Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Ana will do anything to save her best friend D09, a metal found with her in an escape pod by Captain Siege when Ana was a child. Desperate to fix his glitching memory core, she steals the coordinates to a ship that may hold the answer. Unfortnuately, she gets a tag-along for her efforts, an Ironblood boy named Rob who has reasons of his own for wanting to go to the ship. When they finally make it, everything goes wrong and they become outlaws, pursued by the entire kingdom. But Rob has uncovered a secret that may save them both, but at what cost?
This book is so well done. It has everything one could want: romance, danger, political intrigue, plague, sentient AIs, murderous AIs… I could go on.
As always, I am drawn more to the characters than anything else. I can’t really say who my favorite character is. There was four POV characters: Ana, Jax, Rob, and D09 and I never was upset when one of them popped up over another. Now, I have to admit, I was a little more biased to Jax and Rob, because I loved their interplay and their attraction to one another, but Ana is really compelling too, especially in the latter half of the book when her world is turned upside down. And then, there’s a whole twist with D09 that I didn’t see coming that blew me out of the water and made me want to read more about him, so it was just all well done.
I did listen to this on audio, so it took me a few weeks to get through and I kind of wish I’d just read it. The narrator was fine and did a good job, but it felt slow to me. I think it would have gone faster, and I would have remembered the minor characters more if I’d just read it instead.
Overall, though, it’s a fantastic book with an amazing ending and I can’t wait for the sequel.