Monday, 11 July 2016

"Iron Cast" by Destiny Soria

Iron CastIron Cast by Destiny Soria
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Amulet Books for giving me this ARC!

'Iron Cast' had all the elements that I've been searching for in YA fiction for so long. So long. Honestly, I had started to lose faith in the genre as a whole. It felt like I was reading carbon copy books, all with the same tropes and glaring problems. My reviews were starting to feel repetitive and boring (just like the books I was reading, presumably). 'Iron Cast' is the book that finally pulled me out of my rut!

This novel, first and foremost, was about the strong friendship between two powerful, unique women. Female characters are often written as rivals, so it was wonderfully refreshing to see two women love and support each other. Corinne and Ada were incredibly different characters - from their upbringings and experiences, to their personalities and mannerisms. Their voices were so distinct that I never had trouble separating their POVs, even when I was bleary-eyed and exhausted. They disagreed on plenty of things, but Soria never used this as an excuse to pit Corinne and Ada against each other for the sake of drama. There were plenty of twists and turns in this story as it was - because it had a well-written plot, and did not rely on petty disagreements between friends to drive the plot forward.

The romance in this novel was kept to a bare minimum - thank God. Finally, a book that did not feel the need to force romance between the threads of a story where it did not belong! Ada and Corinne had love interests, both of whom were interesting and (mostly) supportive, but these love interests did not monopolise the story in any way. Ada's romance was especially well-written, in my opinion - when people are in their first relationship, it's natural to be tentative and a little scared of their feelings. Soria wrote Ada and Charlie's relationship in an honest, yet beautiful, way.

Despite how much I loved this book, I still had some issues with it. Firstly, the pacing was off. The book was slow to start, and it really only picked up about halfway through. Really, most of the action does not occur until the last 15% of the novel. Historical fiction often has this problem, so it was not entirely unexpected. And what Soria loses in pacing, she makes up for in exceptional world-building. The luxe, rich backdrop made me long to be in Corinne and Ada's world, despite the glaring social inequities.

'Iron Cast' definitely broached a lot of sensitive topics, such as societal prejudices, and what happens when we codify these into law. The treatment of hemopaths was reminiscent of the treatment of African-Americans or Jewish people in the early 20th century. Soria was respectful, and yet honest, in her depiction of these problems. Ada experienced both prejudice against hemopaths, and racism throughout the story. Though the racism was not central to the storyline, it was ever-present in her everyday dealings. This was a sobering and poignant reminder that racism is pervasive in society - it's there, whether it helps the story along or not.

Overall, this was a beautiful novel about Ada and Corinne's friendship, with some brilliant twists and turns. Even though the pacing is not perfect, I would still recommend this book to anyone who has been disillusioned with YA fiction as a whole recently - 'Iron Cast' will reaffirm your love of everything YA.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Spotlight on: "The Head of Medusa" (Elementals #3) by Michelle Madow

Howdy folks,

I am mighty excited to be part of the blog tour for 'The Head of Medusa'. I have been posting for months on how much I love Madow's fast-paced stories, and this book is no exception. You can read my review of the novel if you want more specifics!

Without further ado - read on to learn more about the latest installment in the 'Elementals' series (and find out more on how to win a free signed book!)

Love as ever,
Grace Lucy

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

“So we need to portal to Antarctica, fight our way past the ice nymphs, talk Chione into giving us the Golden Sword of Athena, hunt down Medusa, cut off her head using the Golden Sword, and then bring her head to Mount Etna so we can turn Typhon to stone—all before the spring equinox.”

About Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa

Title: Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Series: Elementals #3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 978-0997239416

The epic story of witches, gods, and monsters that USA Today called a "must read" continues in the third book of the Elementals series! 

When Nicole Cassidy moved to a new town, she discovered that she was a witch descended from gods. But that was nothing compared to learning that it was up to her and four others with mysterious elemental powers to help save the world from the Titans, who would soon return to Earth. 

Now her relationship with Blake -- the fire Elemental -- is finally heating up. But she must remain focused, because Typhon, one of the deadliest creatures in history, has escaped from the weakening prison world. Only one object can destroy him -- the head of Medusa herself. 

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the Earth, facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals series, The Head of Medusa. 

Buy Links:  Amazon

Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads

The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows. Visit to get the first Elementals book for FREE!

The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free.

“What we’re about to do is scary. Terrifying, even. But we’ve been through things that were just as challenging. We slayed our first monster together in that cave, we escaped the Land of the Lotus Eaters when everyone there was trying to kill us, we blew up one of Scylla’s heads, we slayed the hydra, and we stole the Golden Sword of Athena from a goddess’s ice palace. No matter what challenges we face, we’ve always come out on top. Tonight won’t be any different. We’re the Elementals. We train together, we fight together, and we win together. And don’t any of you ever forget it.”

About Michelle Madow:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website,, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

And now, the part you have all been waiting for... the GIVEAWAY!

Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Elementals 1: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: