For the first time since losing his beloved dragon, Evan Luck has found happiness. His lover, Lee, and his son, Jason, have given Evan the family he so desperately wanted. And in the months since he and Lee have been protecting the Forge, the relentless monster attacks have eased. Life is good, or at least as good as it can be given the realities of human existence.
But while Lee and Evan are stronger than ever, Jason is struggling. Still young, but highly empathetic, Jason is desperate to bond with a dragon of his own. Each time he is passed over, his despair is crippling and watching his son suffer is something Lee cannot stomach. He realizes there may be no choice but to consider leaving the Forge and returning to their old home in Chicago so Jason has a greater chance of being chosen by a dragon. But with a new monster threatening the Forge, Lee and Evan may have to decide between defending their home and protecting their family.
Dauntless is the second book in the Luckless series and these must be read in order. The first book, Luckless, establishes Lee and Evan’s relationship and offers a general overview of the world in which they are living. Dauntless is a decent follow up and continues to build out the bond between Lee and Evan.
Since becoming both partners and lovers, Evan and Lee are happy. Life at the Forge is good and they have a life to call their own. We see their love for one another and for Jason and how it dictates their decisions at all levels. They are a family first and defenders second and this devotion to one another comes through in a big way. Jason’s struggles are heartbreaking and the fact Evan is willing to toss aside everything to save the boy shows how much he’s come to care for him. This couple is sweet without being saccharine and, while not every aspect of their relationship is on display, the author does a good job of alluding to the depth of love they share.
There’s more monster action in Dauntless and the book, while short, comes with enough action to make most readers happy. It’s well balanced against the emotional drama and moves smoothly from start to finish. There were some obvious (at least to me) continuity errors. For example, in Luckless, Evan reports that his father and grandfather were killed in an attack, but in Dauntless Evan suggests his grandfather died of old age. There were several of these issues and they were minor; they aren’t going to disrupt anyone’s enjoyment of the story, but it seemed an odd thing to crop up. There are a couple plot points, which I won’t specify due to spoilers, that seemed to lack much scaffolding and while these may resolve in the next book, I was a bit disappointed they were just left dangling.
On the whole, I enjoyed Dauntless and found it to be a well written follow up to Luckless. There were a few errors scattered throughout and a couple overall pieces of the story that don’t read as resolved, but Lee and Evan are the heart of this series and they continue to hold my interest as a reader. I’m looking forward to Reckless and finding out where things end up.