Author: Destiny Soria
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
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—captivate their audience. 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, they realize 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.
Iron Cast is an exciting young adult novel that perfectly blends historical fiction and fantasy. I'm not a big reader of historical fiction, but I decided to give this one a try because of the magical aspect. I'm really glad I did - it turned out to be much better than I thought. The two main characters - Ada and Corinne - are fun and intriguing. Due to their different heritage and backgrounds, they make an odd pair in the early twentieth century - which is when the story takes place. I loved that the author made them different in so many ways, but they perfectly complement each other in the parts that really made. Both are smart, spirited, loyal friends, and practiced magicians. The only small issue I had with the book was the author's choice of writing style. It's done in the third person point of view, which I'm not exactly a fan of. I fully believe that the first person POV is the way to go in almost every case - this one included. I loved the characters of Ada and Corinne, but I think the story would have been even better if it had been written using the first person POV. We get to know the girls pretty well, but not as deeply as the other writing style allows - which I think holds back a real connection with the reader. The other aspects of the book are fantastic - the setting is a great fit for the plot and the main characters, the story line was interesting and pretty unique, and the writing itself was full of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions. It brought the girls' world to life in front of my eyes, which is hard to do with historical fiction. The plot was packed with magic, action, friendship, and obstacles - and kept me on my toes the entire time. I was fully engaged right from the beginning of the novel and ended up reading the whole book in one sitting of a few hours. It's a wonderful story that fans of both historical fiction and fantasy will really enjoy.