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A Dragon of a Different Color

Heartstrikers, Book 4
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Series: Heartstrikers, Book 4
Length: 21 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Rachel Aaron (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MVF
  • 28-01-2018

interesting--but...

I have been following the series since it began- has a great new world....I did enjoy the World building, and some of the characters. who wouldn't love a nice dragon?

but, the characters also frustrated me. I found it tedious at times. There was a lot of conversation in order to pass on a lot of information-explanations of how magic works ( too much info at times), why things were happening and so on. Many times there was a repeat of information that we, the reader, already knew-- to the point that it frustrated me and made the story a heck of a lot longer than it needed to be.

I grew tired of Julius's (dragon and hero) pacifistic stance. There were times even I rolled my eyes at his speeches and interventions. I have to admit, the author did keep true to him. I am not sure that I'm going to continue with this series but I'm glad I read at least the first two books.

The narrator is exceptional and a gifted artist. He was able to vary the voices. How he read the story made it incredibly enthralling even when it was extremely boring at times --now that is a gift.

The author Rachel Aaron, is an exceptional writer and Storyteller. Just because I didn't particularly care for this book doesn't mean I wouldn't read any more of her books. In fact, I have her on my radar now and I will probably pick up more of her stories.

I sort of recommend this book but that's my opinion if you like the first three it is good to get this book just so you can see the continuation.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jenny
  • 16-12-2017

So. Much. Talking.

I was so excited for this book, but after listening to it I just can't be anymore. The characters and world are fascinating and well developed as always, but I seriously felt like the entire book was one dialog scene after another strung together, with thin whisps of action to connect them. Julius and Marci just TALK. SO MUCH. ALL THE TIME. And they are magically able to convince other characters, emphatically against their plans, that the thing they want to do is right/necessary. I can think of at least three, just off the top of my head, that after being talked to death just roll over and say OK, regardless of their past history or current situation. I literally expected them to find out Julius has some kind of special dragon magic that worked to charm people into doing what he wanted. The entire plot moves forward on Julius and Marci's EARNEST CONVICTIONS, demonstrated largely by how long it takes to ramble them. I desperately hope the last book in the series isn't so boring.

Performance was awesome, as usual. only thing I didn't like was the Leviathan's speaking part. When it's all "intense whispers" it's just kind of annoying to listen to. A small part of the book though.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-10-2017

A uniquely creative world with an awesome voice

I say this for all the books when I say,
Despite some minor issues, this world is flourishing, creative and full of charm. I love the characters and the incredible uniqueness of events. Vikas only furthers seal the deal with his wide array of voices that truly bring this world to life. It wouldn't be the same without him.
I'm ready to continue to the definitely thrilling conclusion.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Elisabeth
  • 30-09-2017

A new favorite dragon, Fredrick!

First off, a freaking cliffhanger. This story starts off right after the events of the last book. The characters are spread out and there are multiple story lines.
There is Julius' story. He is back at Heartstriker Mountain having a showdown with the Chinese dragons, but it's Julius the pacifist, so any showdown involves a lot of talking. There is finally going to be a resolution for Chelsea as 'what happened in China' doesn't stay in China any longer. Some new characters enter the narrative. First, there are the Chinese dragons. Also, Fredrick comes into his own and takes a leading role. Fredrick the officious butler becomes rather awesome.
There is the POV that follows Marci's story. This is the weakest part of the book as this story line moves slowly with much exposition. Though there is a hilarious reunion that takes place.
Bob, the 'twisty in more ways than one' seer, has a much smaller story line as he goes about wreaking havoc and presumably saving the world.
With so many characters and so much going on, the separated characters need separate POVs. There are a lot of questions answered. Is Amelia really dead? What of Bob's treachery? Why was the F-clutch sealed and treated like servants? Does Marci become a Merlin?
This addition was a little weaker than the previous books, but it is still one of the best UF series' out there. The world building is interesting. The characters are really fun. The books are 'laugh out loud' funny. I'll hate to see this series end.
The narration by Vikas Adam is always terrific. He is perfect for this series. That said, he had some mispronunciations, and his female characters are starting to get a bit too shrill. I think he could dial that back a bit.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 14-11-2017

Let Down, Thought This Book Would End Series

But no, author spent 3/4 of it making listener's learn the altruistic natures of ALL the characters. Then making the bad guy, or girl in this case, not so bad. The first two books sucked me in, the third held my attention, but number 4 had me hitting fast forward so many times. Ughhh!

15 people found this helpful

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  • LexiLikesLiterature
  • 05-06-2019

Alot of Filler... skippable

So I'll be honest and let you before I start getting nasty comments from the Julius Fan Girls... this book may have been perfect for you, but for me it was pretty terrible. This author really WOWed me with Book 1 and slowly began turn off the road into the corn fields. Then things got bumpy.

It's like the book is written for two different audiences. The Young Adult and the Science Geniuses. For the YA group we have these immature character dialogues and unbelievablely drawn out teenage type love story. Then we start talking about death, afterlife, the math behind magic, the realistic possibilities of how multiple planes of existence could interact. 🙄😒 I mean the author really geeked out. And I'm all for that when it's the right story. I just felt like we lost track of what the hell we came here for and that was DRAGONS!

It's almost like the author is attempting to take the series in the direction of Garon Whited's Knight Lord. A fantasy novel with ALOT of science theories in there to somewhat prove the possibilities of whatever problem they gave their physical science kids that day.

The Marci thing is so dull. This chick is dead and I am rolling my eyes every time they go to her character.

And then there is Julius' favorite phrase..."To his amazement"... lol... the author loves this phrase 🤣 I noted this phrase was repeated over and over in my last review too.

The Chelsey and Emperor drama was underwhelming... Every single thing about it was to be expected. There was no suspense.

Then at the end of the book, where Bob is finally going to confide in Julius, this dummy decides he would rather make out. I almost stopped right there... The world is ending and you decide to ignore the one person who can see the future. This was too dumb. I was hoping the Leviathan would crush the house and then we'd see if Kissy face is more important than Armageddon.

The narration was perfect. This guy is the only good thing about this book. I'm going to read the next one, just because it's hard to leave things unfinished. But I'm not expecting much this time.

1 STAR - 🌟 Not Interesting or Bad story telling. Usually a book I had to force myself to finish.

4 people found this helpful

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  • chuckagain
  • 28-09-2017

I don't know

I got so irritated with all the inaction even the finally awaited hook up of Marcy and Julius had to be interrupted by stupid self doubt sorry but it's just gotten old and all the other hesitation is ridiculous don't think I'm going to bother with any more of this series

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Anderson
  • 11-07-2019

So.. many.. words

To every character in this entire series:

For god’s sake, would you please stop talking and just move the plot along? This is a 5-hour listen that took 18 hours because of all the redundant exposition.

The only reason I'm still listening is that I like the world building and the magic system is moderately clever. Plus, the overarching plot is actually pretty good when I'm not chewing nails over the infantile interactions going on around it. The author really needs to improve both the quality of the dialogue and also its length... it's just horrible. None of the characters seem to have internal filters and just blurt out whatever stupid thing pops into their heads. The reader gets the same explanations over and over again and the protagonists keep morphing from wizened peace gurus to 5-year-olds asking dumb questions at the slightest provocation. And I am so sick of "But... how?"

Also, I've come to the conclusion that despite his impressive range, I hate the narrator. So many mispronunciations and missed inflections. He does 'earnest' really well, but with poor dialogue that just goes on forever, it really starts to grate.

I just want to hear how it ends. Thank god for fast-forward.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Fred Obermann
  • 02-12-2018

God save us from this tedium...

First, let me confess that I rather enjoyed the first 3 books of this series. Rachel Aaron has crafted a likable series of stories. Her characters are interesting. The magical world that she has constructed is interesting, her dialog is extremely listenable. And the narration by Vikas Adam is fantastic. So far, so good, until this book.

Underpinning this series is:
1. a rather convoluted system of magic, driven by an arcane logic and history.
2. a set of characters and entities who are either rather likable, or rather hate-able
3. a 600 year old festering dysfunctional family history
4. a 24 year old altruistic protagonist, with the emotional maturity of a 13 year old, and who is on a mission to reform his dysfunctional family.
5. And yes, there are shape-changing dragons, and mages, but they're just window-dressing for a junior-high school soap opera

In this volume, Rachel presents us with a never-ending soap opera, where the characters and entities are either
1. arguing vehemently with each other (about ethics, family values, or theories of magic)
2. rushing off to save each other (or a family, or the world)
3. conspiring to destroy each other (or a family, or the world)
4. explaining to each other how the magic systems work

The detailed explication of the magic systems goes on for so long and in such detail, that only aficionados of double-entry booking will be able to stay awake through it.

Over the course of several books, I like to see characters mature and change. However, in this book the protagonist, Julius, seems to have regressed back into a young teenager, who goes around shouting at people. "Nooooo.... you can't do that!!!!!"
Vikas Adam does an excellent job of portraying all the characters. But given how obnoxious Julius has become in this volume, I quickly began to cringe whenever Vikas narrated his parts. Never have I prayed so hard for a young, noble protagonist to quickly and fatally encounter a beer truck.

In this volume Rachel, unearths all of the secrets that underpin the previous volumes. But the story is a running series of crises, interspersed with silly arguments involving characters who should think and behave more maturely, interspersed with explanatory text of arcane magical system, interspersed with hints of more mayhem to come. Rather than a book that you can't put down, it's a book where you skim through looking for something beyond the same-old shtick.




3 people found this helpful

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  • Lori Langerud
  • 15-10-2017

still a strong storyline - love the reader!

I stumbled on the series and liked the plot but what kept me coming back was the reading performance. I always buy the next one through kindle but wait to start until audible has it too. excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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  • cg
  • 15-11-2019

Here’s to the next and last one!

Some parts of the narration were really annoying, particularly the voice of the leviathan. Thankfully, they were not very long so as to spoil the enjoyment of the narration overall. Can’t wait for the last one.

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  • Ellesce
  • 08-10-2017

absolutely perfect!! <br />

What a great book. just keeps getting better and better. can't wait for next one