Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Balzer + Bray (2.27.2018)
eARC, 480 pages
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 effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?
I’ll always come back for you. I promise you on iron and stars.
This book started off horribly slow, but did get more interesting as it went on. It was good for a debut. It was also an interesting mix of sci-fi and high fantasy – while it felt very strongly like a sci-fi, the setting was HF.
My main complaint is that this book was horribly, painfully predictable. View Spoiler »As soon as they said the crown rusted for everyone, I knew it wasn’t going to rust for Ana. I also figured the metals weren’t actually responsible for burning the Iron Palace. And that Rasovant was the bad guy. The ONLY thing I didn’t predict is that the metals were actually human souls. Everything else I saw coming a mile away. « Hide Spoiler
It also felt rather generic. It’s a retelling of Anastasia, which is fabulous, but at the same time I personally am sick of the ordinary girl turned special snowflake/lost princess trope (plus it made it even more predictable), so it felt like a thousand other stories I’ve already read. I did quite love the concept of the metals and the Iron Crown’s property of rusting for non-royals. It had a great space opera feel to it, too, that made it enjoyable to read for the most part but not necessarily memorable.
I’m also getting kind of sick of multiple POVs. It has to be done just a certain way for me to enjoy it, and this one didn’t quite have it. It was easy to get them confused because they all felt the same, so I never quite connected with any of them.
I was very curious about the Solani! They can’t lie, hate the dark, and can read the stars. I hope to get more background on Jax in the second book! While I didn’t care a whole lot about the four main characters, I was rather intrigued by Jax’s race. Actually, I liked the supporting characters better than the main characters! Ana’s crew was probably my favorite part of the book because of the banter and the sense of family they shared. I really liked Siege, the woman who raised Ana!
Did I mention there’s a ton of awesome diversity in this book? Two of the main characters – Jax and and Prince Robb – were gay. The woman who raised Ana was married to another woman. Actually, none of the romance in this book was conventional because Ana was in love with a Metal as well, which was kind of weird but it worked somehow? View Spoiler »Turns out he was actually a person trapped in a Metal body anyway so it’s not as weird I guess… « Hide Spoiler
While this one didn’t wow me, I am interested to see where it goes in the next one!
“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.”
She was the heir to the Iron Kingdom. She was a girl born in fire and raised in the stars, and someday she would burn against the darkness – and drive it away.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5