Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 11th 2016
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It’s nearly 1920, prohibition is coming but Boston has bigger problems – hemopaths. People who can use art to manipulate perceptions and emotions of others. Ada and Corrine are two such hemopaths. They work at the Cast Iron, a club owned by Johnny Dervish. Johnny has offered them safety and salary over the years but when club rivalries start to turn sour it’ll be up to Ada and Corinne to save the day.
Iron Cast is a novel with a lot of ups and downs. The characters were all sort of interesting, but not thrilling. The constant switching from Ada’s to Corrine’s POV when their didn’t really have different voices made the plot more confusing than it needed to be. One second Ada would be describing her feelings the next the setting would be slightly different with Corrine describing hers.
Nevertheless the friendship between Ada and Corinne is definitely the heart of the novel. There is slight romance but it’s pleasant to see their friendship be the strongest and most valued relationship throughout the story. There was excellent use of diversity with both POC and Gay main characters. It’s tragic that the characters aren’t better developed when there was so much potential.
The plot was interesting – but it wasn’t strong. Several entirely different conflicts arise and most of them are tied up with luck and a few words near the end. There was so much more that could have been done with the brilliant idea of hemopaths and their powers. The novel was it’s strongest when exploring these ideas which is why the ending was rather disappointing. It was also sort of off-putting how the novel tried to pull a big death with a minor character and attempted to make it feel huge. The readers had very few pages to even get to know the character let alone connect with them before they were axed off in a “tragic” scene.
It manages to stray away from the typical Young Adult fare of love triangles and chosen ones, and manages to be a moderately pleasant read. It’s ideas had more potential than it manages to meet but it’s a good read for those tired of overused tropes.