Soria, Destiny Iron Cast, 376 pages. Amulet Books, 2016. $17.95. Language: PG-13 (19 swears, 0 'F'); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13.
Ada Navarra and Corinne Wells may come from very different backgrounds and look nothing alike, but they are an inseparable duo at the Cast Iron nightclub in 1919 Boston. The two girls are hemopaths--their blood is different than regular humans in that it is iron-free and even the very presence of iron in their surroundings causes them physical pain. It also means they have the power to control people's minds through illusions and feelings. But hemopathy is now illegal in Boston, and the city's hemopaths are under siege--disappearing off the street or being "legally" hauled off to the infamous Haversham Asylum. Prohibition is also on the horizon, putting the very future of the Cast Iron in jeopardy. When their own Johnny Dervish--the proprietor of the Cast Iron--is murdered, Corinne and Ada must work together to figure out who is behind all the madness and try to avoid the same terrible fate, themselves.
This book is incredibly complex and hard to explain succinctly, but at the same time its very well crafted and fun to read. It is historical fiction in that the time period and place plays a large role in the story, but the author isn't writing to teach us anything about history; it is fantasy in that hemopaths who can control people's minds are not really a thing. I liked the characters (Mobsters! Magic teenagers!), the story line, and the every-changing twists and turns. The book is long, but I never felt like the author was adding anything wholly unnecessary. The PG-13 ratings are due to some scenes and discussion of torture, explicit violence, allusions to homosexual romance, as well as themes about prejudice.