Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: February 27, 2018
Average Goodreads rating: 3.93
My rating: 3.5
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?
I have some really mixed feelings about this book. It didn’t even pop up on my reading radar until a week or two before its release but something about that cover screamed, “I need to be on your shelf!” Honestly, the cover is absolutely beautiful in person, shiny and gorgeous. However, I wasn’t exactly sure what so expect from the story. The author’s previous book, Geekerella, held no interest for me so I hadn’t been exposed to Poston’s writing before. It was an interesting experience.
What I Liked
- As soon as you open this book, page one, you are straight into the action. I find that to be so rare with sci fi or fantasy books. Typically there is so much set up and world building that by the time you get to the action you are bored to tears by all of that build up. In this book, page one, you have a space gun fight to the death! The action in this story never slowed. It was a constant bang, bang, bang of things happening. No one can call this book boring!
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the LGBT rep in this book. I like a story that includes that without making it a big deal. I think we all have read one of those books where there is an LGBT character and it is thrown in your face every other page. That always makes me feel like it was used only as a selling point (*cough* A Court of Wings and Ruin *cough*). This one, it is just part of the action. Off the top of my head I can think of three LGBT+ representations in this book and they were all made normal. That is important, I think, and isn’t done enough.
- Space pirates! If any of you read my review of To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo you may recall that I absolutely hated the so called pirates in that story. They weren’t pirates, they were friends goofing around together on a ship. In Heart of Iron, we have some awesome space pirates. Guns blazing, running from the law, off on a dangerous adventure. These pirates had their own code of honor but they got shit done and they got it done messy. Loved them.
What I Didn’t Like
- Alright, I know I just mentioned that I liked the fast pacing of this book but it was almost too fast. So many things were happening so fast that it was almost difficult to give a flying crap about them before the next thing happened. I love fast paced books but at the same time we need enough story and detail to hold those plot points together by more than a thread.
- The relationships in this book developed too quickly. There is one character who had not physically touched anyone in, without exaggeration, years because of a….hm, how to word this carefully. Because of a mental affliction. When he would touch people he would see their futures and it was a huge weight on him so he chose for a long time to not touch anyone. Suddenly, this other character comes onto the scene and within a day (or a couple chapters in the reader’s case) is already giving them a big ole smooch. I’m sorry, that didn’t fly with me. If you have kept yourself from physical contact for years you aren’t going to change your mind about it after knowing someone for less than a day. Many of the relationships were like this, they just felt rushed and didn’t make total sense. It took me out of the story because it just didn’t feel believable.
- You could see what was going to happen with our main character, Ana, from way off. There wasn’t a big reveal or any kind of surprise even though it felt like there should have been. I try not to give you all spoilers but let me just say that knowing most of Ana’s story before it happened certainly took some of the shine off of the book. Her story was still interesting but I would have loved for there to have been some air of mystery to it.
This really was a good book. It held my attention cover to cover even though there were some aspects that could certainly have done with a little more attention. I truly think that if things hadn’t been so rushed this easily would have been a 4 or 4.5 read for me. The cast was interesting, the plot had weight and a purpose, and there was plenty of action to keep things moving. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next book in this series!