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Iron Cast

Iron Cast

4.2 5
by Destiny Soria

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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—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


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—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, she realizes 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. An ideal next read for fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners.

Editorial Reviews

"Hand this entrancing historical fantasy to fans of Libba Bray's Diviners series or anyone who likes their magic on the seamier side."
YA Books Central
“Destiny Soria’s debut is without a doubt one of the best of the year.”
VOYA, December 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 5) - Jamie Hansen
In an alternate 1919 Boston, Ava Navarro and Corinne Wells are unlikely best friends. The teenagers are hemopaths whose blood carries a factor giving them the power to create visions and illusions through art. With the gift comes an excruciating aversion to cold iron. At the Cast Iron nightclub, protected by its gangster owner Johnny Dervish, Ava plays her beloved violin as Corinne recites poetry for wealthy patrons who pay well for the privilege of being mesmerized. The pair also uses their gifts to pull elaborate con games, separating unsuspecting “regs” from their money. Unfortunately, hemopathy is illegal and the sinister Hemopath Protection Agency (HPA) seizes its practitioners, sending them to facilities like the grim Haversham Asylum for Afflictions of the Blood. Sought by the HPA, Ava and Corinne face betrayal, torture, and the threat of death. Soria’s complex and occasionally confusing supernatural/historical/fantasy debut novel requires commitment from readers. The story does not adequately explain the relationship between blood, hemopathic gifts, and the torment of iron. While the beginning of the book moves ponderously, the final third becomes a series of dramatic captures and rescues. Although the author devotes many pages to establishing setting and characters, neither the world of 1919 nor the individuals ever come to life. Sensible Ava and impulsive Corinne are likeable protagonists, but their friends and enemies never emerge from the shadows. Choose this title for collections where this genre mash-up will be popular. Reviewer: Jamie Hansen; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 12/01/2016
Gr 9 Up—Owing to a blood condition, hemopaths have the ability to perform a variety of illusions through poetry, painting, or music. In an alternate Boston, as Prohibition is on the verge of making alcohol illegal in 1919, hemopathy shows are also officially against the law. Corinne Wells and Ada Navarra have called Johnny Dervish's club, the Cast Iron, home for years, blending their respective magical talents as a wordsmith and a songsmith both on stage and in cons meant to rustle up enough money to keep the club open. After a routine job goes wrong, Ada is sent to a hemopath prison, and her attempt at escape sets off a series of events that leave two Cast Iron workers dead and Dervish in the wind. With only each other and their talents as hemopaths and con women to rely on, Ada and Corinne will have to confront uncomfortable truths about Johnny, the Cast Iron, and themselves if they want to keep their freedom. Woven with layered themes, including racial prejudice (Corinne is white, and Ada is mixed race), Soria's debut novel is an atmospheric alternate history fantasy. Readers will be easily swept up by the vivid descriptions of everything from historic Boston locations to complex hemopath illusions. Stories of the diverse cast of flawed and complicated characters striving to do better complement the solid female friendship at the core of this absorbing novel. VERDICT Mystery and fantasy blend well in this witty title filled with twists and fast-paced action. A first purchase for all fiction collections.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library

Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Destiny Soria graduated from Samford University with a BA in English. For seven months, she backpacked across New Zealand, supporting herself as a travel writer and tour guide in a haunted prison. She now lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama. Iron Cast is her debut novel.

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Iron Cast 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Loved it! New author for me to follow! Easy to get wrapped up in the strong characters in this story
ShannonAThompson 14 days ago
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria ❄ Mix prohibition, underground clubs, asylums, and fantasy together, and you have Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. A historical fantasy, Iron Cast follows the entertainers in Boston’s illegal Cast Iron club. Why is it illegal? Because hemopaths entertain you. What’s a hemopath? People capable of creating illusions through song, poetry, or art. But they can be hurt by iron, and someone evil is after them. This book is lively, diverse, and beautiful. If you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind standalone, this one is for you. The main characters are full of sass, wit, and friendship, and I loved their dynamic and how their confront their biggest problems. The love interests are fun, but never take center stage, and I enjoyed exploring every dark part of the city with the cast. The world-building is fantastic. The secrets are scary. And the ending is fitting. ~SAT Recommended to: urban fantasy readers in a historical setting Favorite Quote: And my mother said to me, ‘Charles, sometimes there’s more bad in this world than good, and sometimes, it’s the other way round. But nature ain’t good or bad, and it can’t be help that some people get so mixed up that they can’t tell one from the other. Favorite Word: Gossamer - a fine, filmy substance consisting of cobwebs spun by small spiders, which is seen especially in autumn. Used in the sentence: Suddenly the ceiling above them was a blanket of stars, with a silver moon draped in gossamer threads of light. (Pg. 25.)
BeesKneesBookishKorner 6 months ago
What I liked about this book: It has a diverse cast of characters. The pace is steady. It talks about racism, both real and with the fictional hemopaths. The dialogue and use of period colloquialisms. The cover is beautiful. Soria’s writing makes you care about the characters. What I didn’t like about this novel: Having finished this book, I am still unclear as to what hemopaths are and the extent of their “powers”. Some of the plot twists were predictable. Iron Cast takes place during such an interesting time in U.S. history. In 1919, World War I has ended, but people are still scarred and recovering. It’s also on the cusp of the Roaring 20s. Prohibition is getting ready to pass, jazz and new dances are all the rage, fashion is beautiful and expressive of the atmosphere of the time and the slang and lingo is outstanding and fun. This story is about Corinne and Ada who had very different backgrounds growing up, but their hemopath affliction threw them together and they become thick as thieves…literally. I liked both girls but Corinne is my favorite. She’s the spoiled rich girl in the story, but she’s also dynamic, funny, and Soria gives her more depth than she does Ava. Ava is the daughter of African immigrants and she knows nothing of a life of privilege. Together, she and Corinne are spunky, brave, and adventurous but alone, Ava is a bit one dimensional, which is a shame. There are bits of romance in the story, but it would be on the bottom of the list of themes in this novel. The romance added just the right amount of spice without it becoming the main focus or feeling like Soria was trotting it out just to cross off boxes. Mostly, this story is about friendship and loyalty with some fantasy thrown in, in the form of hemopaths, and action and suspense from the cons that the girls run for their gangster-type boss. When Ava becomes imprisoned, you very much feel the suspense wondering if she’ll be tortured or killed and if Corrine will be able to rescue her. It was, at the foundation, a fun read. However, Soria was light on the details surrounding hemopaths. We know from the blurb that Corinne and Ada are able to create illusions from singing and playing instruments. We also know that their abilities come from some sort of mutation to their blood. The reader also discovers that other hemopaths have different abilities all coming from different aspects of art. But why and how and how many people? When did the mutations start? Is it hereditary? This type of fantasy writing, overall, is pretty unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story with characters with these type of abilities. Still, it would have been a much more satisfying story to have some of these questions answered, for Soria to have gone into more detail and background on the hemopaths. Overall, I had fun reading this book and enjoyed it. It’s a great young adult novel and would have been fantastic with just a bit more detail. Still, for me, I read it in a couple days because I had a great time with it and I would recommend it to anyone who likes young adult novels with some unique fantasy topped off with suspense and romance.
LuluRoadsideReader 8 months ago
Seeing a person of colour on the cover really inspired me to pick Iron Cast by Destiny Soria up. I feel like it’s so rare to find a YA/paranormal book that dares to feature someone who isn’t milky white, that I knew I had to figure out what this book was about and give it a shot. I’m glad I did because this story was absolutely fantastic. Not only did it include bits reminding that Ada, one of the main characters, is a person of color and therefore treated differently, it also featured a great plot that surprised even me at the end! The start, I must say, was a bit confusing simply because I didn’t know what a hemopath was. I had forgotten the description of it from the synopsis and was just like okay something with the blood, but what? It did get explained, but not until a bit later on. I mean, in one sense, it did keep the story flowing realistically since the characters would all obviously know what a hemopath was and therefore didn’t need to explain it, but on the other, I was lost for a bit wondering what their magical powers were. The characters are fun. Ada especially, I loved. She tries to move around this world as though she doesn’t have multiple strikes against her (I mean, this is prohibition era). And yet, she perseveres and tries to remain true to herself. Her romance with Charlie, I died. It was so great and natural and I just loved that pairing. I worried that perhaps opening with them together would mean Soria would do something to tear them apart later on, but, well, you’ll see. Corinne is interesting in that she is white and privileged and yet, because of her “affliction,” she has to slum it, ending up becoming friends with Ada. Best friends, actually. What I loved about Corinne, apart from her unending loyalty, is how she deals with Gabriel. Most YA heroines would just swoon, but she remained firm at the end and I thought yes, I need more characters like this in other YA books! When it comes to the plot, however, Iron Cast truly excels. It held so many different layers that the ending came as such a surprise for me. Soria really, truly did her research in that time period and used all of it to layer a plot and story that felt credible. The pacing was a steady crescendo towards the climax and the resolution was a bit heartbreaking. I wonder if there might be a part two so we can follow what becomes of all the outcasts. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria is perfect for readers that are interested in reading more historical novels, but with a slight paranormal twist. The author does a fantastic job weaving together all of the political and societal undertones happening during the time period into a plot that takes twists and turns. // I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title. //
The-Broke-Book-Bank 8 months ago
The Good: +Loved the characters +Loved the friendships +Loved the magic & worldbuilding . +Loved the writing +Diverse cast and intersectional issues +Did not see any of the twists coming The Bad & The Other: =Slower, start and stop pacing until the last 70% or so =Kept mixing up Iron Cast and Cast Iron =Open ending. Hope there’s a sequel… This wasn’t quite the fun heist novel like several of the comparisons being made. It’s darker and more complex with different intersectional issues going on. There’s a lot of layers, players, and trust issues. When it seems to wind down, it ramps right back up. It starts with Corinne posing as someone else while rescuing Ada, which threw me for a loop. Afterwards is when the introductions and worldbuilding starts and that inevitably slows the pace down. Since I found the set up fascinating and love getting lost in fantasy worlds, this worked for me. Corinne, and Ada are inseparable best sister-friends. From different worlds and perspectives, they have natural volley conversations. But far from instant clicking and effortlessness, they work at being friends and overcome a lot to become friends in the first place. It’s really sweet, sarcastic, and wonderful to see. The foreword from Soria makes it clear how important this was to get right, and she smashed it out of the park for me. The Cast Iron is the name of the club and oh my gods, I kept reading either the title wrong as Cast Iron or the club name as Iron Cast. There must be some significance and reason for this, but I’ll be honest, I’m at a loss. Not a big deal, but it did take me out of the story occasionally when I realized what I was doing. And Cast Iron makes me think of the pans… Anywho, The Cast Iron crew is the definition of a motley crew and I loved it. They all have their own talents, pasts, and personalities. There are several couples running around but the romance doesn’t dominate. It’s intertwined and they keep their focus and priorities. Also, these kids aren’t all on their own. Most have issues and disconnects with their families, but they’re still present and play a part. I’d say more but spoilers. Once the plot gets past the blurb, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen or who would pop up. There are artists, cons, gangsters, politicians, and the elite running around, which is enough for any normal book but add in the hemopath powers and it’s explosive. If you’re willing to commit or savor a well-written novel that reads like the set-up for a series (*crosses fingers*), I highly recommend Iron Cast.