Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review: Heart of Iron

Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Young Adult | Science Fiction | Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves (goodreads)

Heart of Iron was a lot and not enough at the same time. 
Plot: I know Heart of Iron is sold as an Anastasia retelling but it really just borrowed the missing princess trope, nothing else screamed Anastasia to me. I will say that Heart of Iron was exciting and told at a pace that made it easy to turn pages, but it was missing a lot of aspects that made me care about the characters and want to continue reading. 

Heart of Iron reminded me of Starflight because of the tone, but it was missing a certain spark that made Starflight such a treasured book for me. The last part of this book was truly exciting with an unexpected cliffhanger (I thought this was a standalone, clearly not). 

Characters: As a character reader, I have to really care about everyone and the choices that they make. Heart of Iron was told from four perspectives, but there wasn't much to separate their voices. Ana was your stereotypical hardened space pirate with a mysterious past, Di was a glitching android, Jax was a sassy space pilot, and Robb was a royal who just wanted answers. There wasn't really anything that pulled me into each narrative and truthfully, the four perspectives were overwhelming. 

The romances appeared out of thin air and I didn't care about their journey or trials to get to each other. Maybe it's just a preference, but I didn't find Ana's relationship with Di memorable or believable. There was a side relationship between Jax and Robb, but it wasn't fleshed out enough for me.

Worldbuilding: Heart of Iron was missing some necessary worldbuilding which made it hard to get into this one. From page one, Heart of Iron opened with high action and didn't take a break, unfortunately, that meant that there was no time to get the lay of the lands. Space novels, while they can be simple, need to have some basis and I never understood any of the royal families or the troubling history between the Ironbloods and Metals. 

Short N Sweet: Heart of Iron was an exciting read, but I couldn't connect with lackluster characters or a bare-bones setting. 


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