February 28, 2018

Interstellar Journey to the Past • Heart of Iron

Ana knows the wrong side of the law; she and her best friend D09 are part of a crew of space pirates and have been since she was found by them as a child. She's willing to do just about anything in order to find a way to stop D09 - a Metal who has not been brainwashed like the rest - from glitching, and that includes stealing coordinates to a lost ship that could potentially hold the fix. Her attempt at thievery results in her crossing paths with Robb, an Ironblood boy who needs the coordinates for reasons of his own. Together with D09 and the rest of the crew, the two of them find themselves on the run. But what they discover on the ship turns out to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to secrets, and these things could potentially change everything about the society they live in.

Plot? It's basically Anastasia meets Guardians of the Galaxy, and I really, really enjoyed it! I've always gravitated towards sci-fi on the lighter side of the spectrum, particularly if it involves spaceship heists and lovable crews and interstellar hijinks. Ashley did an excellent job utilizing familiar elements from the Anastasia story I know and love, while weaving it into a delightful space adventure that made it feel very fresh. I could not stop turning the pages (or flipping through, since I technically read this on my Kindle) until I hit the end.

Characters? This is another YA novel where I did love the characters but I still didn't feel 100% connected to all of them. The closest I got was with Jax, the pilot of the spaceship crew, as he immediately had my attention from his first appearance, and Robb, who grew on me as the novel progressed. I was certainly most interested in discovering the outcome of their stories the most! That being said, I still thought Ana and Di (D09) were fairly well-written characters. Ana, in particular, was a firecracker of a girl, and she definitely reminded me of the Anastasia I have built up in my head over the years.

Writing? I've had previous experience with Ashley's writing, and her skills stay very consistent with this novel. It's extremely readable, with short snappy chapters that alternate POVs in a skillful way (I seriously never mixed up the characters at all, which is a testament to how individual they felt). She's also got a clever way of building up the story until it reaches the moment of truth, and also happens to be great at exploring character relationships (especially through witty banter, which I live for). 

Overall? In case it hasn't come across yet, I really enjoyed Heart of Iron. It was right up my alley in terms of the type of sci-fi I love reading, and Ashley has given me a whole new cast of characters to enjoy and root for. While I would have liked to be a tiny bit more invested in all the characters, I still found this one really fun and I'm seriously hoping there is going to be a sequel. (Because I just need more Jax. And more Robb.)

What's your favorite movie with an AI in it? I had a lot of options to consider, but after thinking about it long and hard, I came to one conclusion - my answer has to be Big Hero 6. It's one of my favorite animated films of all-time! It's funny, it's emotional and I just want a Baymax of my own.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Source: e-galley downloaded from Edelweiss (Thank you, Harper!)


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