In terms of a novel’s potential, I don’t think I’ve read any bit of publisher’s copy more convincing than that of Destiny Soria‘s Iron Cast. Set in 1919 Boston, this young adult title centers on Ada and Corinne: two teenage hemopaths whose ability to use blood magic marks them as inhuman. What could have been a dark and gripping tale of magic and mystery in a Jazz Age underground ultimately fizzles out before it ever really sparks an interest.
Iron Cast opens with Corinne’s effort to spring Ada from a hospital-prison designed to “humanely” contain hemopaths. The jailbreak goes off without a hitch, and it becomes apparent that Ada wound up incarcerated after a botched job for their employer, Johnny Dervish: a gangster who uses hemopaths to fleece prominent society figures out of money and power. Ada and Corinne return to their lives of crime, with Ada sending money to her immigrant parents, and Corinne keeping up the charade of attending a prep school for young ladies.
As the novel progresses, readers meet a variety of characters who, ultimately, blend together as much as the heroines themselves. After the jailbreak, readers must muddle through more than 100 pages without unnoticeable plot progression before another event kicks off Iron Cast‘s real story. Unfortunately, this lack of action, combined with the negligible variation in attitude or manner that would distinguish one character from another, leaves an impression of Iron Cast as a muddied novel, lacking the texture one expects from historical fiction.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.
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Image credit: Rick Harris