Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Copperhead

Copperhead (Ironskin, #2)Author: Tina Connolly
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Ironskin # 2

The sequel to Tina Connolly's stunning historical fantasy debut.

Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask. Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.

Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in the murder.

Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.

Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor...and her heart.

The emblem of the Copperhead Society was spreading faster and faster these days, almost as fast as the blue bits of fey that lay quiescent throughout the city.

With relief, Helen reached to unbuckle her iron mask, but her husband stopped her. “Could be dangerous.”

And anyone who had fey attached to their bodies was at risk of being taken over by the fey.

It had even happened to Helen. Only Jane’s quick application of an iron spike into her arm had killed the fey and saved her. Helen shuddered, remembering the moment.

Copperhead looks at Helen’s point of view, Jane’s sister, as bits of fey are being found all over town and the threat of fey activity is present once again. The action and adventure start as quickly as the story does. We are once again thrown into this eerie world where the need to protect yourself is at an all-time high. Before you can blink your eyes, you will have already have reached the rising action, Jane will be missing, and Helen will go on the chase of her life looking to save her sister. Helen is not prepared to learn all that she does about herself as she takes the most unforgettable journey of her life!

I really did enjoy Jane’s character in the last book, and must admit that I wasn’t so sure about Helen when I first started reading. She came off as selfish and snarky to me at first, whereas Jane came off right the opposite – genuine and sincere. However, as the story progressed so did my love for Helen. Her character really did grow on me as she took a stand on many issues, and even rose up against her own husband. She showed me what really mattered to her once her sister went missing, and these characteristics are what make a character extraordinary.

I must admit Ironskin was not my favorite, but this one definitely makes up for that. It has the perfect Gothic backdrop and really touches on some powerful feminist issues for women like divorce, women’s rights, and the importance of outside appearance. I felt like this book was better than the first and really took issues to the next level and explored more avenues than the first one did. This one also added a bit more romance and mystery, which I can always appreciate. However, I would strongly recommend reading the first one before reading the second one. The second one could be read alone, I believe, but I think they will be enjoyed more if they are read in order!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Tor Books in exchange for my honest review***

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