Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Ironskin

Author: Tina Connolly
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Ironskin # 1

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again
Isn’t this cover beautiful? It reminds me of something dark and dangerous and she just looks so fierce with that iron mask over her face. I love the mist that is drifting over the front cover and the way that it blends in with the color of her gown. The title, Ironskin, first made me think that she was part inhuman and I guess I am halfway correct. I still find it hard to explain what this story is about or what they fey are. They are so mystical and mysterious. I am just so in love with this gothic and at the same time enchanting cover on this book!
Jane Eliot has just received the new position of governess at Silver Birch Hall. Jane wears an iron mask to cover up the fey curse that she was once marked with. The mask keeps the curse contained within the body of the carrier and prevents others from catching it. I loved the world building in this novel. Connolly constructs a world were a Great War has just come to a close and a majority of people are left with a fey curse that they will carry for eternity. I feel like this war could easily parallel the great World Wars of Europe any day. This world was beautifully and enchantingly written. As I read I felt like everything was growing dark and grey around me.
The relationship foretold between Jane and Dorie was the most interesting while reading this book. Dorie was a product of the Great War, meaning that she was born right in the depth of the fighting. She does not carry a scar or wear a mask like Jane, but she is cursed by the fey as well. Jane’s task with Dorie is to force her in some way or another to learn to use her hands. Dorie has a tendency to use her mind to move all objects, making life easier for herself. How cool is that? I loved reading about Jane’s struggles with this task because little Dorie definitely has a mind of her own. Some of the working staff in the manor even claimed that she was evil. I could even sense her moodiness at times. And like any other child, she had to warm up to Jane.
I did become bored with this book by the middle. The background information and the insight into the manor, grounds, and the main and secondary characters were of course fantastic; however, the author lost me once the action started to occur. I felt like Jane focused too much on Dorie at times when she could have been exploring or taking readers on an alternate adventure. I was bored with her interactions with Dorie by then because I felt like they were just repeating over and over. I like Dorie, please don’t get me wrong, but I was ready for a different angle by the middle of the book.
This book was a mixture of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. I thought that this book was dark enough and enchanting enough to retell either of those stories beautifully, but it sometimes fell flat in those areas as well. I was expecting Mr. Rochart’s secret to be enormous and I must say that I was a little disappointed by the time we started to reach the rising action of the book.
The setting of the book had me from the first page and the characters and their background stories were wonderfully enriched. I just wanted something more to hold onto by the time I reached the middle of the book. I would not and will not throw this book under the bus entirely because there were parts of it that I loved. This book will set on my bookshelf proudly and just because parts of it did not work for me that does not mean that they will not work for others.
***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Tor Books in exchange for an honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read this one yet, but I have been seeing it around the blogosphere. And yes, I totally love the cover and your description of it fits mine perfectly. It sounds like a very good book and I'm curious about the fey and their powers and this war. Waiting for it to come out to read it. Thanks for your review!