Title: Iron Cast
Author: Destiny Soria
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 11 Oct 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
REVIEW BY BETH
With an evocative and beautifully set scene and intrigue from the first sentence, Iron Cast takes you straight back to 1910s/1920s America. As well as fantastic scene setting, Soraya creates scintillating characters and relationships.
The ingenious and imaginative part of Iron Cast are the individuals with the unique blood disorder, allowing them to form visions and illusions and even conjure emotions. It’s a fantastical element which lifts this historical novel to a new level.
The novel follows Corinne and Ada, whose friendship is cleverly drawn, aided by both girls being hemopaths. They can both do some very strange things because of the condition and despite their distinctly different background it brings them together. I’m not a fan of the paranormal but it appeals to me when it is well worked into a story and seems a perfect fit for the surroundings and this is definitely the case in Iron Cast. The two main characters are able to use other means, music and poetry, to convey the talents they have gained through their condition and it is fascinating how the author conjures up such a strange and believable world.
Iron Cast is about more than paranormal health conditions and Prohibition however; it also deals with race on a number of levels. Hemopaths themselves are seen as a lower, inferior race and second to this, Ada is also mixed-race. Corinne benefits from privileges that Ada will never have but she uses these privileges in a way that they can help Ada too.
There is a hint of romance in the novel but it’s the relationship between Ada and Corinne that shines. They spend their time performing their mesmerising and illegal acts hemopathy at the nightclub as well as conning the elite of Boston. An early 20th century image of Boston is evoked on every page of this novel and Soria has clearly put serious time and effort into researching the historical period she is writing about. It is then taken to another level with an injection of paranormal intrigue and this makes it a very hard novel to put down.