Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron

by Ashley Poston


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Heart of Iron 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
BookPrincessReviews More than 1 year ago
You know you're 100% not into the book anymore when the book ends on a huge cliffhanger and you're like, well, eh, where was my green glowing Rasputin that never showed up? This was one of my mostttttttttttttt anticipated books of 2018. It was one of my new favorite authors last year who created the masterpiece that was Geekerella that blended the Cinderella story with nerdy epicness and cons. When I heart Poston was taking on one of my favorite animated movies everrrrrrrrrrrrrr - Anastasia - in SPACE? MEETING FIREFLY? I was already crying.  Let me get out the retelling aspects out right now since literally all of my Goodreads updates were me trying to figure out where Rasputin was and who he was supposed to be. I guess I was expecting more Anastasia? Geekerella last year was full of cool, inventive takes on the original fairytale, and I guess I was expecting the same thing from this one. I was going into this story with it expecting it to be a retelling but with more of a Cinder feel to it? You're still having the things that happened in it but you still have more into the story with wars from evil peeps involved. However, I think you should know this is not a full blown retelling. It's more like loosely based on. I don't know if was only ever supposed to be inspired by it, but I walked into this thinking it was going to be a retelling, and I was quite disappointed. I mean, yes, it does follow the whole overreaching plot of the whole lost princess thing, but it kind of took away a lot of the original plot of trying to convince the Grand Duchess of Ana's royalty and training her how to be a princess and such. I mean, Dmitri wasn't even the person to tell everyone that Ana was the person. I just felt a little jipped since it only took a few little things of the original story and put a whole new story in there. I JUST WANTED MY ANASTASIA STORY THAT I KNEW AND LOVED. I COULDN'T EVEN FIGURE OUT WHO WAS RASPUTIN. Since Anastasia is one of my ultimate loves (even though the poor gal isn't a Disney princess), I just felt a little misled by a few things walking into the story - probably from my own misguided expectations since the moment I saw Anastasia's name - and just wanted more. OKAY, RANT DONE.  I do think Poston came up with such an inventive idea. I mean, she did take the main aspect of the Anastasia retelling and came up with a cool world. I liked the feel she created with this novel. I did sometimes struggle with the world building - it took me a ridiculously LONG time to figure out the HIVE thing - and I didn't even really understand if these people were on planets or how they were getting around or stuff like that. However, I think Poston did come up with cool, new things to the genre of sci-fi like the Solani and their powers. I liked the idea of The Great Dark as well, and the Iron stuff was pretty cool. But I was confused about a good deal of the world for a long time. Poston still is a fantastic writer. She has such an ease with her writing. I mean, despite this being a 400+ page book, I sped through it in 3 days, since the flow and writing was just so easy to read. As I mentioned, there was a cool vibe to it, and the atmosphere she created was quite brilliant. I felt like I was in space, and even though it's hard for me to get into sci-fi, I felt invested in the novel because I liked the feel. The characters were quite iffy. I mean, I didn't hate anyone, but I really didn't like anyone. We have four main characters/narr
Tanith_Argent More than 1 year ago
There's good and bad in this book, but I loved the plot and characters too much not to give it five stars. First, the (very few) bad things. 1. Typos. Yes, I saw a glaring typo in the first page or two, and was filled with disgust. So I downloaded the audiobook to listen to instead, cause otherwise I probably would not have read any further. (Fire that editor immediately!) 2. There were so, so many characters that by the end of the story, I not only could not keep them all straight, but I wasn't even sure who in all had lived or died. But they were minor characters, so I don't feel that lost or let down. Now. As for the rest... This book is hella gay. If I had known that, I would have read it sooner! There are four main characters. One has two moms and two of the others are gay themselves. The lesbian romance is tender, and the gay romance is fiery and filled with angst, and I loved every second of it. Also, the cast contains numerous people of color, including the heroine of the story. This book is so diverse, I would love it for that even if the plot was trash. Good thing it's not. The "Anastasia" plotline reads clearly, but Ana is a reluctant princess, and "Rasputin" isn't her only enemy. There were moments I found genuinely terrifying, and the book is filled with tropes I love: forgotten memories, pasts that return to haunt, villains who cross the morality line in the vilest of ways, and forbidden romances. The action is non-stop and the final chapters are filled with so many plot twists I never saw coming. This book is what I would call hard sci-fi; everything is so far-flung into the future, it's almost unrecognizable. And I love a world this original and exotic, though I will admit that in this case the characters greatly outshone their environments. I loved this book and can't wait for the sequel. And for those of you who were turned on, not off, by the human/robot love story, I can't recommend Tanith Lee's "The Silver Metal Lover" highly enough. And one last note: Adenrele Ojo did a fantastic job as the narrator in the audiobook version. Her voice was filled with such strong emotion as she read the pages that she brought me to tears several times. And she did a fantastic job giving the characters different voices.
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I have really mixed feelings about Heart of Iron. As an Anastasia retelling, I thought it did an excellent job, but it comes back again to romantic relationships muddling up the plot. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and while it's more common in YA, it happens in adult novels as well. In the case of Heart of Iron, the twist at the end relied on a romantic relationship that had a good foundation, but developed in such a clunky way that I wasn't feeling it at all. Because the story relied so much on this relationship, I found my interest waning from time to time. On the other hand, behind one odd relationship and another instalove one, there was a really interesting story here, and it kept me reading. The world building is really great and left me wanting more. We see bits and pieces of a space pirate's life, and a smattering of life in the Royal Palace, but not nearly enough to satiate. It's possible these settings and the political and cultural backgrounds will be more fleshed out in the second book - or, at least, I hope so, because these were my favorite parts. I feel like the history of this world and what happened during the Plague offers a whole story in itself, and that's what I'd like to see. I think Heart of Iron will appeal to the general YA audience, complete with its mushy love story, dire betrayal, and swashbuckling infiltrations. I think Ashley Poston has a lot to offer this genre... I just want to see MORE of the things she didn't give us... and maybe fewer feelings?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart of Iron is a fun YA space adventure that also happens to be inspired by Anastasia. The characters are fun and likable and I really can't wait to see what awaits them in the next book!
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
“The Great Dark doesn’t exist,” Ana argued. “It’s just a story.” “All stories are built from the bones of something true. You are the daughter of iron and stars. You are the symbol of hope in a time when light only shines from things that burn.” There was a lot of excitement in this book. I enjoyed the characters and seeing them learn how they fit together as a group of friends on the same side. There is romance, war, scary robots, betrayal, and mystery. There is also a pretty intense ending that will leave you feeling desperate for the next book. I give this book 4 stars. If you enjoy the story of Anastasia, space books, diverse books, and books with fantasy and romance this is the book for you.
Kyera More than 1 year ago
This is not an Anastasia retelling. It is inspired by Anastasia those are two very different things and I don’t want people to be misled before going into the book and have it negatively affect their opinion. If it was retelling we would’ve met Anastasia as a small child and progressed through the book until we finally saw her entire family murdered. That is more or less where history ends because despite the research no one truly knows what happened to Anastasia. Many believe that she died that day with her family, but those optimistic few take it upon themselves to create a happier story for her. Heart of iron is a continuation of the lost princesses story. It is a what if. What if she escaped that day? What if she was picked up by a group of space pirates and found her family there? It is a unique way to take the story of Anastasia and continue it The way that the author hopes the real story may have ended (other than the fact that this is science fiction and to my knowledge the Romanovs didn’t own a spaceship.) We enter a world in which we never expected Anastasia to find her home. Going into the book knowing that it is inspired by Anastasia - no one is going to be surprised by who the lost Princess is. That’s not the point of the story. Instead, we delve into a sci-fi world populated by rogues, rebels, and royalty. I felt that the idea of the book is much more intriguing than the final product ending up being. Even though I really enjoyed the story, I wasn’t as invested as I should have been. I cared more about Robb and Jax, than I did about the main character Ana or her best friend Di. I liked them, but I wish they were developed more. I think that would have helped me form a connection with them. The main arc of the story plays out over the course of the novel and felt like it could have easily been a stand-alone. Instead, there is this plot point that is introduced to set up future adventures and strife. I was hoping for more with this story, but it definitely an easy, fun sci-fi book that has very little depth to it.
pineappletop92 More than 1 year ago
When I first heard the words “Anastasia in space” I knew I had to at least try this book. What I didn’t expect was how much I was going to fall in love with it. This whirlwind adventure of space pirates and lost princesses took me by surprise and just wowed me to no end. It is gorgeous, it is breathtaking, and it is completely impossible to put down. With words that blend together in poetic beauty and steal the breath away with their loveliness, Ashley Poston has created a world and characters that just made my heart sing with pleasure. The quotes – so many lines in this book had me smiling and gasping and trying very hard to catch my breath with how gorgeous they were. And everything from beginning to end was just spectacular – the world-building, the characterizations, the plot – all of it was written beautifully and in a way that had me falling into the world immediately and not wanting to climb back out for one second. It is fast-paced and moves quickly, but only once or twice did I feel were things moving too quickly. Mainly partway through the beginning, when they reach the Tsarina and suddenly everything is happening and there is action and Robb is suddenly realizing his feeling for Jax whom he had only just met like ten hours prior – I just felt like things were jumping the gun a little there. I was already on board with them two as a pair, don’t get me wrong, but I would have liked a little more time seeing them getting to know one another before they suddenly decided they wanted to kiss. The characters, though – oh wow the characters. All four of the main characters – Ana, Di, Jax and Robb – had so much depth and wonder to them, and the way they grew and shaped themselves over the course of the novel was beautifully rendered. From the first moment I met him I knew I was going to love Robb and he did not disappoint. And as I grew to know the others I fell in love with them as well. Surprisingly enough Ana was the last one I came to really care about, but she is a great character and definitely grew on me. And of course the romantic relationships were breathtaking. I didn’t know mere promises could make one smile so much. The relationships these characters had with one another, and with others in the novel, definitely helped change and redefine who they were how they viewed themselves and who they wanted to be. I thought the supporting characters were excellent as well, especially Siege and Ana’s relationship with her and the rest of the crew, especially when juxtaposed with Robb’s relationship with his family. Some of these characters did seem a little single-minded at times, but there were also times when there were hints at what lay underneath that showed there was more than what met the eye. I think there was one character in particular that I would have liked to gotten to know better, and that was Viera Carnelian, the Captain of the Royal Guard, because there was just something about her that I felt like I was missing. Otherwise, I thought all of the supporting characters were great and helped filled the story in wonderfully. Honestly, I loved almost everything about this book - the plot, the characters, and Poston’s writing style is just oh-so-gorgeous. It is definitely an edge-of-your-seat, breath-stealing adventure filled with mystery, intrigue, romance, and lots and lots of action. If you loved The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer then this is definitely a book for you.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
Looking over people's reviews for this one, it was obvious, you either loved it or didn't care for it. As someone who has been in a reading slump this month, I'm lucky enough to say I loved it! Ana and her friends are outlaws. including the bot D09, her best friend. They always find themselves getting into trouble, especially when Ana & Co steal the coordinates to a lost ship that may have to potential to save her friend. But then an Ironblood beats her to it, everything begins to change and Ana realizes she doesn't know half as much about her friends and all their lives as she thought. I kept reading that this has some Anastasia moments in it, and it made me realize that I had never seen it before. Ok, so ahead and throw tomatoes at me, but I think that's the reason why I loved this so much. Everything that those who have seen it might have seen coming, I didn't. And so when everything started to come out, I was shocked and didn't see it coming. All those surprises caught me off guard and made me love the book so much more. I also loved the non-stop action. For the most part, it seemed as if it were a setup for the next book in the series (there is another book right?) but to me it was never boring. It felt a bit like a filler, but since there was always something intense or exciting going on, that made me forget that it was a filler. I can always tell when I love a book based on how many times I update my Goodreads and well, I updated it alot with this one lol I was also really interested in the romances in this one. One was completely out of the blue and I found it super interesting that Poston went that route. It was unlike anything I have read and I was shocked when I read it. But let me tell you, that did NOT stop by ship from going down. My other ship sailed as well and I'm very happy with it. However, with both of them, I was NOT happy with the outcomes. But I'll leave that alone to avoid spoilers. But weirdly, what I loved the most about this book was the way it was written. For it to be sci-fi, I think I most enjoyed it because it was just sci-fi because of the updated technology and being in space and bots. I'm not a "sciencey" person, I usually gravitate (no pun intended) towards sci-fi books that seem light on the science. And since this one didn't go too in-depth with it, I really enjoyed it. I can see where this may not be for some people, but because it merely talked about it, it helped me to love this. However, the one thing I DIDN'T care for was..... the world-building. Since space or the Iron Kingdom isn't a place I'd likely visit, I wanted to see more of the world. Poston merely glanced over the details of the palace and outside the Kingdom, only enough to get by. I would have loved to see more of their world. When I love a book I find that I can talk FOREVER about it. Clearly, this is one of those times. There was so much suprise and intrigue in this book with characters that made me fall in love with them. I can't wait to see what else is going to happen in Ana's world.
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
“Stalo ban ach van’en. Stars are not afraid.” I have wanted to read this story since I heard it pitched as “Anastasia in space”, and while I definitely see some Anastasia elements, Heart of Iron truly shines in it’s characters and relationships. We follow Ana, a girl with no memory of her past, as she fights to save her Metal companion, Di from a broken memory core. Along the way, Anna meets new friends and uncovers secrets about her past that leads to revelations she would never have expects. Things I Liked I loved Ana and Di’s relationship. I instantly felt their history and connection. They have a fun and vibrant friendship that feels real, but they also had some deeper emotional moments that drew me in as well. You can just tell that they really love each other. I also really liked Jax and Robb. They were beyond ADORABLE together. They have some pretty instantaneous flirty when they meet and banter that was so fantastic to read. I liked a lot of the worldbuilding elements in the story. I really learning about the Solani people, even if I feel like it took a little long to get the info. I liked learning about the Iron Kingdom and their customs - who rules, how their political system is setup. And I thought the use of Androids , or Metals, was interesting, especially with the looming HIVE threat. There was a lot of diversity in the story, which is always fantastic. There’s a gay couple( Jax and Robb), a lesbian couple (Captain Seige and her wife), and many people of color. The chapters were so short and easy to read that I flew through this book! Things I Didn’t Like While I really liked the 4 main characters who have POVs in this book - their personalities all felt pretty similar (apart from Di). Ana, Jax, and Robb all have a confidence and sarcasm that, while engaging, felt kinda the same. Heart of Iron was a super quick, fun SciFi read, and I honestly think I would have liked it even more if it was a standalone. But I thoroughly enjoyed the many different character dynamics we see, and they really drew me in. Heart of Iron is a story of self discovery and fighting to create a better future. I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ShesGoingBookCrazy More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! DNFing at 40% Content Warning: Suicide, Violence, Class-Segregation, Abuse "Today, the Grand Duchess would choose her heir--and the thirtieth Emperor of the Iron Kingdom. So naturally, with everyone distracted, it was a good day for a heist." I think I need to take a break from YA Sci-Fi for a bit. Heart of Iron felt like a loose combination of Zenith and Illuminae, (but replace the creepy zombie people with creepy red-eyed “metals” aka robots) and Star Wars. The main problem I had with this book was that I felt that there wasn’t really anything new. Besides the religious system developed, everything else seemed too typical (and predictable) for this genre. The story is told from multiple character point-of-views, shifting between the main protagonist Ana, to D09 (a robot), to Robb, Erik, and then Jax which makes it difficult to follow who’s head we are in. All characters are from variable backgrounds when considering class, status, orientation, and race. Robb and Erik, both sons of the royal Ironblood family, stand at opposing ends from one-another. Tensions between their family, including their queen mother, are high. Ana, a girl-turned-thief that has no recollection of her past and is searching for a new core to fix her beloved glitching robot D09. Jax, a Solani pilot from an ancient race of beings has special abilities to predict others’ futures. Clearly, diversity is highly represented between the characters on multiple levels, which is refreshing. However, there is little distinction between the characters themselves when the point-of-view is shifted from one to another. This section will contain SPOILERS. There are a couple of aspects that I want to discuss that turned me away from this book. This does not go to say that another reader won’t like this book. I just wanted to give a more concise depiction of why I DNF’d this read. #1 There is one particular romance that is budding from the beginning between Ann and D09. While some people may not mind the fact that a human is in love with a robot, that’s fine. For myself, this is downright weird and something I don’t care to read about. #2 The fact that this is said to be an Anastasia retelling makes it perhaps too-revealing? In the first portion of the book, we learn that Ana has no recollection of her past. She was found in space in an escape pod with her robot. Then, there is talk of a missing female heir. So...if my conclusions are correct…she’s the one missing. This is speculation, as I didn’t finish the read. However, all arrows seem to be pointing in that direction. End of SPOILERS. Overall, the plot is set up to be overly-predictable. Up until almost half-way through the read, I didn’t feel any unique pull grounding me to the story, and I lost interest. I also didn’t care for some of the connections being made between the characters, and decided overall that this isn’t a read for me. Vulgarity: I counted 45 words (including made-up cuss words) up until 40%. Sexual content: Kissing only. Violence: Moderate - there are several fighting scenes. Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.