Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Date Read: 10/4/16 to 10/9/16
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.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.
Iron Cast was a surprise. A huge surprise. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, until I got myself into it.
I guess I’ll start with breaking it down. The novel starts off with Ada being caught on a con, and shipped off to an institution. Why? Because being a hemopath allows Ada to use her music to make people feel what she wants them to feel. Corinne is also a hemopath, but a wordsmith, who uses poetry to create illusions. She makes people see what she wants them to see. The two together form a great team, and a great friendship. It’s why it is no surprise that the book starts right in the middle of the action, with an escape.
Why exactly did I love Iron Cast so much? For many, many reasons.
- Ada and Corinne have an amazing friendship. They use their abilities in amazing ways, performing cons that others could never pull off.
- How the book alludes to discrimination as it was in the 1900s. Hemopaths are super sensitive to iron, and that's how they're differentiated between "normal" people. They're hauled off to be experimented on, the law states hemopathy is illegal, they can't even gather together without being arrested. Though Ada is African American and Saint is gay, the book focuses on them both being discriminated against by being hemopaths.
- Side note: The cover for this book is amazing! There could have easily been a white girl on this cover.
- The abilities of a hemopath, and how they’re all tied back to art. For example, a thespian can change their appearance to anyone, a wordsmith can use poetry to paint an illusion, a songsmith can use music or voice to manipulate feelings. I’m still unsure as to how individualized these abilities are, but nevertheless they are pretty cool.
- The book is #squadgoals.
I didn’t have many complaints either! Though I do have to say that there was a point where there was a climax, right at the end. As a standalone, it’s a little weird since it’s not like there will be another book to continue the action. I remember there only being around 5% left for some sort of epilogue. Plus, what I thought was the real climax already happened pages ago.
What can I even say to conclude? Well, read the book of course. This was such a refreshing read, especially after all the meh 2016 books I have read recently. Oh, and this raises some questions. How would you like it if people could control your mental state or emotions? Do you think if hemopathy was real, you would vote to outlaw it?