Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
Published on October 11, 2016 by Amulet Books.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Amulet Books for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA historical urban fantasy.

My rating:

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.


Iron Cast was one of those impulse requests on NetGalley that usually turn out to be horrible – but I am very, very glad I let myself be pulled in by this gorgeous cover.

This is the story of two best friends, Corrine and Ada. I’ve recently talked about friends and cited this novel as a good example of a bookish friendship – and I stand by this. These two young women are an unlikely pair but I think their relationship is what made the book for me. I loved their loyalty, their willingness to sacrifice their own safety for the other, their acceptance of the other’s flaws (but not blind acceptance, mind you). This is what true friendship is about and I loved how Soria portrayed them.

As characters, Corrine and Ada are very interesting. They are both hemopaths – their “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to manipulate people’s emotions and create illusions through words and music – but their gifts are very different. Corrine, a daughter of an important and wealthy family, is headstrong, impulsive, and often too brash; Ada, a girl shunned not just for her ability but for her dark skin, is calm, thoughtful, and steadfast. I liked the contrast between their personalities, I think they worked very well together.

The supporting characters were well-fleshed out, too – I enjoyed their stories and the fact that I never knew who to trust, who to like. I’m not entirely sure whether this is meant to be the first part of a series but the story, while featuring a perfectly good ending, definitely made me wish for more. I hope Soria will continue Corrine and Ada’s story.

loved the world and the worldbuilding. The pre-Prohibition era isn’t a historical period I know well – it certainly isn’t very common in literature, at least I haven’t read a lot of books in set in that time period (I can only think of The Great Gatsby, which I hated). It wasn’t just about the dresses and the illegal clubs, though, Soria did her homework well and created a rich environment where the glitzy high society meets the underbelly of the city. The asylum brings a note of horror to the story (but not too much, it was fine for me and I’m a huge chicken when it comes to horror).

The magical system was very interesting as well – art as magic is a fantastic idea, especially since we have different types of hemopaths that use words, music, painting for their illusions and manipulations. The ethical implications of such abilities were very intriguing, too, and I liked that Soria took the time to explore them.

All in all, this is a really good novel. As far as I can tell, this is Soria’s debut – and you can be sure I’ll be on the lookout for her next novel, whether it’s a sequel to this one or something else entirely.


Have you read Iron Cast? What did you think?

Do you have any recs for books set in the same time period?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Yay, I’m so glad we both enjoyed this one. Ada and Corinne’s friendship was definitely the highlight for me as well. They played so well off each other on top of being so loyal. Let’s hope she gets a chance to write a follow-up novel. Great review!

    • Thanks, Alicia! I was really happy with this one – the cover is so gorgeous I was afraid it would be a complete disaster but it wowed me. And it’s a debut! I can’t wait for more of her writing.

  • Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    This sounds so amazing! I love great friendships too, and I feel like I don’t read enough of them. Like you said, I don’t think I’ve read a lot set in that time period (and I hated The Great Gatsby too), which makes this book even more interesting. Great review Kaja!

    • Thanks! :)

      Oh, hello, fellow Gatsby hater (what IS IT with this book – some people love it absolutely and I just couldn’t stand any of the characters, SO OBNOXIOUS!). Ugh. But yes, the time period is not all that common and I loved it!

  • I saw this on Goodreads and wasn’t sure about it (loved the cover but the blurb was so-so), but your review has swayed me so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it now!

    • Ah, I’m always glad to hear that my reviews got someone to read a great book! And yes, the cover is gorgeous, isn’t it? For once, it definitely matches the story. Happy reading, I hope you’ll like it!

  • I want to read this soooo badly – and I only learned about it recently so it’s great seeing all the amazing reviews starting to pop up. I’ll probably be doing the audiobook!

    • I hope you get to read it, it’s a really good story. It definitely stuck with me – and that’s always a good sign. It’s a debut, which is amazing, since the writing is gorgeous!

  • I love your review. I am with you on all the points. I actually studied the pre-prohibition and prohibition era way back when (or a few years ago) and I was utterly fascinated by it then so I loved reading about it in this book. It reminded me why I liked that period. I also adored the friendship in the book. I loved that it was intentional that it was all about their friendship and everything else was extra. You don’t get that enough in books (as we’ve said before).

    As for more recs for books set in this era I got nothing. I wish I did. If you get some good recs you should make a list. I may try and do some googling. I like the idea of an era based list of reads, I may find something new and original.

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