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I pulled some late nights reading this one... It's a real page turner with plenty of action and a sprinkling of romance/longing. With the first book, I struggled to get into it at the beginning, but this one starts off strong, answering questions and bringing everything together nicely in the end. My only wish (and this is completely personal preference and not an actual critique of the story) is for a bit more romance. I get it, they were busy and there was hardly any time for it! But I'm a sap.
Iron Heart is the sequel to Crier's War and a great ending to the serie.
The human revolution againts the Automae is on the rise. Ayla is on the run as a fugitive. Instead of killing Crier like she was supposed to, she fell in love with her. But Crier is also on the run, having learn what her father and also what Kinok truly planned to do she must run. Wanting nothing to do with this. Crossing path with Ayla once more both of them will have a lot to do to stop this and when Crier find out the truth behind the heartstone produce by the Iron Heart, she will want to find an alternate source for the Automae power source.
Iron Heart does not disappoint in bringing a caring, warm, and fulfilling ending to the world Nina Varela created. This series is the best one I read so far this year. You will not be disappointed with the second and (unfortunately) last book of the series.
Fantastic storytelling. Well thought out characters, plot, and ending. Honestly, I thought the ending was going to end differently than it had so I was surprised. I love the tidbits of lore this story provided. I've already recommended it to my reader friends.
As was true for the first book of this series, I absolutely loved this novel! As a continuation, this story did a great job starting off where it left us. The characters continued to be incredible and the world further expanded into even more to love. We finally got to see many of the places that were mentioned in the first book and they were fleshed out beautifully. While I wish the two main characters’ storylines came back together sooner (since they were apart for a hefty chunk of the beginning of this book), once they did come back together, it was done really well. At first, I was worried all of the plot wouldn’t be able to get tied together cleanly, but of course, I had nothing to worry about and it was done well. My only complaint from this book is that there really wasn’t as much romance as I had been hoping. Partially to blame for this, of course, is that the romance got cut short because of the large portion of the book where the characters were physically apart. I also, however, felt like some parts of the story dragged or were weighed down by details that didn’t need to be there. There were times I would just graze over parts of the book because they just got too wordy—or rewordy (you’ll see what I mean). What I mean by that, is that, for example, Ayla’s backstory of “that day” when her village burned down felt like it was repeated at least four times. It wasn’t new information, we had already heard it before, so it felt a little bit dragging to the story to be retelling it so many times. The characters also seemed to reflect on their romantic interactions from the first book more than they created new ones. I felt like the characters just continued to pine for a bit too long. It was good in the first book and, in part, it was good for some of this one. But at some point, I had been expecting that the second book in this series would have a little more actually happen between the two love interests. Their storyline was cute and I loved how they interacted with each other, but there were so many moments where they had the perfect set up for some romance and it hardly went anywhere besides maybe a little hand-holding which was a little disappointing. Overall, I loved the book. Maybe if it had been a tiny bit longer or a few of the repetitive parts were cut out and replaced with more romance so that we could see more of what Crier and Ayla were like as an actual couple, I would have been completely satisfied. I still think this story deserves five stars and it’s one I absolutely love to death. There were a lot of beautifully written passages and the plot really was wonderfully unique. I look forward to more from this author!
En cuanto a la calidad de la impresión del libro, no tengo quejas, el primero lo tengo en pasta dura y este lo tuve que comprar en pasta blanda, pero no estuvo mal. Creo que la segunda mitad es donde la historia empieza a tomar forma, las primeras 200 páginas sentía que no iban a ningún lado. La relación de Crier y Ayla por fin cobró vida. Sin duda el primero es mucho mejor, pero si vale la pena la conclusión
Recommended Age: 16+ (grief, sexual content, romance, violence, gore, PTSD)
Synopsis: For too long the cruel, beautiful Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing the humans who live there. But the human revolution is on the rise, and at its heart is Ayla. Once handmaiden, now fugitive, Ayla escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl Ayla had planned to kill . . . but instead fell in love with. Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, whom she believes can accomplish the ultimate goal of the human rebellion: destroy the Iron Heart. Without it, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction.
But playing at Ayla’s memory are the powerful feelings she developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among travelling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla.
As their paths collide, neither are prepared for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.
In this stunning sequel to acclaimed author Nina Varela’s Crier’s War, the love that launched a revolution must now pave the way for a whole new era . . . and the ultimate change of heart.
Review: For the most part I really liked this story. I liked the plot and I really think this series is great if binged. The characters are well developed and the world building is great as well.
However, I did think that this book suffered from second book syndrome. The story didn't feel as captivating as the first and since you're reading the book from the POV of Crier and Ayla, you don't get a lot of action in this book. The romance was also kinda short.
In this sequel to Crier’s War, we continue the journey of Ayla and Crier. Ayla has fled the palace after her attempt to take Crier’s life, and runs to Queen Junn in order to share what she knows of Kinok’s plan of the Iron Heart and the Anti Reliance Movement. Crier is still in Rabu’s palace awaiting her marriage to Kinok, but she is also aware of his plans and wishes to stop them as well. If you don’t remember all the details after the first book, the sequel does a wonderful job at summarizing it enough to jog your memory.
The heart of the story is Ayla and Crier working to stop Kinok and fix the political issues between humans and Automae. It has some eerie similarities with current politics in the world today. You’ll really see the issues that the characters are trying to address and hope that they are able to succeed. Behind the external conflicts that are facing our main characters is the internal conflict of the romance between them. While Ayla and Crier may have initially been enemies, they have gotten to know each other personally in the first book. Here, they must work to admit their feelings and overcome the hurdle of a relationship between an Automae and a Human. Again, nothing is rushed here nor does it feel too slow. It ends up feeling like a very natural and organic relationship. It’s a nice cherry on top for a queer relationship in a world where gender doesn’t matter at all in relationships.
If I have any complaints, it is that some of the new characters introduced in this sequel feel a little rushed and underdeveloped. I wasn’t really able to tell them all apart by the end of the novel, but there were not many of them. The novel still does a great job at painting Alya’s and Crier’s stories, and many returning characters from the first book are also well incorporated here. I think this is a great duology overall, and a prime example of why some YA trilogies should maybe just be duologies to avoid that “second book syndrome”.