Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Genre: YA Science Fiction
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 feel like I say this a lot, but unfortunately it applies to many of my most recent reads: I wanted to like this book more than I did. Heart of Iron was cute and interesting sometimes, but for the most part it was pretty average.
My biggest complaint is character. There were four POVs in the book and only two of those were very interesting to me. Ana and Robb (arguably the two most important of the four protagonists) were my least favourite main characters. It was hard to root for them when I barely knew them. Actually, a more accurate description would be that I knew them too well–they were kind of boring. Pretty much your standard, typical YA protagonists. D09 and Jax, on the other hand, were far more interesting. The way that D09 develops as a character was my favourite part of the novel and I think that it may have been enough to carry the novel on its own, to be honest. Jax was a good character as well, but felt a little underwritten. He had a lot of potential that he didn’t quite meet. The side characters were great though–the whole crew of the ship was awesome.
As for plot, it was a little confusing. And very predictable. Also, all the deaths seemed to happen for no reason, which annoys me to no end. It was hard to feel emotionally affected by the deaths because they felt so much like throwaways. The world building was not ideal either–the alien races were somehow both too complicated and too simple all at once. The political stuff seemed flimsy and rushed, the plot twists were a little predictable, and most of the emotional stuff didn’t have that much of an impact.
That being said, I did enjoy the romantic aspects. They were fun and cute, and although one of them felt a little too insta-love, I still enjoyed it. D09 and Ana were pretty good too, even if Ana was a pretty boring protagonist. And it still gets three stars because D09 and Jax were awesome, and D09’s tiny robot was even better. The book had a lot more potential for greatness than it actually met.
Overall, I think that the book could have used a little more work. The representation was great and there was a lot of promise, but I won’t be rushing to read book two.
Have you read this? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments!