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?
My Rating: 5 Stars
Alright, so its no secret that I am a huge fan of Ashley Poston’s work. Geekerella is one of my favorite contemporary YA novels of all time AND when I met her in October, I learned that we share a ton of the same fandoms. In short, she’s awesome. So when I heard that she had written a loose retelling of Anastasia, set in space, I knew I needed it. Who DOESN’T love Anastasia? Seriously.
Heart of Iron was absolutely everything I wanted it to be – it was packed with romance, action, humor, and bloodshed. The main characters developed over the course of the story, and the villain was truly terrifying. The story was told through the eyes of four main characters: Ana, Di, Jax and Robb. I honestly can’t pick a favorite – I really really can’t. Unless you really twist my arm…in which case I’ll admit that Di was my favorite by just a fraction.
The romance in Heart of Iron was ON POINT. There are multiple romance arcs and they were all done so well! There was no insta-love, and the plot was not overtaken by the love stories. Instead, they added to the overall plot of the book, aiding in both character development and suspense.
I have to say, I’m actually a heavy critic when it comes to retellings because I never feel as though the original story was done any justice. However, Ashley managed to take one of my favorite stories and twine it into an intricate plot without losing the key components of the original story. The world in which Heart of Iron is written is rich and diverse, full of backstories and cultures. The best part, though? In Heart of Iron, the story of Anastasia somehow became more. Ashley managed to add more depth to it, more plot – and the plot that was added fit seamlessly with the original tale.
The way that the novel ended left me thinking there may be a sequel in store, but one has yet to be announced. I can only hope that this story is continued, I need more of this universe!
My Takeaway: Heart of Iron has officially taken the top spot in two of my favorite genres: sci-fi and retellings (not sure if this is technically a genre, but go with it). The story was absolutely wonderful, and as a fan of all of Ashley Poston’s work, I can safely say it is the best novel she has written to date.