Blog Tours

Iron Heart Blog Tour – Nina Varela

Today is my stop on the Iron Heart tour run by Caffeine Book Tours! Click here to see the full schedule and to support this awesome book and my hard-working co-hosts. Iron Heart is the sequel to Crier’s War and concludes the duology about a human and an android falling in love and it’s beautiful and emotional and amazing.

I am incredibly grateful to Shealea and Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me to be part of this tour and letting me read Iron Heart early, and a massive thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC!

RELEASE DATE: 08/09/20

STAR RATING: 4.5/5 ✶

Iron Heart on top of some of my other favourite recent Sapphic releases

SUMMARY: 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. (from HarperTeen)

OPINIONS: Crier’s War was good, but Iron Heart is even better – you can tell that Nina Varela is really coming into her own as a writer, becoming more confident and escaping the dreaded second-book-syndrome. Iron Heart is grippingly written, I tried to space out reading it in bits over the course of a day, but every time I tried to take a break, I was back at it within a couple of minutes. And I have really been struggling to stay focused on my reading. So congrats Nina, great job!

And oh, the tension, the longing, the buildup between Crier and Ayla. It really is an epic love story. It is only really hinted at in Crier’s War, but the sequel picks up right after the end of the first book and the relationship keeps developing organically. Even though the two girls spend large chunks of the story apart, they remain connected in so many ways, which is wonderful. They also both grow so much over the course of the story – from idealistic kids to women part of leading a rebellion.

Seriously, I need more of this kind of writing – well-written sapphics with real character growth, alchemy, rebellion, history and the all-important question of what it means to be human and alive. Nina, please keep writing and supplying us with wonderful queer YA for many years to come!

Add Iron Heart on Goodreads here, and order a copy from Book Depository here!

and because I couldn’t resist, have a second picture!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays, short fiction, poetry, and novels. In May 2017, she graduated magna cum laude from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a BFA in Writing for Screen & Television. Crier’s War was her debut, and this is the sequel. She is originally from Durham, North Carolina, where she grew up on a hippie commune in the middle of the woods. She now lives in Los Angeles.

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One Comment

  • Jayati

    I really loved Crier and Ayla’s time apart too – it was amazing to see how they dealt with their emotions and the longing and yearning that resulted from it and how it all led up to the scene when they finally meet again!

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