Iron Heart

Nina Varela


Reviewed: 2020-09-15

Iron Heart is the sequel to last year's debut novel, Crier's War. There are a number of pros and a couple cons with this book.

First off, I absolutely loved Ayla and Crier's relationship. The yearning! The angst! If you want slow burn romance, this is the series for you. Downside, the rest of the characters weren't that developed. There's a revolving door of characters, none of which get that much scene time. There's hints about backgrounds and connections, but none of the threads are fully explored.

My issue with the characters extends to my larger issue, which is the world building. The world is Iron Heart has a lot of potential, and what's implied is great, but there needs to be more. In my opinion, this duology needed to be a trilogy. I don't blame the author for this, but publishing for the recent push on duologies and keeping YA within a certain page range. I feel like if these books were allowed to be as long as they needed to be, my world building question areas would be resolved. As is, the plot felt rushed and we're not given time to connect to all the side characters. I especially have questions about Ayla's brother Storme. There are some jumps that can be made, but I would greatly appreciate it if these were actually delved into.

That's not to say the book isn't good. I read Iron Heart in an evening! I just wish it had been able to reach its full potential. This book and these characters deserve that, which is why I'm disappointed that it wasn't all it could be.

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