Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Ashley Poston, author of Geekerella, takes us on a science fiction adventure described as Anastasia-meets-Firefly (two of my favorite things). Ana is desperate to fix her best friend/robot/secret love of her life but is missing an essential piece; a piece she is willing to do dangerous things for.
Robb, meanwhile, is going in the same direction, but for very different reasons. He’s trying to find his father who went missing 7 years ago. Ana and Robb’s paths cross on their way to the Tsarina where they hope to find what they’re looking for. Instead, they become fugitives on the run from the empire and are forced to work together.
This was rough.
Ashley Poston is an amazing person. I loved Geekerella more than words can say, and learning that Heart of Iron was being pitched as an Anastasia retelling made me happier than words can say. Anastasia has been a long-running obsession in my lifetime and there are very few movies/conspiracy theories that I love more.
Anastasia in space? Sign me up. Anastasia meets Firefly? Cue the tears.
Yet this was not at all what I thought it was going to be. And I can’t decide if it’s more mine or Poston’s fault.
I don’t want to say that the book was bad, because it wasn’t. And just because it wasn’t what I expected doesn’t mean that some other Anastasia-loving reader wouldn’t enjoy this. Unfortunately for me, this book just missed the magic of the original Anastasia story, and this made me incredibly sad.
And it sucks, guys, because I’ve been looking forward to this book for months. There’s no one on the planet who was more excited for this book release. It was just missing something.
I tried desperately to find Dimitri in the midst of this star-studded story, yet only found myself confused and conflicted by the human/robot romance. The secondary characters were a fresh inclusion, but the instalove was real and the character development almost nonexistent.
As for the relationship between Ana and her grandmother, I found that to be one of the most beautiful parts of the original story: the family reunion. Yet here, the Grand Duchess was cold and ignorant and insensitive to Ana’s past and there was no heartwarming coming-together.
Ana was revealed to be the lost princess about halfway through the book, which is fine I suppose. Well, it would have been. Yet after we discover Ana’s surprising heritage, it seemed like the rest of the story fell apart.
I struggled hard with this story. I didn’t want to compare it too much with the original Anastasia movie, especially once I realized that Poston’s retelling was much looser than I had anticipated. Yet even after I chose to ignore all the things that I felt didn’t quite meet the mark, the basic story itself seemed weak.
Overall, I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, and I will still continue with the series. However, it definitely wasn’t what I hoped it would be, and the end result fell short.