Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron

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...

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Title:Heart of Iron
Author:Ashley Poston
Rating:

Heart of Iron Reviews

  • Korrina  (OwlCrate)

    Whattttt?! That ending though! I need the sequel now!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Owlcrate!! OMG! Look at the purple stained edges! Follow link below picture for unboxing!

    Cancer be damned, I'm writing a review!! Then of course I really need to stop for a bit.

    I loved this book so very much

    Owlcrate!! OMG! Look at the purple stained edges! Follow link below picture for unboxing!

    Cancer be damned, I'm writing a review!! Then of course I really need to stop for a bit.

    I loved this book so very much!

    There are 4 POV's in this book: Ana, DO9, Robb & Jax

    I loved these characters so very much too! I knew I would just from the summary of the book.

    Robb is a royal who ends up with Ana, DO9, Jax & and their crew. Well I should say the captain's crew (who is a woman btw) I love that crew too. Yes, some die in unfortunate encounters with jerk holes and robots and what not.

    Ana, DO9 and Robb are after the same thing. Get to this ship and to look for things they all need. Jax is helping Ana and DO9 even though they all get hell when the captain finds out. Supposedly there is nothing but fear about this lost ship.

    Anyhoo, they all get there and yes, all hell breaks loose. Sigh.... Then most of them get dragged back to the Space Station by Robb's evil mother and more hell breaks loose and revelations people. I love when the ole revelations come out!

    But that ending! No! I'm hoping some good things will happen in the next book. And now I wonder why I read books before the trilogies or series are even finished because I always want to know what comes next RIGHT NOW! Makes me wonder. And hopefully I will beat this cancer and read more books that are going to drive me nuts because I won't wait until the series is finished!

    Once again I loved the book and I love love love love love love my purple stained pages from Owlcrate! Thank you!

    Happy Reading!

    Mel ♥

    MY BLOG:

    AMAZON:

  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    Holy steampunk!

    A scarred in more than one way spaceteam.

    A girl in love with her trusty Metal.

    A harder-than-Ironblood kingdom space captain.

    Ironblood cult.

    A princess of light, lost and found.

    A prince of nothing, 'Of things forgotten. Of a people who couldn’t feel the stars anymore. Of a people who treated the one who could as a weapon.'

    And some very F-F, M-M couples... Cheesy? Yes! But in a very good way.

    WOW!

    Q:

    May the stars keep us steady, and the iron keep us safe (c)

    Q:

    At the end of the ha

    Holy steampunk!

    A scarred in more than one way spaceteam.

    A girl in love with her trusty Metal.

    A harder-than-Ironblood kingdom space captain.

    Ironblood cult.

    A princess of light, lost and found.

    A prince of nothing, 'Of things forgotten. Of a people who couldn’t feel the stars anymore. Of a people who treated the one who could as a weapon.'

    And some very F-F, M-M couples... Cheesy? Yes! But in a very good way.

    WOW!

    Q:

    May the stars keep us steady, and the iron keep us safe (c)

    Q:

    At the end of the hall was another set of double doors as big as the ones at the entrance. These were carved with moons and stars, the motto of the Iron Kingdom in gold across its length.

    Dvarek et su Lait.

    In Darkness We Shine. (c)

    Q:

    ... they’re unpredictable.”

    So were humans, Solani, and Cercians, but the kingdom didn’t try to control their minds. (c)

    Q:

    ... the most prestigious Ironblood private school, the Academy of Iron and Light (c)

    Q:

    As a Solani, Jax prided himself in knowing two things: how to fly absolutely anything, and how to stay out of trouble. The first was a breeze. He had a knack for flying, and when he closed his eyes he could feel the stars orbit around him no matter where he was, so he could never get lost. (c)

    Q:

    the tone in her voice making his stomach twist like it did when he stared at the stars for too long.

    He never liked that tone. It usually ended with them trapped in a mine on Cerces, or caught in the middle of a territory war between mercenaries... (c)

    Q:

    Goddess bright, bless my stars and keep me steady. (c)

    Q:

    “I’ll always come back for you,” she whispered, reaching up on her tiptoes to press her forehead against his cool metal one. “I promise you on iron and stars.” (c)

    Q:

    Metals didn’t have emotions, so how could she love something that would never—could never—feel the same? She often told herself, when her heart fluttered or her cheeks burned, that she didn’t love him. (c)

    Q:

    I’ll always come back for you. I promise you on iron and stars.

    It was more than a promise—it was an oath. Unbreakable. Strong like iron and steady like stars. (c)

    Q:

    ... Toriean el agh Lothorne”—their family’s motto, carved into every crest and every insignia with their name—“Glory in the Pursuit. Understand that. Be the man your father couldn’t, or you will ruin us all. (c)

    Q:

    Erik was good at wearing masks—he’d tricked the entire Ironblood society with an amiable smile and a few choice words, so that even the knuckle rings he wore looked polite. (c)

    Q:

    She looked old, but in a terrifying and timeless way, the way mountains looked old but immovable. (c)

    Q:

    It is an unspeakable tragedy to lose the light in our lives. (c)

    Q:

    He was to be their new Emperor? He didn’t embody any of those traits, unless the Grand Duchess wanted a resiliently strong asshole. (c)

    Q:

    Goddess, this day was spacetrash. (c)

    Q:

    “I’m sure they’d follow you to the ends of the stars,” the woman replied wryly, “but that doesn’t mean you take them there.” (c)

    Q:

    I think love is a powerful thing, Jaxander, and it sometimes makes us blind. (c)

    Q:

    But the way she pressed her forehead against his, and opened her golden-brown eyes, and looked into his as though he was the sun her life orbited around, stopped him from ever saying as much. (c)

    Q:

    “Who’s piloting the ship?”

    Jerking straight, he gave a gasp. “I’m the pilot?” (c)

    Q:

    I’m prisoner on a ship going to where I need to go, Robb realized. How lucky was that? (c)

    Q:

    He listened, and that made him a talented communications specialist. He absorbed languages like a sponge, so many that Ana could only hope to wrap her tongue around a quarter of them. (c)

    Q:

    May the stars keep you steady and the iron keep you safe. (c)

    Q:

    He used to love looking at the stars, but he couldn’t remember the last time he had. (c)

    Q:

    Jax raised his eyes to Robb’s. They were more red than violet—like a dying star—and Robb felt as if the Solani was telling him a secret in that stare, one that his mouth could not form words to. (c)

    Q:

    “You are more than the sum of your parts, D09, and I’m going to save you,” (с)

    Q:

    “Remind me to kick your ass the next time I see you.”“A kiss’ll do.” (c)

    Q:

    “My girl”—the Ironblood woman shook her head—“we are not pirates. We don’t follow rules.” (с)

    Q:

    She wanted to die fighting. On a ship. Surrounded by nothing but light and space and sky. (с)

    Q:

    Where was the justice in that?

    The thought broke something inside her, something so deep it reverberated through her soul. Where was justice at all? Where had it ever been? (c)

    Q:

    She would not be silent. It was not a virtue she’d learned from Siege. (c)

    Q:

    But Ana had never seen the Goddess in all the seven years she’d flown across the kingdom. Not in the sky, or in the worlds, or in the stars—she’d never seen the Goddess anywhere.

    If she was the girl of light, then there was no Goddess.

    But what if you were looking in the wrong places? a voice in the back of her head asked. (c)

    Q:

    This was the end, and she wished it weren’t here. She wished it were somewhere in the stars, beside her best friend. She just wanted to see him one more time. Being near Di had filled her with so much light and goodness that every moment without him felt like suffocating in space. He was gone, and there was no rescuing him. There was no way back. (c)

    Q:

    Goddess bright, let me see Di again, she prayed for the first time in her life, and pulled one hand away. (c)

    Q:

    But then one of the servants in the entryway fell to his knees, then the Royal Guard, then Robb, like dominoes tipping over. The Iron Adviser lowered himself to the floor and pressed his face to it, and the Messiers bowed with him.

    And finally, the Grand Duchess stood from her twisted throne, and bent as low as her old age would let her, until Ana was the only one left standing. (с)

    Q:

    History. His history. Moments. Seconds. Days. Years. They took shape, every missed opportunity and fractured mo-ment and borrowed minute. The anythings, the somethings, the everythings, so vast and so full and it—it was over-whelming. (c)

    Q:

    Everything hurt like despair hurt, an ache so deep in his chest, it felt like a hole at the center of the cosmos. Like hope hurt, too, rising, suffocating, a tingling in the back of his throat. Everything hurt like laughter hurt, all over his sides and abdomen. Like anger hurt, nails buried into his palms. Like happiness, rushing across his fiber optics like fizzy soda. Like heartache.

    Like love.

    Longing.

    Remorse. (c)

    Q:

    Something curious, and something rare. (c)

    Q:

    And like a sunrise, he remembered Ana. (c)

    Q:

    All fates in the universe connected in a river, and that river flowed only one way. (c)

    Q:

    The glimpses of Robb’s stars were supposed to be beacons to be followed, not stories to be changed. (с)

    Q:

    She was the Goddess—she wasn’t allowed to have a childhood. (c)

    Q:

    “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.” (c)

    Q:

    Jax watched him go, the sound of the unbreakable vow ringing in his head, sweet and strong, like a gold chain woven through strings of glass. (c)

    Q:

    We are a kingdom of many, after all. We are of different planets and different beliefs, but we will all be stronger with an army under the Goddess. (c)

    Q:

    “I will always come back to you.” ...

    “You went because you always go,” she argued, “and I always lead you into trouble.”“Because I will follow you anywhere,” he insisted. “To the ends of the galaxy, if I have to. I want to exist where you exist, and that is enough.” (с)

    Q:

    The kiss lit a million suns in between his zeroes and ones, and made him infinite. (c)

    Q:

    So she memorized how the light from the windows slanted across the sharp edges of his face, the way he leaned toward her like a shield, how there were a thousand stars in his eyes, which sometimes made them shine as silver as moonlight—as they did now. (c)

    Q:

    “The Solani have a saying,” he said, his voice soft. “Al gat ha astri ke’eto. It means something like ‘Until the next star shines on you’—until we meet again. So, Al gat ha astri ke’eto, ma’alor.” (c)

    Q:

    Goddess, give us new stars, he prayed as the skysailer lifted into the starry night, and out into the darkness of space, watching Robb’s shadow grow smaller and smaller until it was nothing at all.Or give us the power to change ours. (c)

    Q:

    “Our family’s motto is Glory in the Pursuit—the pursuit of honor, of family, of love. It isn’t pursuit of your own glory. It never was. My father taught me that.” (c)

    Q:

    “Then if he is not a true Valerio, neither am I.”

    He waited for a moment as the wind carried his words through the rosebushes and willow trees, picking the dying petals of the moonlillies into the air. (c)

    Q:

    “I will find you if you leave.”

    “Then I will just escape again, and again, until you grow tired of finding me.” (c)

    Q:

    But to be honest, when he looked out of the starshield at the millions upon millions of lights, swirling in their nebulae of purples and blues and greens, he couldn’t think of a better view. (c)

    Q:

    Ana’s heart swelled. She held tightly to Di’s memory core, a lifeline glowing with hope in the dark. Once, she had not known who she could be without Di, and once she couldn’t have fathomed the thought. But now she knew she carried Di with her ...

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Yes, this IS a basically positive rating from me.

    is basically Anastasia, in space, with lots of extra plotlines. And full disclosure:

    But, you know,

    entertaining fluff.

    [This took me a weird amount of time to finish considering how much I liked reading it?]

    This book follows a world in which the imperial families rule over everyone. In this world, robots were created to treat those infected with plague, but after a rebellion,

    Yes, this IS a basically positive rating from me.

    is basically Anastasia, in space, with lots of extra plotlines. And full disclosure:

    But, you know,

    entertaining fluff.

    [This took me a weird amount of time to finish considering how much I liked reading it?]

    This book follows a world in which the imperial families rule over everyone. In this world, robots were created to treat those infected with plague, but after a rebellion, most robots have had their minds erased and controlled. There are four lead characters, each with their own point of view.

    ➽Ana - our Anastasia character, sort of reckless and honestly… has a weaker sarcasm game than original Anastasia. But she’s also pretty badass. And also brown-skinned!

    ➽D09 - our Dimitri character and also a robot, which is… kind of awesome. But also totally could have been handled better. We’ll talk.

    ➽Robb - a spoiled Ironblood boy trying to escape his mother. A very lazy tragic backstory but a lot of potential for Character DevelopmentTM. Probably the most sympathetic character in this whole book.

    ➽Jax - probably the character that needed to be in this book the least in terms of actual plot and I’m mad about it. Buuuuut he was really funny and good. Give him his own subplots. Or explain what the hell is going on with his people being able to read the stars, because I swear to god it is never explained.

    The beginning of this book was, for lack of a better word, weird, and I think I know what the problem was. First of all,

    which is that flavor of let’s-just-throw-worldbuilding-at-them-and-hope-they-don’t-notice-it’s-bullshit. [I noticed.] I think Poston wanted to avoid an infodump, which is a noble goal, but the result is that I actually don’t have a fucking clue what’s happening. I prefer infodumps. [I actually am not joking about this, I totally prefer infodumps to bullshit.]

    Second and perhaps most typical, we have the famous Zenith problem:

    . You know what the problem is with too many pov switches? It feels messy, first of all. The book feels as if it’s jumping from place to place at breakneck speed. And worse,

    . I somehow managed to like the characters anyway, but listen, I could have liked them more and Ashley Poston knows it.

    Another kind of messy thing:

    This book is fucking all over the place. It does not have an overarching plot. This leads to a very fast pace and a sense of not knowing what will happen, which is good. This also leads to several issues that destroy

    ’s overall quality.

    . This is a subset of the rapidly changing goals and all-over-the-place plot.

    This is made even worse by

    Listen, anyone who has seen the widely popular movie

    or knows Literally Anything About Anastasia knows perfectly well that Dude Whose Name Sounds Like Rasputin is a villain. And even worse, you could know that from page two without

    knowledge of Anastasia or basic Romanov history. It is just that fucking obvious. We do not care. Skip to the end.

    AND THEN there is that stupid trope with Di developing feelings because he Meets A GirlTM. Listen. This trope is getting so old. We get it, robots falling in love and developing feelings is something you like, but it’s sort of boring when the falling-in-love part is the main part of that storyline. You could, I don’t know, show friendship or shit like that and do something new for once. [Revolutionary concept, right?] Personally, I think this would have been way better if Di felt things from the beginning and we just couldn’t see it. Can you imagine the amazing buildup? The

    ?

    I know I’ve complained a

    , but it’s worth noting that

    Even when plot twists were obvious, I found myself turning pages pretty quickly and enjoying the buildup

    said plot twists. And wanting to find out what happened with these characters. Maybe there’s something to be said for being so fast-paced the reader doesn’t notice the crap?

    Honestly, the main reason I liked this book was because

    The dynamic between Ana and Di didn’t do anything for me at the beginning of the book, but I ended up shipping them a lot - their dynamic is just inherently compelling in its broad concept, okay? [Also, fun fact, I just sort of am obsessed with the idea of touching foreheads.] Ana, as a character, is somehow really lovable despite being kind of whiny. And Robb and Jax have some major instalove, but they’re really cute. I admit it.

    Really major bonus points for

    I'm actually kind of shocked at how Not Okay I was with that.

    BONUS ROUND OF POSITIVES: Found family. Space pirate ship run by Ana's adoptive mom and her wife. [I think her wife might be an alien.] Literally half the characters are queer and/or people of color. This review was a mess. Thank you for listening.

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    ✨fun fact: I don't even like the movie version of Anastasia. however I personally feel that the broadway musical is brilliant and one of my favorite musicals ever and should 20/10 be

    . [what are your favorite tracks?? I'm sort of obsessed with In a Crowd of Thousands, Land of Yesterday, and Still / The Neva Flows.]

  • Melanie

    had all the potential in the world to be my new favorite book. Basically, it’s a new and unique

    retelling but set in space with a crew of outlaws who end up entwined in secrets and mysteries! We f

    had all the potential in the world to be my new favorite book. Basically, it’s a new and unique

    retelling but set in space with a crew of outlaws who end up entwined in secrets and mysteries! We follow four points of view:

    - Our true main character, who is on a mission to find a new robot body for D09. Also, she's a PoC!

    - A Robot who is in desperate need of a new memory core and keeps malfunctioning.

    - The next biggest character, whose brother is going to be Emperor, but he is too busy searching for his father that was pronounced dead seven years ago. Robb is also a PoC and queer!

    - The pilot of the crew he and Ana travel with. He is a different race than human, and his ancestors had the power to see the future in the stars. And he is also queer! Jax is EASILY my favorite character in this entire book.

    Ana and Robb’s paths cross, because they are both after the same coordinates. Robb wants them in hopes of finding out what happened to his father seven years ago, when a rebellion happened that set fire to the royal family and left them all for dead, even though they never found the body of the young princess. Ana wants them in hopes of finding a new body for D09, the robot she is in love with, even though he can’t process or feel feelings, and she will jeopardize her crew’s other missions to try, because it is almost impossible for Ana to find a new body or parts.

    Robots in this world were created to treat the infected people of a plague twenty years ago, but as I stated above, seven years ago a rebellion happened and now the only robots that people trust are the ones that are “hived” or mind controlled as the Iron Kingdom army, and they are called Messiers.

    Meanwhile, back in Nevaeh, where many of the other royal families reside, Robb’s brother, Erik, is about to be anointed Emperor. The crown is said to be made of the Goddess’ heart, and only the worthy can wear it without it immediately rusting. And by worthy, I mean only the Armorov bloodline can, but they all died in the fire seven years ago.

    If you guys have seen

    before, you probably can guess how this plays out. But overall, I do think the story is pretty good. Also, there are some 5/5 twists at the end of this book. Sadly, the four points of view switch constantly, with very little pages or substance per chapter, and it made for such a disjointed read. I’m not sure if this is just the new trend with YA Sci-Fi, but I felt the very same when I read

    . It completely ruined the reading experience for me, and I had such a hard time connecting to the characters and to their relationships.

    Ana and D09’s relationship was just too much for me in the first half. I didn’t enjoy it at all, and it had nothing to do with him being a robot, it was that he was a robot that didn’t feel things. I would have so much preferred them to just have a friendship. I’m not entirely sure, I just really wasn’t feeling their love story from the start, but I do have high hopes if we do get another book in this world!

    Robb and Jax’s sexuality is never stated on page, but they are for sure queer. They are probably both gay, but my pansexual self never wants to erase any sexuality. But I loved these character’s representation and their story lines were for sure the strongest in the entire book. Oh, and their banter and jokes with each other was so freakin’ pure and wonderful. And, I’ll be over here melting into a puddle on the ground and swooning forever, bye.

    I will say that there was a somewhat triggering comment made in passing about how Robb was in a relationship with a boy that ended up killing himself, yet it wasn’t very clear. Regardless it made me a little uncomfortable, and I think it’s important to note and use caution going in.

    for mention of suicide, abuse, and death.

    As for more sexual representation, the captain of the ship, Ana’s adoptive mother, is a lesbian and married to another woman. Like, this book brings the sexual representation, and I’m living for it. And two main characters of color was also such a blessing.

    This book does have a major theme spotlighting the importance of found families, and for that I am so very thankful. This book helps solidify that blood is just blood, but people who unconditionally love and accept you will always be family. I did love this constant theme and the many mentions, and for that I was so happy and grateful.

    Overall, this is a super fast paced story, that is very easy to get through. And even though I didn’t love it, and maybe even felt a little disappointment, because I had such high hopes, I still enjoyed it. Also, there is a lot of good in this book, that I’m very thankful for. Also, Ashley Poston seems like such a sweetheart, and after reading this and

    , I will continue to read everything else she writes! Which will hopefully be a sequel to this, because this ending is cruel, and I need answers!

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    This was in the March 2018

    box!

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    3.5 stars. It's like Defy the Stars meets Empress of a Thousand Skies (with an Anastasia retelling in there)? The smuggler ship and other elements that reminded me of Firefly were really fun!

    I had kind of a hard time getting into the tone, but I still thought this was an engaging, fast-moving story! All of the POVs are short so things never got slow. I liked the characters (Jax was my favorite) and thought the writing did a great job conveying their different perso

    3.5 stars. It's like Defy the Stars meets Empress of a Thousand Skies (with an Anastasia retelling in there)? The smuggler ship and other elements that reminded me of Firefly were really fun!

    I had kind of a hard time getting into the tone, but I still thought this was an engaging, fast-moving story! All of the POVs are short so things never got slow. I liked the characters (Jax was my favorite) and thought the writing did a great job conveying their different personalities. And I was super grateful that Di's POV wasn't dull or hard to connect with even when he was supposed to be all mechanic & devoid of emotion. All of the couples were cute, too!

    3+ stars is still a good rating for me btw. I'm mostly just saying this was well done but I was never super into it. I think sci fi stories are super hit or miss with me, so that's just my personal taste (and not any actual problem with the book). I bet a ton of people will adore this one even more than I did!

  • ✨    jamieson   ✨

    and you know what? Those are two of my favourite animated movies. Despite that, I didn't actually go into this with many expectations (which helped) and I ended up really enjoying it. It was entertaining. but I also spent three hours being perpetually frustrated about all the wasted potential. WE COULD OF HAD IT ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN EVERYTHING. Lets break down:

    🚀

    and you know what? Those are two of my favourite animated movies. Despite that, I didn't actually go into this with many expectations (which helped) and I ended up really enjoying it. It was entertaining. but I also spent three hours being perpetually frustrated about all the wasted potential. WE COULD OF HAD IT ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN EVERYTHING. Lets break down:

    🚀

    🚀

    god, I loved the characters. So loveable, so easy to get on board with. You know when characters just win you over and your heart is immediately set on supporting them in everything they do no matter what? Yeah, that.

    is our main character and she's fun. She's feisty and funny and courageous and determined to help her best friend/crush D09, an AI, restore his broken memory chip so he ... doesn't suffer robot death. (basically). AND I LIKED HER. I liked she was smart and fairly nice and had good friendships with people around her.

    D09 is basically Dmitri, but he's an AI. WHICH WAS INTERESTING. I thought it was an awesome, spacey concept and something fresh. I really am getting into the human/AI romance thing. But he was also probably my least favourite character? I mean, he was okay. but hard to get a grasp on. And I found him so frustrating in the second half.

    MY FAVOURITE. MY SON. Jax is an alien with a secret and I just really liked him. He was funny and the 'banter' member of the group (I always fall for them) and I just really liked him. I hope his problems and history come more into book 2 then they did in book 1. Also, he was queer !

    the prince on the run. he was definitely interesting and I liked his friendship with Ana and romance with Jax. He just seemed like a Giant Good and I always love those characters. I also hope he's in book 2 more.

    the romance was so cute ! I loved Jax/Robb, Ana/D09 and also the two women who were the captains whose names I can't remember but they're married (bless). Anyway, I actually really heckin shipped everyone. Robb and Jax had fun banter and also angst which is the two most important ship ingredients so I was sooo in for them.

    Seriously! this book kept me turning the pages. It just had that something that makes it so you

    . And honestly I appreciate that. It made reading this so enjoyable and really is a big reason why I ultimately feel positively about this book despite The Issues

    This is 3rd person, multi POV and if you didn't know that happens to be my FAVOURITE perspective style. Like, actually ideal. And honestly I really liked it here. I think the rapidly changing pov made the pacing more faster and allowed for some nice reveals.

    There is an m/m and f/f couple in this ! we are blessed ! I wish the f/f couple had a more prominent role though :( but the relationship between Robb and Jax was nicely done and I'm just glad for the LG representation

    🚀

    🚀

    just ... not great. it feels like the author just threw their hands in the air and went "ITS SPACE. THERE'S STARS AND SHIPS ENOUGH SAID" and it's NOT enough said. I need worldbuilding. Throwing in random references to stars and space ships is not enough. the worldbuilding was confusing and kinda .. boring? I'm sick of sci-fi worlds having the same basic set up as star wars. more creativity please. The lack of worldbuilding was just really noticeable and definitely hindered my enjoyment of the book. It also made so many things unclear: like why they always made references to iron and stars. Also, big plot points like the HIVE weren't properly explained so it was hard to grasp why it was relevant and what it all meant.

    Listen, if anyone knows mildly anything about the story of Anastasia / The Romanovs you're gonna know who the villain is immediately. I get this is a retelling and there's only so much you can do but if you know the story you already know every plot twist. Which I kinda understand it's not the authors fault, but I also think it would have been cool if my expectations were subverted instead of ... followed through exactly.

    🚀

    🚀

    there are SO many references to other media and I'm not sure if it's intentional or if they were meant to be references but I noticed. Examples: there is a planet called Iliad, the throne is literally called The Iron Throne (Game of thrones?) characters called Rhys, Wylan, Robb and Tobias (ACoTAR, Six of crows, Game of Thrones, divergent ??) Maybe it wasn't supposed to be a reference to any of these things but so many familiar names in a row kinda made me 👀

    there is a bit where a character says "did I stutter" which is obviously a meme. There is also so many references to "iron and stars". Eg, "he would miss her more than iron and stars" WHAT DOES THIS MEAN. I assume Iron has an importance to the society, or that the catchphrase means something since it's used a lot, but the lack of worldbuilding meant I don't know why its thrown in so goddamn often.

    🚀

    🚀

    Like I said, I overall really enjoyed this. And I actually want book two like, right now. Because god, this series has POTENTIAL. I mean, I am in love with the characters. And now the Anastasia bit of the plot is done I'm excited to see what happens. If the worldbuilding was shaped up ... if we had more surprise. We could have a good ass series on our hands.

    Because honestly, I actually had a lot of fun reading this. It was so entertaining and fun and just a good ol' romp through space. With some work it really could be great.

    So definitely looking forward to book two, and honestly I would probably buy this book if I saw it in shops. A solid 3.5 star read. Sure, it had it's issues. But I had a lot of fun reading it and really ? the entertainment factor kinda weighs out the other mess

  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    When I heard this retelling of Anastasia was releasing, it immediately piqued my interest – even more so, once I heard there was a human/robot love story, because, uh,

    – so I was incredibly excited to check this one out. There are some fun, unique ideas at play here (which is crucial for a retelling!), but unfortunately, there’s also quite a bit to unpack. I found myself trudging through this book and almost DNFed it several times, but I ultimately decided to finish it so that I could rev

    When I heard this retelling of Anastasia was releasing, it immediately piqued my interest – even more so, once I heard there was a human/robot love story, because, uh,

    – so I was incredibly excited to check this one out. There are some fun, unique ideas at play here (which is crucial for a retelling!), but unfortunately, there’s also quite a bit to unpack. I found myself trudging through this book and almost DNFed it several times, but I ultimately decided to finish it so that I could review it properly.

    What could’ve been this book’s greatest strength ended up being its biggest flaw: while the writing itself isn’t bad, it feels inexperienced, and the world-building leaves a lot to be desired. There are so many fantastically cool ideas thrown into play, such as a character who can see a person’s fate if he touches them – but we’re constantly left wondering

    his people used to see fates, why they can no longer use their powers, why he is the last of them, and so on. We’re given a thread, with nowhere to follow it to.

    Likewise, there’s a running theme throughout the book in which people swear “on iron and stars”, and this is described as some sort of unbreakable vow, but we never learn why it is so important, what magic surrounds this particular phrase to enforce it, or what would happen to a person who broke their vow. Despite it being such an important notion, it is tossed around constantly and very quickly loses any form of impact.

    Finally, my two biggest complaints about the writing:

    1) There are too many different perspectives to cycle through. There are four narrators in this story, and it is not executed well.

    2) There is a

    of senseless death in this book. It’s not a matter of violent content – this book isn’t one I’d consider particularly brutal – but it’s a matter of the fact that most of the deaths were rash, sudden, and pointless. By the end, it felt like they were being written in for shock value, which quickly becomes cheap.

    Two of our main characters are the infamous human/robot duo I mentioned: Ana, the human girl, and D09 or Di, the robot. I know the entire idea of this coupling feels really gross to a lot of people I’ve spoken to about this book, and I can see why, but for me, personally, it was the most interesting aspect of the story. From the start, Di is capable of more sentient thought and emotion than any of the other Metals (robots) in their world, and he only grows more and more human-like as the story progresses. My favorite part of the entire story, by far, was watching him learn how to cope with human emotions and desires.

    Ana, on the other hand, is a far less interesting narrator. It’s not that she’s bad, problematic, offensive, or unlikeable… she’s just boring. There’s nothing complex to her and she is never really fleshed out. She’s self-contradicting – especially in the ending, to an infuriating degree – and never feels like a narrator. Despite it being

    story, she never held the spotlight.

    When it comes to the main narrators and their respective levels of interesting, complex personalities, Robb is, sadly, not far above Ana on my list. Again, there’s nothing to

    about him, but there’s nothing to like, either. He has the potential for an incredibly sad, intriguing back story with his search for his missing/presumed dead father, and his over-bearing and abusive mother, or even his terrifying big brother… but it felt like we were only ever allowed to skim the surface of any of these intriguing things. Robb’s character is the main aspect that makes me think, had this book been limited to one, or even two narrators, it would’ve been so much better, because with the constant switching, we just didn’t really get to

    anyone very well.

    Finally, what seems to be the fan favorite of the narrators: Jax, the Solani pilot with stars in his veins. Jax was a major redeeming quality in this book for me, until we reached a point where we got to spend very little time with him, and the time we did get to spend with him was mostly used up on repetitive mooning over another character. While the romance Jax finds himself in is cute, it’s also fairly insta-lovey, which put a damper on the entire couple for me. That said, Jax is a really fun and enjoyable character, and if I had to pick any one character who I would’ve liked to have read this entire story through the singular perspective of, it would be a toss-up between D09/Di and this guy.

    There is one positive note that I can’t finish this review without touching on, and that’s the diverse cast of characters we get to meet throughout the story. Not only is there a main gay couple, there’s also a lesbian side couple (and they are

    – could we please have seen more of them?!). Multiple characters are described as being people of color, and there’s even some disability rep! All of my issues with the story itself pushed aside, I genuinely appreciate how normalized Ashley Poston made all of these diverse characters feel in the context of their world.

    At the end of the day, I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I had to look at it honestly and admit that it was a 2-star read for me. I considered rounding up to 3 for the sake of the diverse rep, but the fact that it took me over a month to trudge through what should’ve been a really quick read made it impossible for me to justify upping my rating. If you enjoy sci-fi and Anastasia retellings, or normalized diverse rep in the YA SF/F field, I would say to pick this up and give it a try. As for me, I do own a copy of another of Ashley’s books, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to pick it up.

    as it totally feels like a series starter but, at the time that I’m writing this review, I haven’t heard anything about it continuing as a series. I personally absolutely hated the cliffhanger ending of this book, and will not be picking up any sequels.

    You can find this review and more on my

    , or you can follow me on

    ,

    , or

    !

  • Sana

    All I know about this book is that..... it has a pretty cover. That should be good enough. Can't wait to love this and kill my slump once and for all.

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    First of all, I gotta say... the writing style was SO FUN. The author knows how to insert maximum personality into every POV. I'm seriously impressed... her way of getting into deep POV felt so natural and fun.

    I'm going to keep the rest of this review short. I was drawn in by the pitch - Anastasia in space! Like... why not? Anastasia is my fav childhood movie. That also means the bar was high. So, I liked the story, but I kept searching for Dimitri and never found him. Also, Ana was only one PO

    First of all, I gotta say... the writing style was SO FUN. The author knows how to insert maximum personality into every POV. I'm seriously impressed... her way of getting into deep POV felt so natural and fun.

    I'm going to keep the rest of this review short. I was drawn in by the pitch - Anastasia in space! Like... why not? Anastasia is my fav childhood movie. That also means the bar was high. So, I liked the story, but I kept searching for Dimitri and never found him. Also, Ana was only one POV out of four. Kinda bummed about that. BUT there were lots of other fun new characters!

    There really was lots to admire here - I loved the references to the Romanovs and how the whole Anastasia backstory was developed. I loved the new characters (Robb was my favorite because smol prince) as well as the sassy pirate. But I felt like I didn't connect as much to Anastasia and the "Dimitri" character was a metal robot boy. I mean, he was super sweet, but again - Dimitri from the cartoon was like... my fav... so I missed that whole hate-to-love romance (though there is a hate-to-love between another couple!)

    Either way, everyone should totally check this out, even if its just to study how fun and pacey the writing was! The world was super fun too (I'm not normally into sci-fi but I loved how this was a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy blend!)

    ~

    ~

    ~

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