Happy Thursday and welcome to my first “review remix”! I’m going to be posting some of my reviews from back when I was Scintillating Reads, and what better book to start with than one of my absolute FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016! This book is truly wonderful and I’m so so excited to share my review with you today, plus more info about the book and author! And now without any further ado, today’s post is all about…
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
Published by Harry N. Abrams on October 11, 2016
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy
In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.
When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.
Today’s review was first posted back in 2016 on Scintillating Reads! I loved this book so much that I thought I should share it again on Kait Plus Books!
Iron Cast is set in a world where some people- hemopaths- have magic in their blood that allows them to do incredible things. The two main characters, Ada and Corrine, are both hemopaths, and their magic is just fantastic. But that’s not the best part; the best part is their friendship. Even though they don’t always see things the same way, there’s no big dramatic fight scene, and both of them prioritize each other over their love interests. In short, it’s everything I want to see in character’s relationships.
Ada is a quieter ‘think before you act’ sort of person, in contrast to Corrine’s brash ‘act first ask questions later’ type attitude. I felt that I identified more with Ada because of this. Ada is also a POC whose mother and father are both immigrants (from Kenya and Portugal, respectively). There are several moments where she and Corrine are treated differently because of the color of her skin, and it’s telling to see how the characters around them react to these episodes. Corrine was raised wealthy and white in the outskirts of Boston, and although she could have been a snobby brat, she wasn’t. She was kind, and loyal, and good. Not always nice, but always trying to be good.
The plot is given to you piece by piece, and it’s not until it’s finished that you can really see how everything ties together. Of course, you know what the main thing you’re reading about right then is, but it’s one of those books that’s super fun to take apart afterwards because you understand how everything at the beginning happened because of things you discover at the end. Of course, any story centered on “something forbidden in the Jazz Age” is something that I love to read, but it really is so good.
Even though they aren’t the focal point, both Ada and Corrine do have love interests. Corrine’s is a (predictable) spoiler, so I’ll leave that one alone except to say that I love how it developed, and Ada is going steady (is that ’20s slang or am I skipping ahead a few decades?) with a fellow hemopath named Charlie. Charlie is sweet and kind. His magic allows him to give others hope and joy through music, which is just about the coolest thing ever. He has a backstory, and it really ties into one of the main themes of the book- just because something bad happened doesn’t mean something good can’t happen, too.
While this story could have a sequel, it doesn’t need one. There are definitely stories left to be told, but they’ll probably be filled with fanfiction rather than a second book. I’m not left waiting on a cliffhanger because there’s a sense of finality about the last few pages. However, I am going to be at a festival with Destiny Soria in a few weeks, and I think I might work up the courage to ask if she’s planning on writing one anyway. The world building and characters were just so great that I think I would read it even if all they did was go about their day to day lives.
Okay, I think that’s all I have to say for now. Iron Cast is fantastic and magical and wonderful and if you like historical fiction, magic, strong female friendships, or awesome books, you should definitely read it as soon as you can.
magic, mystery, and an excess of witty banter. She lives
in Birmingham, AL, where she spends her time trying to come up with bios that make her sound kind of cool. She has yet to succeed.
Have you read this wonderful book yet? Do you love it as much as I do? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!