Iron Cast ( ages 13+ )
By : Destiny Soriya
Publisher : Amulet Books ( October 2016 )
An intriguing historical fiction blended with some fantasy, the story recreates a period of the 20th century Boston through powerful imagination. Among mobsters and gangsters are brilliantly talented artists - hemopaths - whose afflicted blood enables them to create illusions through art. They are wordsmiths, songsmiths and thespians. They perform in the nightclubs at night and "pull jobs" on the street during the day. It is about dark and dangerous lives in Boston during the early 20th century; but the beauty embedded into their lives through fantasy will carry the readers into a different dimension.
For the wealthy and adventurous Corianna it is mostly the excitement and challenge that led her under the shelter of the gang leader who runs "Iron Cast," a night club. For Ada, a child of poor immigrants, who comes from a deprived class it is the absolute opposite, but they have one thing in common - they are both "hemopaths" - magically talented artists but painfully affected by their reaction to iron.Their heroism and devotion for each other are inspirational.
Hemopaths are not accepted among 'decent' society, thus limiting their choices. Johnny Dervish who runs the Iron Cast makes good use of them, but looks after them in return. The two girls together turn the city upside down with their con-art work, but when laws are passed to prohibit hemopath activities, everything changes. The Ironmongers and the Hemopath Protection Agency start snatching hemopaths off the streets. And finally when Johnny goes missing, the two girls realize that their lives are at risk and that their banishment to Haversham ( an asylum) is almost inevitable. Now the girls are on the run....................
The story delicately touches some poignant issues of early immigrants through its cleverly fabricated fantasy elements, while being profuse in revealing a darker side of the society with some wittiness. It`s rightly paced and beautifully written, cleverly keep the readers enthralled with suspense and romance. Soriya`s narrations are as elegant as the stage shows at Ironcast,
"Ada always started low, laying down loss and longing like a delicate lace. She kept her melody in the minor key, and for almost three minutes hers was the only sound in the room. Charlie`s horn started soft, for a few bars matching her tone, then he started drawing out a new thread, a vague sense of hope that Ada recognized from the first time she`d ever heard him play. She forced herself to focus,following his lead into a wistful place....."
With a unique plot and theme, a powerful friendship and blossoming romances this is an utterly entertaining story !!
( With many thanks to Amulet Books and NetGally for the ARC )