As soon as I heard this book was being labeled as Anastasia-meets-Firefly, I knew that I had to pick it up. And I’m so glad I did. Ashley Poston’s Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1) was just the right amount of fun that will always keep my attention.
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 really appreciated that the pacing of this book started off with a bang and never really slowed down. It kept my attention from start to finish. I have been struggling to want to read over the past couple of months, but this book helped get me back on a roll. I was even reading this instead of watching the football game… THAT NEVER HAPPENS. Poston’s writing is super engaging while being fairly straighforward, so don’t worry about it being either super flowery or technical. I know some people have a hard time reading science fiction due to the terms used, but this book isn’t bogged down by any crazy jargon. I never struggled to understand and visualize what she was writing about.
I really enjoyed each of the POVs that we get throughout this book. Ana is very independent and always getting into trouble. She isn’t afraid to face challenges head-on and I really liked that about her. Unfortunately, she’s always getting her android friend, D09, involved as well. D09 was probably my favorite character. I’m always partial to robot characters, as they tend to provide so much humor (see R2D2 & C3PO). It was also interesting to see how his personal story developed throughout the book. Then we had Robb, an Ironblood who carries some family baggage, and Jaxx, a Solani with a secret. These two are just too precious for words. I loved the back-and-forth banter and chemistry between them. All I want is for them to end up happy. And if I don’t get that, I will not be a very happy camper, lemme tell ya.
I didn’t really have any major issues with this book. The only thing that I wouldn’t have minded was if the romance didn’t take such a prominent place in the story. I love romance in my books, but I think both of the relationships would have benefited from a bit more buildup. But it was still fun and engaging, which are the things that I value most in a good book. Now, I don’t think this book will win any prestigious awards but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still appreciate it for what it is. I thought it was a fun twist on the story of Anastasia, without fully recreating it from start to finish. I like that there is enough originality to the story that what you will only be able to guess one small piece of the mystery.
If you’re looking for a good light and fluffy story, then I think Heart of Iron fits the bill perfectly. It was a good book to pull me out of my really long reading slump and I will forever be indebted to it for that, haha. But seriously, I do recommend this one if you’re not in the mood for anything to serious but just want to pick up book that will keep you invested until the end.
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have you read Heart of Iron? If so, what did you think of it? Which POV was your favorite to read? Do you enjoy reading retellings?