An action-packed tale full of romance, royalty, and adventure, inspired by the story of Anastasia. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows, Cinder, and the cult classic television show Firefly.
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?
“Tangled politics, electrifying twists, and heady romances—the stars align in Poston’s faster-than-light sci-fi adventure. A delicious, absorbing book.”Sara Raasch
“With sharply drawn characters, a relentless plot, and an utterly spellbinding world, Heart of Iron is a must-read for sci-fi fans.”C.J. Redwine
“Poston delivers a delightful cast and non-stop thrills in this lightspeed space adventure. The pages flew by, and I couldn’t put it down.”Victoria Schwab
“The legends surrounding Anastasia Romanove get an sf makeover in this...exciting Firefly-style space opera.”Booklist
12/01/2017School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In an unusual blend of sci-fi and fantasy, this series opener (inspired by the story of Anastasia) rotates narration among an unusually large cast of characters. The central character, Ana, is accompanied by her "metal" sidekick D09, who is rapidly failing due to malware. Meanwhile, the heir to the Iron Crown must be located—one who can touch the crown without it rusting is a true heir to the emperor. There is a presumed heir, Erik, unlikable in that entitled-gentry-kid sort of way, but nobody has ever seen him touch the crown. Readers will stake their money on the younger brother, Robb, and will initially ship Robb with Ana—until it is revealed that Robb really only has eyes for Jaxx, the maverick "star kisser," who has the inherited ability to see the future. As the plot twists on, a past plague is revealed along with a sinister plan to conscript an army. With the inclusion of androids, the definition of humanity is a resounding theme. The book runs long, but the short chapters will draw readers in and the rich backstory gives them plenty to chew on. VERDICT A great choice for fans of Victoria Aveyard's "Red Queen" trilogy and for young readers looking for a hint of Game of Thrones that won't burn their eyeballs with overt sexuality.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
The story of Anastasia, lost princess of Imperial Russia, retold as space opera.In 1918, the 17-year-old daughter of Russia's last czar was murdered with her family, but rumors persisted for decades that she might have survived in secret. In this version, the family of the Emperor of the Iron Kingdom, including his daughter Ananke Armorov, is known to have been murdered seven years ago in the android rebellion. Meanwhile, a ragtag crew of space pirates is community to brown-skinned and burn-scarred Ana. Ana's best friend—about whom she has secret, more-than-friend feelings—is Di, a Metal: an android. Metals aren't popular since the rebellion; most have been infected with the mind-controlling HIVE program that removes their free will. Complicating matters are Robb, a blue-eyed, olive-skinned noble on his own quest, and Jax, a violet-eyed, silver-haired Solani boy who pilots the pirate ship. Jax and Robb keep making eyes at each other, which is troublesome, since Robb's mother wants Ana's whole crew dead. Melodramatic back stories abound: there's a prophesied savior, a prince in hiding with a secret power, and a noble young man with no memory. Malapropisms abound in the florid, awkward narrative ("Her voice warbled with the weight of those words"). There's the kernel of a dramatic space yarn here, but it never comes to fruition.A surplus of angst-ridden back stories told in deeply regrettable prose. (Science fiction. 12-15)