Title: Iron Cast
Publisher//Date: Amulet Books//October 11, 2016
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Synopsis: It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.
OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK. I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT AND I WANT TO READ IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW I LOVED IT SO FREAKING MUCH. I AM FULL ON FANGIRL TRASH FOR THIS BOOK AND I LITERALLY CANNOT. DESTINY SORIA NEEDS TO WRITE MORE BOOKS BECAUSE I WILL BUY THEM ALL.
Basically, I FULL-ON, NON-STOP, HEART-EYES LOVED this book and I’m going to tell you why.
Let’s break it down:
What I Loved:
- The Magic System. It’s fascinating. Hemopaths are able to manipulate what they see or how they feel, but it’s done through various forms of art: music, poetry, painting and in one hilarious example, theater. Iron is their kryptonite and it is illegal for them to practice their powers – but they do. Basically, its AWESOME. I have never had a magic system completely drag me into a story like this before – as soon as it was explained, I wanted to know more. I have never read a book with magic remotely like this before and so many questions and potential scenarios popped into my head that I had to keep reading.
- Ada and Corinne’s Friendship. Ugh. Yes. The friendship between our two heroines is the primary relationship of the novel and it is FANTASTIC (I’m going to over-use that word in this review but just go with it). They are both strong characters but they are complete polar opposites – yet they are such a team together. They’re dedicated to each other. They look out for each other. They know how the other operates and all their idiosyncrasies.They are what you want out a best friend and partner in crime.
- The Romantic Relationships. There’s two romantic relationships that get a great deal of focus in the novel. One is an established couple trying to navigate through the directions that their relationship is going, something that I haven’t seen in YA that still managed to make me fangirl. The other couple got me from the moment they met; they might as well have had a flashing sign over their heads flashing my name. (Hint: my all-time forever OTP of OTPs started our with her interrogating him at knife-point within five minutes of meeting – it’s not on that level but in that vein). Both relationships progress in a realistic fashion and had me at my shameless fangirling best. There is a third kind of sort of couple that I’m going to talk about more in a minute.
- The Pacing. Iron Cast has that perfect balance of action and calm. The story moves like lightning, every scene moves the story forward, even if isn’t apparent why. It’s also addicting. This book was like crack for me. I would have finished this in a day if I didn’t have to work for a living.
What I Liked:
- The Diversity. Ada is bi-racial – her father is Portuguese and her mother is from Mozambique (and she is lovely and I adored her). There are flashes and moments where she talks about her upbringing and the differences in what life affords Ada and Corinne, who is white and comes from an extremely privileged background; they’re both at a disadvantage being hemopaths, but Ada even more so because of her race. It adds a layer to both the novel as a whole and the girls’ relationship There are also two LGBT characters, neither of which is there for the sole purpose of being “the gay character” – I was used to this trope when I first started reading YA back in the mid-2000s, when diversity wasn’t really though of in YA and what was there was something that 14 year old me wasn’t going to read (I grew up a lot since then). I thought the “reveal” of both of these characters’ sexuality, which are hinted at at various points throughout the novel, to be obvious from the first hint and the eventual reveal lacking a bit of punch.
- The Historical Aspects. I loved the time period – I’m somewhat obsessed with the fashion of 1910s and 20s, which was one of the reasons that I was so eager to read this book in the first place. I also love that Prohibition is a looming reality and that the Iron Cast is very much a speakeasy before they became popular (#hipster). The history major in me wanted more historical detail – though that could happen with pretty much any historical fiction book I read.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Nothing but the fact it ended.
All in all, Iron Cast is an A+ historical fantasy featuring a friendship between two very strong young women and a kick-ass magic system.