You know, I have been thinking about what I would say about this game. Overall, I enjoyed it. But I cannot shake this certain… dissatisfied feeling.
I was happy to have finally won the races and came away as a champion. It felt like that moment was meant to be the end of the story, where you go home and see your parents again as a champion, use the money and fame you earned to take away all their struggles and stresses, conclude everything to do with the racing and your dragon and your relationships. But it seems like the author was not happy to let the story end like that. It seems like the author thought in that moment that they didn’t want the story to end, and so they came up with the ideas for the demons and rebellion, and your supposed rarefied blood of heroes, to push the book to become part of a series. It felt so disconnected from everything we have just been through, ultimately making all of our struggles pointless.
What did we ultimately achieve with all of this racing? Sure, we lived our dream and became a Dragon Racing Champion, but what worth is that now that the world around us burns because of an evil we never knew even existed? Well, one person did know, at least. Nyx. And she did absolutely nothing about it. I mean, how could she do that? How could she just forget about this rebellion and take up a life as a Dragon Racer? If it was anyone else, they would have gone to the King and warned anyone who would listen, try to raise an army to fight against this rebellion before it spreads to Abauruth. She didn’t even tell the other Champions about any of it. She ought have done something and yet she did nothing. I liked her quite a bit throughout the story, but, by the very end and realising all of this, she’s actually incredibly pathetic, in my view. I have no sympathy for her, as harsh as that may be. I will use her to fight this rebellion, and master these skills she will teach me for my own ends, but I would feel nothing more than that for her. She lost my respect, and hopefully you can really display such a sentiment in the next book.
And what is up with authors wanting to write their own series these days? It seems everyone wants to write their own series, and yet I debate if I will ever see half of them finished. Honestly, I felt like the story ought to have ended after the final races, and then the author could think about a sequel after they received the feedback. The sequel can then delve into the post-races content and everything involved, turning our protagonist and their friends towards another original story. That would have been better, I think.
I was also disappointed with the lack of intimacy with my dragon throughout the story. Here is an amazing legendary creature I have lived with, grown up with, gone through everything with, and yet I feel like he is nothing more than a common pet to my protagonist. For me, the real me, he would have been so much more than that. He would have been my one and only true friend, the one I am bonded to in this life and hopefully in the next, perhaps the only being in this world who I genuinely couldn’t live without. Whenever I reached those moments when you had to choose which person you wanted to spend time with, the only one I really wanted to be around was my dragon. The bond we share is perhaps the most exceptional thing about us, and yet that very bond is never really explored. It really did disappoint me. The dragon ought to have been the most precious thing in our lives, and yet I never felt like you could ever really express that sentiment.
And then there are the classes. Because the protagonist has the gift of magic, I think both the regulations lessons and the arcane lessons ought to have been mandatory. I mean, seriously, magic is a rarity in and of itself, and I cannot believe the Marauders would just allow your gifts to go unused. Duncan and Vanora should have definitely forced the arcane class on you, a condition for allowing you to stay in the Marauders. You also don’t see much in the way of progression in your skills. I focused on magic and racing skills, and couldn’t get any of them past 60. I occasionally got points in the other skills, but only half passed gained more than 10. And yet these stats didn’t seem to really matter. Most of the time, it kinda felt as if I just got lucky whenever I succeeded rather than achieve something, and I felt like I didn’t have any real power. I would have liked to have felt powerful, if only just once.
Another point would be your parents. I was actually really nasty with my parents, leaving home on bad terms and never writing to them, and yet this harshness does not affect what happens when you eventually find yourself home in the post-race chapters. Which disappointed me, I was expecting to get such an earful, or find that my unforgiving nature brought down tragedy onto my parents, but nothing had changed. My harsh personality did nothing to affect them at all. Also, for those of more forgiving personalities, I felt like you ought to have been able to send money home, and when you returned then you could see that your money helped a great deal; reviving the farm and perhaps helping to heal your father. I had wondered if all the troubles inflicted on the farm and on your parents was due to the protagonist’s presence, like some sort of curse, unleashed after your parents told you that you were adopted. Completely wrong there.
A final critique would be the store feature. It would have been better if I could browse the entire store and then decide what I wanted to buy, but this game did not allow them. Which irritated me. Especially considering that the stocks change every time you visit, so it only felt natural you would be able to see all of your options and then buy. And, when you reached the moment where you can choose either to visit the tavern with your friends or go to the shop, I feel like you ought to have been able to choose both; visit the shop first, then go to the tavern, or vice versa. Whichever works. Not that you really need the shop. I was able to play through the whole game and win the championship without needing the store. You probably only need the store to buy gifts for your friends. Though, if you don’t even need it for that, why even have a store in the first place? Might as well just send all the money home to your struggling parents.
So, overall, I just don’t feel satisfied. This book has it’s moments, though. The beginning, seeing through your childhood back in the good old days, those were very charming moments I just loved. I did like the characters, overall, and they did feel like their own individuals, even if their personalities weren’t exactly imaginative. Nyx was perhaps the most original character out of them all. I hated Saren, but then who didn’t? I couldn’t possibly imagine being friends with someone so detestable, even though perhaps you could try that. Good luck to anyone who did want him as a friend, he’s all yours. And Duncan hated me all though the book. I stand up for myself one time and he punishes me for it, and for the rest of my life. Well, the rest of his life, anyway. I didn’t shed a tear for him, as you might expect. I wonder if you can make him like you in different playthroughs. And, as for Allison, I know other people complained about her death, but it didn’t make much of a difference for me. What TheBum said, I agree with. Allison would have been dead weight, not useful at all in fighting hordes of raging psychopaths. So, yeah, I pretty much shrugged at that, the protagonist was more choked up about it than I ever could have been. Didn’t even try to save her with Shader’s magic. Heartless, I know.
Anyway, that will be all from me. And, geez, I’ve written so much. I know most of my points are negative, but I only wrote this post because I saw something in this story and I want it to be better, and these are just a few ideas as to how it could be better. I did enjoy the story, though. It just lacked in a few key areas that would have otherwise made this book one of the best. I wish the author luck in their future projects, of course.