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.
I’m so happy to feature Destiny Soria and her debut novel, IRON CAST, for Pique Week! Not only do I have my review below, but also a Q&A with the author:
But first… what is Pique Week and Pique Beyond?
Abrams Books’ launched a new YA website called Pique Beyond! Pique is all about going beyond the book. Not only do they highlight exclusive excerpts and quotes from new and upcoming books, but they peel back the cover and show us the behind-the-scenes stuff: how books are made, what the authors were thinking, and how it all comes together. This week, they’re highlighting all of their newest titles, and let me tell you, they look amazing. Visit the site today at piquebeyond.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @piquebeyond!
1. Describe your latest release using any 5 words.
An excess of witty banter.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for Iron Cast?
Inspiration came from a variety of different sources. One of the most interesting was an article on TwistedSifter.com with a bunch of vintage 1920s mugshots. I loved how the photographs were so artistic and how the personalities of the criminals came through the photos. And reading about the various grifters and mobsters really got my creative juices flowing…
3. What was the most surprising thing you’ve found in your research for Iron Cast?
This didn’t make it into the novel, because it takes place about a week after the events in Iron Cast, but you should look up the Great Molasses Flood in Boston. A giant storage tank burst and the streets literally flooded with molasses. You can’t make this stuff up.
4. Friendship plays a big role in Iron Cast. What is it about friendship that is so important in YA novels?
I think friendship—female friendship in particular—is so important in YA because you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. You can choose to surround yourself with people who are loyal and supportive, and who make you a better person. I like writing about young women with these kinds of friendships because those are the types of relationships I’ve always had in my life. I hate seeing women in popular media denoted as always catty or backstabbing or jealous. That’s just not my reality, and I don’t think it’s a reality for most teens out there.
5. Can you share what you’re working on now?
It’s still under wraps, but I can share that it’s a YA fantasy. Hopefully I’ll have more news on that front soon!
Thanks to Destiny for doing the Q&A with us today!
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
A wonderful historical fiction novel, you do not want to miss Iron Cast this October.
Ada and Corinne are hemopaths, people who have the ability to change people’s emotions or perceptions through their voice. They’re best friends, performing together at The Cast Iron where they earn money and protection from Johnny Dervish. When Johnny disappears, the two girls have to solve the mystery, digging into their pasts and finding more than they bargained for.
I loved the characters, each with their own unique personalities and authenticities. Corinne and Ada were so different but equally sympathetic, and it was just wonderful reading from both of their point of views. I loved that their friendship is the main focus on the novel and it was the main driving force behind most of the plot.
YA Historical Fiction has the tendency to star and all-white straight cast but I was so happy to see that this is not the case with Iron Cast. This novel is so refreshing in terms of its inclusivity, its friendship elements, its fantasy, it’s just wonderful.
The plot was fast-paced, and really picked up over the second half of the novel and had me completely engaged through all the twists I didn’t see coming. It was truly a twisty novel, with so many unexpected turns.
Overall, If you love friendship, characters that you can get invested in, and imaginative alternate histories, Iron Cast is the novel for you.