I enjoyed Shea MacLeod's Sunwalker Saga, but I have to admit, I absolutely loved "Dragon Warrior." I guess I'm a fan of those types of novels where there's a sense of raw desperation and hope. The emotional aspect of this book was stronger for me than the Sunwalker Saga for that reason. Rain isn't just doing her job - she's fighting for survival. It's easy to get drawn into world with brilliant, motivated characters and heart-wrenching scenes like this book has. This one starts in the middle of such a scene and instantly grabbed me: Micah fighting for his life against a Dragon. MacLeod manages to maintain that level of intensity from the first chapter onward, as you meet Rain and the other survivors, suffer through the first dragon attack, and realize just how splintered their world is, with the war against dragons being one facet and the struggle between different camps of survivors being another. Early on, you get the sense that Rain and the survivors with her are not going to make it, without more help. Enter Micah.
Sixty years after Micah was supposed to have died, Rain stumbles upon him and brings him to their compound. He's been turned into a super soldier/Dragon Warrior by the creepy Dr. Barnes, and he has no memory. Slowly, his brainwashing wears off. You can't help but to pity the guy, and at the same time, you're happy he's hasn't been stripped of the human side of him, which was what Dr. Barnes tried to do. Micah is the kind of hero you want to root for: strong, damaged, and up for a bit of redemption/revenge.
I also loved the details of the story, like how Rain's treasures in the compound were simple things (calendar and photo) and how she described a computer as something people used to research how to make bread! It showed just how removed she and the rest of humanity was from the Before, basically our world, which all but ended sixty years before.
All-in-all, MacLeod does a wonderful job creating and drawing you into this new world of hers. I felt the secondary characters were stronger in this book than the Sunwalker Saga, and there was much more emotional pull, because so much more is at stake in this world. As with the Sunwalker Saga, her lead characters are very well-developed and her writing clean. She's a great storyteller. Her world-building strikes that delicate balance between giving you enough to chew on without pages of prose to put you to sleep. You learn more as you read, and you get to see how the characters react to changes in their world through dialogue and action.
Dragon Warrior was an awesome book. I'm hooked on this series already and looking forward to book two!