Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
I did not enter this book in the best frame of mind having been "forced" to read it after I was fairly determined to ignore it. As such, I found the beginning a little confusing and cliched with the daredevil pilot and the plucky, clever girl who throws caution to the wind. But once I got over my attitude and settled into this world, I found myself liking it quite a bit even as I tried to resist. Luckily, the "secret" of who Ana really is, is revealed officially about halfway into the book rather then springing it on the reader at the end as if we don't already know. That allowed the plot to really get down to the mystery of what happened years before without forcing the author to write mysterious sentences that didn't reveal anything. Ana's pirate family is great and supportive, reminding me of the crew of the Firefly or the Scooby Gang in Buffy. And if you knew what a Buffy fan I am, you'd understand how high that praise is.
Ana's relationship with Di was less interesting to me just because I found the hesitating over their feelings - and whether Di even had feelings since he is a robot/android - typical and boring. I also had some problems with their age difference since Di is fully formed and, I assume, was basically an adult right from the moment of his creation. Therefore, he was grown up when they went into the escape pod and Ana was still a child. So for them to now form a romantic attachment is a little weird. However, that is one of those mind-boggling conundrums like when you try to figure out time-travel movies because does a robot actually age? Does my perception of what's an appropriate relationship between a human and an android even apply? With that issue aside, I will say that it was pretty convenient that the crew just happened to find a more humanoid robot to download Di into. Speaking of relationships, the bonding of Jax and Robb was too fast for my taste in terms of what they knew about each other (nothing) to become so close. But I liked both of them and aside from the speediness of their relationship building, I liked watching them come together.
As I approached the end of the book I lost some of my enthusiasm because it was a little longer than I felt it needed to be. I think the book overall could lose 50 to 100 pages and it would be better for that to keep the action moving and tighter than it is. Otherwise, it is just a good example of straight up rollicking sci fi.