Review – Ironheart: The Primal Deception by Dakota Kemp

 

Synopsis: For Jack Booker, an orphan from the cutthroat streets of Victorian, life is about survival. The squabbles of the imperial aristocracy are of no importance to him; neither does he concern himself with the machinations of the empire’s gods, the Primals, who rule humanity with indifferent disdain. Power plots amongst the mighty mean little in the grungy alleys of the undercity, where only one rule truly matters: Only the strong survive. It is a daily struggle. This struggle becomes even more deadly when Fist, an underworld mob boss with delusions of grandeur, embroils his gang in a game far above their league. Soon, Jack finds himself thrust into a web of intrigue, subterfuge, and rebellion when he encounters the enigmatic Freedom, a revolutionary with an uncompromising vision for the future and a deep hatred for the Primal Empire. Forces beyond Jack’s comprehension command subjects like pieces on a chessboard – and, somehow, he may have just become the most important pawn…

It took me a little bit to get used to the Primal names that not only describe the character but also the special powers the deity holds. I found it interesting that rebel leader is Freedom and the emperor is Tyranny. It definitely is a different concept that is unique to this story. I also felt the author did a masterful job of taking the reader between three different timelines for a good portion of the book. Within the timeline jumps, we learn of the painful past of Jack Booker and how he ends up with the rebel god’s organization. The story pace moves pretty quickly and I found myself eagerly reading to see if Jack will make the difference.

The characters are well developed and authentic. I could see the passionate drive of Freedom, the scornful intelligence of Pride, the sarcastic humor of Valen and the military bearing of Rook. Jack has a strong personality and often tries to hide/blend in but he is  a natural born leader even being so young. I like the personal growth seen in Jack as he stops denying his strength and accepting friendship with others. Overall, great read for anyone who loves young adult books that contain science fiction and fantasy.

 

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