Poston, Ashley. Heart of Iron. Balzer & Bray, 2018. 467p. ISBN 9780062652850. $17.99 AT *****
Heart of Iron draws its readers in very quickly. Because it is a sci-fi story, the entire world that the characters live in is different from our own; there is fighting, romance, and politics that influence the character’s lives greatly. The fighting and subsequent wounds in the novel can become vivid (a main character dislocates a thumb at one point to escape cuffs), which might cause issues for sensitive readers people. But the romance never progresses past some scenes of brief kissing and revelations of affection. The character’s themselves are all very different and diverse. Their specific race isn’t specified because of the sci-fi setting but varying skin tones are noted, as well as two main characters being young bay men in love with each other. The book changes point of view often, and the fast pace works well so that the reader never gets bored with one character or place. Within the novel there is a prevalent religion centering around a moon goddess and an iron crown supposedly linked to her. This religion is very central to the characters’ story. The world in which the characters live is incredibly fleshed out and realized so that a reader can get sucked in with ease. The only potentially negative thing about the writing is that the characters can sometimes seem superficial in the way they are written. Overall, I loved reading this book and was always eager to find out what would happen next to the characters!
Teen review by Natalie Trowbridge, Benicia, CA