Soul Of Stars by Ashley Poston

*Spoiler free, but spoilers Heart Of Iron*


Once, Ana was an orphaned space outlaw. Then she was the Empress of the Iron Kingdom. Now, thought dead by most of the galaxy after she escaped from the dark AI program called the HIVE, Ana is desperate for a way to save Di from the HIVE’s evil clutches and take back her kingdom. Ana’s only option is to find Starbright, the one person who has hacked into the HIVE and lived to tell the tale. But when Ana’s desperation costs the crew of the Dossier a terrible price, Ana and her friends are sent spiraling through the most perilous reaches of the Iron Kingdom to stop the true arbiter of evil in her world: an ancient world-ending deity called the Great Dark. Their journey will take the sharp-witted pilot, Jax, to the home he never wanted to return to, and the dangerous fate he left behind. And when Robb finds out who Jax really is, he must contend with his own feelings for the boy he barely knows, and whether he truly belongs with this group of outcasts. When facing the worst odds, can Ana and her crew of misfits find a way to stop the Great Dark once and for all?

I can’t believe I got to read this book. Heart Of Iron became one of my favorite books when I read it. It’s a Anastasia retelling in space with robots and queer characters and such fantastic writing. My heart is basically bursting with love for this duology.

I didn’t quite know what to expect with this book. The first book was so good, and I knew the basic plotlines that would carry over. But I wasn’t sure how everything would play out or what route Poston would choose to take. Boy oh boy, did she choose one that completely blew my mind. This book stays true to the first. It’s just as amazing and the characters are just as fantastic and the world is just as breathtaking. It takes what is presented in the first book and expands on it so well. It makes it seem like Heart Of Iron was a set up book, even though it didn’t read that way at all. Everything becomes bigger and the stakes are higher than ever. It is such a great continuation of this story, while also being a fantastic ending to this duology. This book managed to be so many things at once, and it’s truly a testament at how talented Poston is.

I want to start off by saying that there were a few Anastasia Easter eggs throughout the book and my heart just about exploded when I read them. They were placed so smartly and I basically wanted to throw the book across the room because I liked them so much.

I also wanted to talk about the queer characters in this book and how much I apricated them. Robb and Jax call each other partners, a non-binary minor character makes an appearance, and Seige and Talle are wives. I loved that they just were. They were just apart of the story.

I don’t know where to start with my love of the characters in this book. They are all so wonderful. I love Robb, I love Jax, I love Di, I love EoS, I love Ana. I just love them all so much. And we get to see more of Ana’s crew in this book which I loved! They felt kind of background in the first book and I liked that they had more of a focus. I love how they all fought together and how much they all loved one another. Ah, all these characters have so much going for them and I want to talk about it all, but I also want this post to actually end sometime, so I’m just going to leave it on that they are all really awesome and I really love them.

I also loved how Ana wasn’t the captain of her crew. An adult it. She’s a teenager. She might be an Empress, but she’s still a teenager. She has an adult to guide her and it’s so different what is normal in YA books. I liked that she had a parental figure leading her in some ways and helping with the leading overall.

I also don’t know where to start with the plot. It’s so BIG. It took what Heart Of Iron was working towards and expanded it so much. The world is bigger and we get to visit new places, which was so cool. I loved seeing the new places that they traveled. The plot is also so intense. There’s barely a minute to breath. There is so much fighting and sneaking on spaceships and running from bots trying to kill them. It’s intense and it doesn’t shy away from being heartbreaking. It’s not afraid to let the pain seep into the words and the relationships. It felt really real.

I also liked the humor that was slipped in here and there. I don’t quite remember if Heart Of Iron was this funny, but I did enjoy the jokes haha.

I read Heart Of Iron a good bit ago. I wasn’t sure if I was going to remember everything of everything, but since I was impatient, I decided not to reread. I was able to jump right back into the plot like nothing happened. The book managed to catch you up to speed without it feeling like an info dump or a recap. You get the information you need as you go through the story and you never feel like you miss anything.

I just, I love this book and this series so much. It was such a fantastic way to wrap it up and I loved how it ended. (Hi, yes, I would totally read a companion novel that’s set in the distance future.) It’s just a fantastic book in all aspects. If it wasn’t obvious, I highly, highly recommend checking it out.

You can add Soul Of Stars on Goodreads and order a copy of your own!

Thank you for reading!

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