Heart of Iron by Ash Poston (where I lament about my lack of a Rasputin and bat thing sidekick)

heart of iron graphics

heart of ironGoodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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?

You know you’re 100% not into the book anymore when the book ends on a huge cliffhanger and you’re like, well, eh, where was my green glowing Rasputin that never showed up?

This was one of my mostttttttttttttt anticipated books of 2018. It was one of my new favorite authors last year who created the masterpiece that was Geekerella that blended the Cinderella story with nerdy epicness and cons. When I heart Poston was taking on one of my favorite animated movies everrrrrrrrrrrrrr – Anastasia – in SPACE? MEETING FIREFLY? I was already crying.

Let me get out the retelling aspects out right now since literally all of my Goodreads updates were me trying to figure out where Rasputin was and who he was supposed to be. I guess I was expecting more Anastasia? Geekerella last year was full of cool, inventive takes on the original fairytale, and I guess I was expecting the same thing from this one. I was going into this story with it expecting it to be a retelling but with more of a Cinder feel to it? You’re still having the things that happened in it but you still have more into the story with wars from evil peeps involved.

However, I think you should know this is not a full blown retelling. It’s more like loosely based on. I don’t know if was only ever supposed to be inspired by it, but I walked into this thinking it was going to be a retelling, and I was quite disappointed. I mean, yes, it does follow the whole overreaching plot of the whole lost princess thing, but it kind of took away a lot of the original plot of trying to convince the Grand Duchess of Ana’s royalty and training her how to be a princess and such. I mean, Dmitri wasn’t even the person to tell everyone that Ana was the person. I just felt a little jipped since it only took a few little things of the original story and put a whole new story in there. I JUST WANTED MY ANASTASIA STORY THAT I KNEW AND LOVED. I COULDN’T EVEN FIGURE OUT WHO WAS RASPUTIN. Since Anastasia is one of my ultimate loves (even though the poor gal isn’t a Disney princess), I just felt a little misled by a few things walking into the story – probably from my own misguided expectations since the moment I saw Anastasia’s name – and just wanted more.

heart of iron updates
Evidence of my struggle through my Goodreads updates.


I do think Poston came up with such an inventive idea. I mean, she did take the main aspect of the Anastasia retelling and came up with a cool world. I liked the feel she created with this novel. I did sometimes struggle with the world building – it took me a ridiculously LONG time to figure out the HIVE thing – and I didn’t even really understand if these people were on planets or how they were getting around or stuff like that. However, I think Poston did come up with cool, new things to the genre of sci-fi like the Solani and their powers. I liked the idea of The Great Dark as well, and the Iron stuff was pretty cool. But I was confused about a good deal of the world for a long time.

Poston still is a fantastic writer. She has such an ease with her writing. I mean, despite this being a 400+ page book, I sped through it in 3 days, since the flow and writing was just so easy to read. As I mentioned, there was a cool vibe to it, and the atmosphere she created was quite brilliant. I felt like I was in space, and even though it’s hard for me to get into sci-fi, I felt invested in the novel because I liked the feel.

The characters were quite iffy. I mean, I didn’t hate anyone, but I really didn’t like anyone. We have four main characters/narrators, and I didn’t feel anything for anyone. I suppose I liked Robb the best? I kept asking why everyone was hating on him, so I mean, I guess I felt the most for him. There were times that I did root someone on or felt bad for someone, but the most part, I felt nothing for them. Any feeling I had just felt surface level and didn’t have any depth. I’m not entirely sure why I felt this way, but sometimes, I just felt like they were just a bit too…cliched? They didn’t have little quirks that made them unique in my eyes. Jax felt like the cliche cocky, smartass captain while Ana felt like she was supposed to be the sassy, fierce special girl and Robb just felt like the conflicted hero. Di had a bit of a complexity to him that did feel different.

The romance was okay. I did prefer Jax’s and Robb’s romance to Ana’s and Di’s, but the Jax/Robb romance was totalllllllllll instalove. That took away some of the feels, but I did have some good feels for it. Ana and Di’s ship was okay. Wasn’t super into it, but I didn’t hate it.

I do have to give Poston major credits, though, for creating such a diverse cast. We have a m/m couple, our MCs are variety of different races, and they aren’t the perfect flawless characters (Ana has scars, Di is an android, and Robb later has a physical impairment).

cinderella tag
Ironic this book gets a Cinderella rating since her last book was about her.

I definitely preferred the first part of the story’s plot to the second part’s. I thought it was super interesting when they were on the ship and working up to the middle part. Once the second part hit, I kind of didn’t feel it as much as I was in the middle part. By the end, the action and pacing really ramped up, but I was kind of checked out by then. I think Poston did do good with creating tension and interesting twists and turns to pop up. However, I think the indifference I had for all of the characters really kind of made me not care what was happening and I didn’t get the gravity of the situation. Something really intense happens at the end of the story and while it was something similar that happened in another book I read that I absolutely loved the characters (in which I was literally cringing/crying/all shocked faced), I barely blinked in this one.

Overall, this really wasn’t the book I was expecting it to be. Poston is a very talented writer who did take another fairytale-esque story and make an interesting retelling. While it didn’t have all of the aspects that I was looking for in it, she did create a unique world full of cool sci-fi vibes and good, easy writing with a nice flow and pacing. The romance wasn’t bad, but I didn’t feel anything for the characters. This book is a light read, and I think for those that are iffy with sci-fi, it would be a good book to read. However, it did have quite a few issues for me in just trying to get me to feel something for it. Two crowns and a Cinderella rating!


What do you think? What was your thoughts about it? Is Anastasia one of your favorites? Does it matter how much of a retelling is in it when there is one? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

mandy signature

UN Human Right #11

11. We’re Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.

Lol, I don’t know about you guys, but these kids’ concepts of the rights are kind of killing me. “Bad thing” made me lose it. But this book doesn’t tackle this quite as directly except for one scene where Ana and Robb are literally getting judged by the Grand Duchess. However, I took this concept of Ana being judged from the moment she was born. She was judged based on her father’s decisions – even though she never had a trial and never did anything wrong – the evil dude definitely wasn’t aware of this right (and certainly not the easy peasy kids’ definition.

Join Book Princess Reviews in the April #30daysofHumanRightsBPR Blog Challenge! Participate with blog posts inspired by the UN Human Rights or Insta/Twitter pics and quotes w/ human rights themes. Find out more here!

27 thoughts on “Heart of Iron by Ash Poston (where I lament about my lack of a Rasputin and bat thing sidekick)

    1. I don’t think it was terrible, Priyasha, but it just didn’t live up to the epic summary and thoughts I had about it going in. It might be worth a read eventually, but it was just not as pleasing. D:


  1. I can’t. You were so hung up on the bat. (It was a bat. Just a bat. Not a bat thing.) XD Are you trying to tell me one of the main characters is based on an animated bat sidekick? Literally dead right now. IDK if you intended but this was lowkey more savage than Queen of the Underneath.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I can see why you’d be so disappointed by the lack of similarity to Anastasia – it’s a great movie. 😉 Not to mention, if you don’t feel for the characters, you don’t feel for the book. Terrific review! Enjoyed your opinion on this book as I’d been eyeing it for a while! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. Anastasia is just so much wonderfulness. But yes! Characters really make or break the book sometimes no matter the great plot. And while they weren’t bad, they just weren’t enough. And yes! I’m super interested to see what you think of it if you decide to try it out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, I myself don’t tend to continue a series if most of the characters weren’t compelling. I need at least one character I loved like crazy. And thank you!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was supposed to be THE Anastasia book…le sighhh. I’m sorry it wasn’t everything you hoped it would be Mandy! I mean how can you have Anastasia without evil, nasty looking Rasputin and the bat thing?? How?? I’ve been seeing so many mixed reviews on it…but I trust you the most. Maybe I’ll pick it up from the library one day, and we shall see how it goes for me. But I need characters that I hardcore root for…I hate to be wishy washy with them. Le sigh (again)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. I DUN KNOW, RENDZ. I WANTED MY RASPUTIN. I WANTED MY BAT THING. THERE WAS NONE. But yes, perhaps a library visit will be good for it. The characters sadly had that distinct wishy washy taste…erm, smell to them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Haven’t read this. I absolutely loved Geekerella and I figured if this was a retelling she’d nail it, but it seems a bit meh from the reviews I’ve read. Probably won’t pick up a copy. Thanks for the review! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally thought the same thing as well! I figured she would totally nail the retelling aspect, but I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. 😦 It’s definitely not on the same level as Geekerella.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.