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Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Ironskin #1)

Egalley thanks to Tor Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
This is another book I would hesitate to even call steampunk-ish. This is more of a Gothic novel in alternative reality.

Really atmospheric and strangely beautiful like most of Gothic novels I've had pleasure to read. The plot is ever so familiar that anyone who've read Jane Eyre or watched the movie would recognise it straight away.

And yet, Blanche for example is a passing character, there is no mad wife, and Jane has a younger sister, so even if you know that this is another interpretation of the famous novel it's not that predictable and it will surprise you from time to time.

Jane is a very strong woman, but she is only coming into her powers in this book, the author is still unsure as to how to sculpt her character  so Jane goes through a lot of yo-yo moods and changes in personality, but, MY GOD, by the end of the book she is someone you would not want to cross. Absolutely formidable!

Dorie was pretty amazing, otherworldly and difficult. If you ever watched Firelight, she strongly reminded me of Louisa, and I could understand the challenges Jane faced trying to forge connection to her.

Mr. Rochart was perhaps the coldest character in this book. I really couldn't get a feel of him, and you can blame him for the lower rating I gave to Ironskin. I also felt that there was no chemistry between him and Jane.

Aside from that minor problem, the world-building is very interesting, especially the representation of Fey - these cold, alien, eery beautiful creatures, that everyone is terrified of. Any fey detail was fascinating and carefully incorporated into the mythology of the world.

Overall, a fabulous promising novel with very dark undertones, wonderful secondary characters and great world-building. Recommended to all fans of Gothic literature.

* * *
Сразу скажу, что несмотря на некоторые погрешности и недочёты, книга мне очень понравилась.

Безумно интересное построение мира, альтернативная история, в которой человечество потихонку оправляется от брутальной войны с Фей. Джейн - главная героиня скрывает половину своего лица под железной маской, которая предотвращает её эльфийское проклятие - Гнев - от просачивания в чувства её окружающих.

Она работает гувернанткой и нанимается на пост в поместье в каком-то захолустье, потому как устала от постоянного осуждения и болезненных замечаний незнакомцев по поводу её проклятья.

Железная Кожа - это пересказ Джейн Эйр, но пересказ совсем непростой, который удивит читателя и преподнесёт ему немало сюрпризов. Бланш например - совершенно побочный персонаж, здесь нет безумной жены, а у Джейн есть родственники и фривольная младшая сестра - Хелен.

Эльфийское присутствие придаёт тёмный, готичный и сказочный характер всей книге. Они - это враги, совершенно чуждые по своей природе человечеству, монстры, живущие в наших кошмарах; быт и мифология людей перенасыщена высказываниями о них.

Джейн - это формирующийся персонаж в книге, и так как автор не совсем уверена, что она из неё слепит, её эмоции постоянно противречат друг другу, однако под конец книги она становится сильной, харизматичной и захватывающей дух героиней, от которой я буду ожидать чего-то совершенно фееричного во второй книге серии.

Мистер Рочарт, возможно, единственное разочарование Железной Кожи. Ну вот какой-то бледный у него вышел характер, я не чувствовала притяжения между ним и Джейн.

Однако, его дочка - Дори оказалась просто замечательным и трудным ребёнком, в которого верилось, и вообще все второстепенные характеры очень порадовали, потому как вышли яркими. Особенно мне пришлась по вкусу Пуль - полу-гном, оружейница и изобретатель. 

В общем, книга атмосферная, с хорошим потенциалом, интересным миром, очень тёмными готичными нотами и живыми характерами. Советую.


Blodeuedd said...

Want to read! But the no chemistry thing makes me really sad, there must be chemistry!

Darmaris said...

А это YA? Или просто фэнтези для всех возрастов?

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

I hated that there was no chemistry between them. I wanted to love their relationship like I do in the original story. I was really disappointed with this book. I felt like it dragged in the middle and the ending wasn't exciting enough in my eyes. I'm glad you liked it so much though! And I can certainly understand why, but it didn't work out for me. Lovely review!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Darmaris, это определённо не YA. Фэнтэзи, готика, альтернативная история... Как-то так. :)

Mel, I know! I wasn't impressed in the beginning but this book grew on me, especially closer to the end :)

Blodeuedd, I'm with you on that!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I am glad you enjoyed this, i love Jane Eyre and hope to read it!

Melliane said...

I was curious about this one but heard many mixed things so I don't really know what to do. thanks for the review!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I'm starting to see a few books jumping on the steampunk ban wagon that aren't really steampunk. Thanks for sharing about this one. Does sound good. :)

Petra said...

Steampunk is probably quite popular nowadays, so I suppose publishers maybe market not-so-steampunk books as steampunk on purpose? But who knows. :)
This sounds like something I'd love to read, I was eyeing this for some time. Though the lack of chemistry is a sad news. So I'm not sure now. :)

Christina said...

Yay! People have been varying on this one quite a bit, but I really liked it too.

I thought it was so funny that Helen became her sister instead of her best friend. There's sort of a mad wife. Kind of. But not ex-mistress lady with whom he has a daughter if you use that interpretation.

I agree with you about Rochart, but that's how I feel about Rochester, so it actually aided in my feelings for the retelling. :-p

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Christina, I thought about the comparison, but I think Rochester at least spent a bit ore time talking to Jane, so I liked him more :) but it was a very enjoyable book!

Petra, Melissa, I think it's just fashionable to call everything historical paranormal steampunk these days. Ridiculous, I know, but what can we do?

D., it's one of those books like marmite - you either love it or not :)

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