I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
Published by Abrams on October 11th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Social Themes, Prejudice & Racism, Historical, United States, 20th Century
Format: eBook, Hardcover
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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. An ideal next read for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners.
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria is set in the early 20th century before prohibition. The story centers around what are known as “homopaths,” individuals whose blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, but are dangerously affected by iron. Two best friends, Corinne and Ada, work for gangster Johnny Dervish in his club, the Cast Iron, at night playing for the crowds. By day, the two use their special skills to run cons around Boston. After a job goes wrong, Ada is imprisoned in an asylum for hemopaths, leaving Corinne to somehow help her escape. Once out, the women wind up investigating the murder of their boss, while figuring out how to keep the club open for business.
I really enjoyed the relationship between these two women. Corinne and Ada would do anything for each other, and they never let the men in their life come between them. Though they were opposites in many ways, they somehow forged a partnership that helped propel the story forward. The other aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the diversity of the characters. Ada was African and Brazilian, so we got a glimpse at what a woman of color faced during 1919. Her friend Saint was gay, but while I appreciated his inclusion, I felt that his sexuality was just thrown in there. He had a romantic interest, but that storyline was never very developed. In fact, lack of character development with the secondary characters would be my main complaint about this novel.
Aside from Corinne, Ada, Charlie (Ada’s boyfriend), and Gabriel (Corinne’s love interest), the other characters weren’t very fleshed out for the kind of story this was. Johnny Dervish is a big-time gangster, but we don’t get a chance to see much of him and his business tactics until after he disappears. Saint paints and is gay. I don’t know much else about him until the very end, and then it felt like an afterthought. The same can be said for many of the other characters. However, my biggest gripe was that the villains of the novel were the worst developed characters in the bunch. Though I enjoyed the big reveal, it didn’t have as much impact, because there didn’t seem like a lot of motivation. I wish more time had been spent on developing the secondary characters, than on Ada and Corinne’s shenanigans.