This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.
Note - This review will contain spoilers from Slayers, the first book in the series.
In Friends and Traitors, our fearless band of dragon slayers is back. Tori, in particular, is better-trained and ready to do battle with Overdrake and his newly-hatched dragons. We also finally meet Ryker, who was a fetus when we first encountered him. He is determined to fulfill his destiny, against his parents' wishes.
Friends and Traitors doesn't break a lot of new ground after Slayers, and much of it seems repetitive. That's not necessarily a terrible thing, though; if you enjoyed Slayers, you'll likely enjoy this sequel, too. What's missing is the excitement as Tori slowly discovers her new powers. Instead, here, she hones her skills, and she DOES make one interesting discovery about herself, but the way it plays out is not as exciting as the author likely intended. Ryker's addition to the Slayers adds a new dynamic to the group, as does their eventual discovery of Dirk's betrayal.
Just as in the last book, there are thrilling dragon fights. And once again, in one battle, the Slayers are completely unprepared for it. (Come on, people - you're dragon slayers!! Be prepared always! Don't bring only scissors or a switchblade to a dragon fight!) Both sides have learned from their previous encounters, and both must step up their games. Overdrake is still the weakest part of the story. He's mustache-twirlingly evil, and he doesn't always behave in ways that reflect his supposed genius.
Dr. B, on the other hand, still seems bumbling and indecisive. I have to believe there is some deeper story to him that will eventually be revealed. I understand his philosophy of wanting to let the Slayers make decisions for themselves, but this make me question his purpose. Do the Slayers even need him at this point? (They need his resources, of course, but I don't think they need HIM.) It doesn't even seem that the Slayers respect him. Dr. B has many strict rules in place designed to protect their lives and safeguard their secrecy, and the Slayers break them all with no fears of repercussions. So, I hope this is not all there is to Dr. B. I'm crossing my fingers that he will have a major revelation (maybe he's actually evil?) in the next book.
Now, how do I describe the relationship between Tori, Jesse, and Dirk? I don't know if I'd QUITE call it a love triangle, because at times, it seems that Tori could take or leave either guy. But there's still the major ick factor that Dirk and Jesse are best friends, and they don't seem opposed to passing her back and forth between them. Still, whatever you want to call it, it's refreshing that these relationships are not the primary focus of the story.
FYI - I'm giving away my ARC of Slayers on my blog.
Note - I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.