Elizabeth's Reviews > Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
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“Because I will follow you anywhere, to the ends of the galaxy, if I have to. I want to exist where you exist, and that is enough.”

What a thriller of a story! I really, really like the twist on a classical historical story. I mean, this book was pitched as Anastasia in Space, and yep, that's what it is.

Ana is a thief - and a good one. Her best friend, Di - a droid, needs help, so Ana decides to steal the coordinates to the only ship in the galaxy because that shop might be the key to helping Di. The only problem? An Ironblood noble, Robb, also wants those coordinates. The only way to get the coordinates might be to kidnap Robb, and take off into the galaxy.

This book is clearly fun. It's lighthearted, with action packed moments, emotions, and effortless diversity. I'd say the central point of this book is found family, and it delivers a star-studded message of love, acceptance and place.
So, why isn't this book 5 stars? Because, yes, I enjoyed it. Buuuttttttt, it just fell flat or into confused lines at other places.
But before I'm at all negative, let me share what I LOVED!

Effortless Diversity

The cast of this book is just so diverse. We have characters of color, LGBTQ characters, and characters defying gender roles/expectations.

Let's just talk about the on-page relationships. They're just there, and it's not a big deal that they exist in this book world? And I LOVE that. I absolutely love books that just include diverse relationships, and don't make a book focused about coming out.

Ships I Can LOVE

“I can’t lie, you insufferable Ironblood,” he chided. “I’m apologizing because I can’t forgive you right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to kiss you, ma’alor."

Robb and Jax are kind of adorable! Yes, it's very insta-lovey BUT we don't get that often with diverse characters and Robb and Jax DESERVE some happiness, okay? Okay. Favorite ship in this book.
And I mean, the way Robb apologizes? It just pulls at your heartstrings. He literally bows down, with his head TOUCHING THE GROUND. it's the most endearing thing.

I'm also not a huge fan of droid/human relationships, but it was well done with this book. It felt realistic and not weird? I can ship it.

Also, the pirate captain and her wife! Another beautiful pair who are a definite power couple.

World Building

“I promise you on iron and stars.”

The World building was super cool! I wanted to learn more! the Ironbloods and the HIVE'd droids, and the religion of the Goddess, it was all very exciting.

I liked the idea of court, and family feuds. Robb and his relationship with his mother was fantastically done. Just fantastic. His mother kept my teeth on edge.
The villains were also FANTASTIC!

Not So Great Things

Ashley Poston avoids info-dumping by interweaving action with casual comments about the Empire. BUT, I needed the info dumping. I was confused a lot in the beginning, rereading sections to try to understand the story better.

One thing I'm confused about (and still confused about) If Robb's mother is a Valerio, and her sister was a Valerio, how does Robb have the last name of Valerio? Wouldn't his mother have married a non-Valerio? She's so proud of being a Valerio and her sister was a Valerio, so who the heck was her husband??? Because both her sons are also Valerios. Erhg, confusion.

And some things were just randomly thrown in and NOT fleshed out very well. Which is weird because I know this isn't Ashley Poston's first book. One example, Robb's friend who is apparently dead? And TW: I am pretty sure he committed suicide? But it's just underwritten in Robb's thoughts and we're not given much of a backstory.

Finally, my biggest complaint, is that the plot felt very, very muddled. I was confused MOST of the time about what exactly the characters were trying to do. The goals kept shifting and it was frustrating.
Also, several characters backstories were weirdly mentioned but not fleshed out? Jax is probably my fav, but we're not really given information about his powers and it's just weird right now and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND his star reading skills. It just seems cruel? Read it, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

My Rating 3.5 Stars

Overall, a fun read! I definitely want to read the sequel because holy guacamole, that ending was intense! NOT EXPECTED.
And I mean, I'd seen a ton, and I mean like a million people, reacting to that ending, but it still took me by COMPLETE SURPRISE. Goddess above, Ashley Poston can write a plot twist.

“He died," she whispered. "I saw him die."
Di smiled sadly. "I will always come back to you."
And with all his iron heart, he believed it.”


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Reading Progress

March 1, 2018 – Shelved
March 1, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 30, 2018 – Started Reading
September 30, 2018 –
page 70
14.58% "I AM IN LOVE! I can see so many of the Russian Revolution connections, which is making me giddy.
And Prince Robb is adorable...."
October 1, 2018 –
page 412
85.83% "Yep, I read this almost in one sitting. BUT this thing called sleep and classes intervened."
October 2, 2018 –
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reads
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: diverse
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: kind-of-confusing
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: sci-fi
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: series
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: so-beautifully-diverse
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 2, 2018 – Finished Reading

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