I received an ARC of Iron Cast thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Amulet Books, in exchange for an honest review.
It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite.
When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.
If you liked The Diviners or The Great Gatsby, I can almost guarantee that you’ll love Iron Cast by Destiny Soria.
Iron Cast takes place in an alternate pre-Prohibition Boston, where hemopaths cannot practice. Hemopaths basically have an iron allergy that also gives them power to create illusions for others through music, poetry or acting. Ada and Corinne work at a club called the Cast Iron, run by gangster Johnny Dervish. By night, they perform illusions for crowds, and by day they use their illusions to steal from the Boston elite, in order to keep the club running.
There wasn’t anything about this novel that I didn’t like. There’s magic, intrigue, politics, romance, and a french horn player! I was kept on my toes throughout the novel, needing to know what came next. I certainly did not expect the major twist that happened. Charlie hitting someone with his french horn made me cringe, though. That’s really not good for the instrument!
The true star of this novel is the friendship between Ada and Corinne. They were honest with each other, genuinely cared about each others needs and never let anything get between them. They came from such completely different backgrounds and recognize each others faults, and their friendship was actually stronger because of it. The minor characters kept surprising me, just like the main characters did, and they all shone in their own way. I loved the amount of diversity that just was in Iron Cast. I also loved that Soria mentioned the race issues that Ada would have run into during that time period.
“When I was a little girl, I wrote a book entitled Horses of All Kinds (complete with illustrations and staple binding). I’ve been writing ever since, though with fewer crayons. I grew up in a tiny town in Alabama that you’ve never heard of. There I spent my summers playing with sticks in the woods and exploring such distinguished careers as Forest Bandit, Wayward Orphan, and Woodland Fairy Princess.
Since none of those were actual college majors, I settled on English, so that I could read and write to my heart’s content—and earn a degree while I was at it. After college, I ran away to New Zealand for seven months, where I only pretended to be a character from Lord of the Rings on special occasions. The rest of the time I backpacked across the wilderlands, petted fluffy sheep, and gave tours of a haunted prison.
Nowadays I live and work in the shadow of the mighty Vulcan in Birmingham, AL. In my spare time, I hula hoop badly, direct a Shakespearean web series called Shakes, and snuggle with my cat Sophie (named for the witch in Howl’s Moving Castle, of course).”
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