions in the previous 2 totally make sense, when at times she got a little annoying. Huge themes of communicating, and understanding where your family members are coming from are so fantastic in this, and I adore Young and Opal's relationship. Book 2 was Opal and Nick's relationship, but this one was all about Young and Opal and it was the book I was waiting for. From the end of book 1, I always liked Young and knew that he loved Opal, but he didn't realize what he was doing was hurting her and he needed to listen to her. So this 3rd book, when they both decided to listen to one another, and rebuild their relationship was so fantastic and I couldn't get enough of their tender, sweet one on one moments. Their action scenes were epic also, and the ultimate culmination of their bond was the perfect cherry on this books end. The DFZ is a fantastic character, the cameos we got from Heartstrikers were great (I feel Juilius was a bit OOC, but also made sense since we haven't seen him mature in the years since the Heartstrikers series) but the supporting cast in this was great, and I loved seeing the DFZ and Opal interact with each other. The growth involved with all characters was fantastic, and the ending felt like more of a beginning for the characters than an end. I really loved the hopeful, open ended finale, and I hope we get some short stories of Nick, Opal, Young and the gang later down the road. I read the audio book, and the narrator does such a good job of bringing the characters to life. Opal and the DFZ, and Young especially were my favorite performances, she just nailed all of their emotional beats perfectly and I'd totally read a book narrated by her again. I just can't get enough of this universe, and this series I liked even more than Heartstrikers. I prefer character driven stories, so the grounded nature of this with Opal and her family issues, along with the side plots with the DFZ were so great and I hope we see more of her and the rest of her supporting cast in other stories. Highly, highly recommend this series!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karissa

    Series Info/Source: This is the third and final book in the DFZ series. I borrowed this book for Kindle through Kindle Unlimited. This series is a spin-off series from the Heartstrikers series and takes place ~20 years after that series. Story (4/5): In this volume Opal is trying to help her father get back to his “normal dragon self” while also growing her own Shaman powers. When Nik tracks her down, Opal finds that Nik made some hard choices to find her and is back fighting in the arena in the Series Info/Source: This is the third and final book in the DFZ series. I borrowed this book for Kindle through Kindle Unlimited. This series is a spin-off series from the Heartstrikers series and takes place ~20 years after that series. Story (4/5): In this volume Opal is trying to help her father get back to his “normal dragon self” while also growing her own Shaman powers. When Nik tracks her down, Opal finds that Nik made some hard choices to find her and is back fighting in the arena in the Rentfree zone again. Opal goes to watch him and finds that big things are happening in Rentfree and there may be another god rising in Rentfree that is a major threat to the DFZ herself. The story was fast-paced and engaging. Things were tied up nicely for this series and overall I enjoyed it. Characters (4/5): Opal does grow and mature quite a bit through-out the series. I really enjoyed the relationship she and Nik developed (although Nik was missing from the first part of this book). Watching Opal interact with her father was incredibly fun and endearing. I also enjoyed the addition of another Mortal God to the mix. I also enjoyed watching the DFZ grow as a city god and liked getting insight to the struggles of this city/mortal god. Setting (5/5): I, of course, love the DFZ and enjoy any story set there. This book had us spending a lot more time in the Rentfree area of the DFZ which is a fascinating area. We also spend quite a bit of time in a limbo area of the DFZ that Opal gets access to. It was all very well done and I enjoyed it. Writing Style (4/5): This book is well written and easy to read. I really enjoyed the world a lot. The characters are well done, even if Opal wasn’t a favorite of mine, I do like the characters surrounding her. The style is very urban fantasy in feel and I don’t have any complaints about it. My Summary (4/5): Overall this book tied up the series nicely. Everything is well done and I continue to love the DFZ setting. The book moves at a good pace and has some interesting additions to the DFZ. The main character in this series wasn’t my favorite, Opal is immature and selfish at times, but the surrounding characters were well done. I look forward to more spin-off series set in DFZ and this world. This is a solid urban fantasy series and I enjoyed it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lucie Ondrušková

    I'm a huge fan of Rachel Aaron and I always enjoy her books and read through them (almost) in one sitting. This one was no exception but... I feel like there was something missing. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very enjoyable book, I was just expecting something different, maybe. The previous two books are about Opal battling for independence from her father, the great dragon of Korea. I was expecting this to be the theme that ties the trilogy together and the third book about Opal and Yong b I'm a huge fan of Rachel Aaron and I always enjoy her books and read through them (almost) in one sitting. This one was no exception but... I feel like there was something missing. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very enjoyable book, I was just expecting something different, maybe. The previous two books are about Opal battling for independence from her father, the great dragon of Korea. I was expecting this to be the theme that ties the trilogy together and the third book about Opal and Yong being forced to work together and slowly repairing their relationship and finding common ground. Instead, their relationship is solved super quickly at the beginning of the book with a long cathartic dialogue which the author is so fond of (nothign worng with the dialogue as such, it was done well, especially as someone who grew up with abusive father it felt really personal for me) and the rest of the book they just spend working side by side like besties. It's not entirely plausible and it cheapens the plot of the previous two books somewhat. I guess the main problem with the book for me was the plot / villain. It's no longer personal for Opal, she's fighting against him because her god said so - and in the ends it turns out she doesn't even care about the god that much. Yes, Nik's life is also threatened but there's never actual sense something might go wrong with him and the curse is purely a plot device. Another thing that bugged me is Nik was missing for like 90 % of the book and we didn't get to see his character and his relationship with Opal grow. Anyway, I love the DFZ. I feel it's something truly unique in the vast genre of urban fantasy and I'll happily read anything Rachel will put out from this world, but it feels like this book was "only" very good when it could've been spectacular.

  25. 5 out of 5

    AnnMarie

    Once again, I read this whole book in essentially one session, which is pretty standard for me reading Aaron's books. This one tied up Opal's story arc (view spoiler)[with a happily-ever-after with Nik in the DFZ while promising to visit her parents for the holidays (hide spoiler)] . It tied up all the loose ends and did so in a fun and satisfying way. It was a little frustrating that I saw all of the major plot arcs and twists coming from miles away, enough so that it was sometimes a little "Why Once again, I read this whole book in essentially one session, which is pretty standard for me reading Aaron's books. This one tied up Opal's story arc (view spoiler)[with a happily-ever-after with Nik in the DFZ while promising to visit her parents for the holidays (hide spoiler)] . It tied up all the loose ends and did so in a fun and satisfying way. It was a little frustrating that I saw all of the major plot arcs and twists coming from miles away, enough so that it was sometimes a little "Why is this news?? ...oh yeah" when Opal figured them out in the story. However, I will say this: while I saw the major reveals coming, Aaron always manages to pull off the resolutions of those complications, twists, and reveals in ways that I wasn't expecting. This kept the story engaging for me, even if I would have liked a little more of the mystery that characterized her other series set in this world. (To be fair, the stakes here are far lower, and aren't constantly changing the way they were in the Heartstrikers series, so that's probably unfair of me.) The relationship between Opal and her father, the driving force behind the plots for the last two books but not the focus of them, takes center stage here. As a result, some of the major players from the other two books were kind of sidelined in this one. It was definitely necessary, and great for character growth, but it was a little bit sad not to spend as much time with some of the characters we've come to love from the other books. Also, I wish there had been more of a moment (or several of them) for Opal to come to an understanding with her mother, who is really only a cardboard cutout of a character, essentially a trope. I wish Aaron had developed her, and her relationship with Opal, more; as it was, she was completely defined by her relationship to the Man in Her Life (Opal's father), and that's especially sad when there are several other interesting female characters in the story. TL;DR a satisfying conclusion to a fun series set a rich, detailed world that's a lot of fun.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 Stars. So this is book I hard for me to review because there's what I wanted from it vs. what it delivered which was a decent family story with fun action. If you're looking for romance or more of Nik, you're not going to be satisfied. I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this series, but overall I got the feeling throughout this book that the author was done with this series and just wanted to wrap things up quickly. ***SPOILERS BELOW*** As I said, I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this 3.5 Stars. So this is book I hard for me to review because there's what I wanted from it vs. what it delivered which was a decent family story with fun action. If you're looking for romance or more of Nik, you're not going to be satisfied. I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this series, but overall I got the feeling throughout this book that the author was done with this series and just wanted to wrap things up quickly. ***SPOILERS BELOW*** As I said, I really enjoyed the first 2 books in this series and came to love Nik's softer side in the second book, although I questioned whether Opal really felt the same way about him as he did for her - I couldn't tell if that was deliberate by the author or not. I came out of Book 2 really wanting to know what happens next with both with Opal's father and with Nik. I was expecting (and wanting) time spent repairing the Nik/Opal relationship that Opal callously threw away and some more of the romance we got a taste of in Book 2 while on an adventure to help her dad. What we got was a very quick resolution of the relationship and then Nik went off to play his part in the adventure off stage, while Opal's dad took on the role of gruff partner in crime. This book makes it clear that the arc of this series was centralized on Opal's relationship with her father, and I get that, I see it looking back. But, although Nik doesn't play a role in that relationship, he was such an important part of he first 2 books, and I feel like he deserved better. I almost felt like it was a bit lazy to just have him brushed aside so the focus could only be on Opal and her dad. Plus, I feel like there was a missed opportunity here because having Opal work harder to repair that relationship as well would have added more depth to the story, and the tension between Nik and Opal's dad during the few brief scenes they had together teased at the potential for some humorous interaction if they had to work together and grudgingly come to respect each other. So ultimately it's unfortunate because I feel like there was definitely some missed potential here and I wish it could have lived up to my expectations.

  27. 5 out of 5

    The Bookshelf Wars

    The DFZ is back, and BETTER THAN EVER Since its introduction in Nice Dragons Finish Last, the DFZ has been a city full of magic and possibility, and Opal’s latest adventure is no exception. As Opal struggles to save her father despite his overbearing tendencies, she must now also reckon with the dark side of the city she loves. The DFZ is a land of unfettered freedom and opportunity, but the darker aspect of humanity has twisted that freedom into a bloodthirsty cancer that is growing at the bottom The DFZ is back, and BETTER THAN EVER Since its introduction in Nice Dragons Finish Last, the DFZ has been a city full of magic and possibility, and Opal’s latest adventure is no exception. As Opal struggles to save her father despite his overbearing tendencies, she must now also reckon with the dark side of the city she loves. The DFZ is a land of unfettered freedom and opportunity, but the darker aspect of humanity has twisted that freedom into a bloodthirsty cancer that is growing at the bottom of the city. If she wants to save the people she loves, Opal must destroy that cancer... but of course, it won’t be easy. If you’re a fan of Rachel Aaron, this is nothing new. Her heroes are known for taking on entities far greater than themselves in new and unexpected ways. But joining Opal as she battles the ugly consequences of rampant capitalism feels particularly apt right now, at this moment in time. As a worldwide pandemic exposes the fatal flaws in our society, so too must Opal confront the suffering and exploitation that shackle the poorest, most helpless citizens of her city. The clear connection between reality and fiction has never been more depressing. But Aaron is an optimist. She challenges her readers to examine whether this savage reality is truly human nature, or whether we are simply choosing to amplify our own worst flaws. She argues that, though our situation seem to be getting bleaker by the second, we have the freedom to adapt, to be better. We created this system, therefore we have the power to change it. The result is more hopeful than anything I’ve read in a while. I doubt magic and dragons will help with our world’s problems, but this kind of optimism is exactly what I need right now. And though the final installment of Opal’s adventure will leave you wanting more, Aaron promises that she isn’t finished with the DFZ. And I can’t wait to see what comes next :) Verdict: 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Xia ✻.

    #1 Minimum Wage Magic 4.5 stars #2 Part-Time Gods 4 stars #3 Night Shift Dragons 4 stars 4 stars A nice closure to a nice story. This last book may be the weaker of the three in my opinion, but it wasn’t bad at all. That I barely had time to read this week also affected to my experience. One of the things I enjoyed the most in this installment was Opal and Yong’s daughter-father connection. I’m a sucker for these types of relationships. There’s just something I love so much about these family tangle #1 Minimum Wage Magic 4.5 stars #2 Part-Time Gods 4 stars #3 Night Shift Dragons 4 stars 4 stars A nice closure to a nice story. This last book may be the weaker of the three in my opinion, but it wasn’t bad at all. That I barely had time to read this week also affected to my experience. One of the things I enjoyed the most in this installment was Opal and Yong’s daughter-father connection. I’m a sucker for these types of relationships. There’s just something I love so much about these family tangles in which they begin with problems, and they solve them as the story goes while having a big character development, and finally, at the end, they end up fighting together instead of between each other. I adore it. I’m still sad Nik wasn’t featured in the cover tho.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I really enjoyed this conclusion to Opal's trilogy, and I was glad to see the author's note at the end that while this is the end of Opal's story, it's not the end of the DFZ books. I've been really enjoying them and look forward to more. About this story specifically: I was really glad to see the emphasis on family here, as well as the way the resolution worked out. I think it showed good growth series-wide on the part of all major players. Even plot items that I didn't realize I needed a happy I really enjoyed this conclusion to Opal's trilogy, and I was glad to see the author's note at the end that while this is the end of Opal's story, it's not the end of the DFZ books. I've been really enjoying them and look forward to more. About this story specifically: I was really glad to see the emphasis on family here, as well as the way the resolution worked out. I think it showed good growth series-wide on the part of all major players. Even plot items that I didn't realize I needed a happy resolution for were taken care of, and while I can't mention them without spoilers, I am pleased with how they turned out.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    I don’t know if there’ll be any more books in the series, but this return to the world we first entered in the Heartstriker books made for a very entertaining trilogy with a satisfying conclusion. This was truly the fun confection of a fantasy series I needed at this time. The themes of love, loyalty, and the family are nicely worked through here, along with an indictment of the bloodlust of the crowds. Mostly what I’ll remember these books for is a rollicking and imaginative adventure. I had a gr I don’t know if there’ll be any more books in the series, but this return to the world we first entered in the Heartstriker books made for a very entertaining trilogy with a satisfying conclusion. This was truly the fun confection of a fantasy series I needed at this time. The themes of love, loyalty, and the family are nicely worked through here, along with an indictment of the bloodlust of the crowds. Mostly what I’ll remember these books for is a rollicking and imaginative adventure. I had a great time.

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