Heart of Steel


SCI-FI:  It’s not the stress of being an ER doctor that pushes Julia Parker into a Hawaiian vacation with her boyfriend.  It was the violent attack at work six months earlier that left her with nightmares and a scar on her neck - memories of that are what she hopes to escape.  Breaking up with her controlling boyfriend is another matter she’s having trouble confronting, but Julia tried her best to appease him with a scuba diving trip.  The excursion winds up ripping their lives apart, dropping them into the lair of a mad cyborg scientist.  In the end, Dr. Alistair Mechanus’ and his freakish companions aren’t the monsters Julia will have to contend with to earn her freedom.


Ms. Einspainer leads readers into a fantastical world where the greatest horrors hide in the mind.  From emotional pain to madness, the monsters are internal.  The setting can be perceived as odd or creative.  It’s a type of creativity – involving chimera, artificial intelligence, and other scientific advancements - that readers will willingly fall into or reject.  “Heart of Steel” is about two damaged people overcoming their fears and finding love in a very peculiar world. As a romance, the emotional connection felt contrived in their nightmarish landscape, but by the end of the story, Julia and Alistair didn’t feel as forced as a couple.  Once one sets aside how they met and Alistair’s plan to ‘conquer the world’ the spark between them gains credibility.  For sure, “Heart of Steel” displays the fruit of Ms. Einspanier’s imagination.


Anna Fitzgerald