I was intrigued by the concept behind this take on Jane Eyre, and I'm open to new spins on old tales. Unfortunately, writers have a tough task ahead oI was intrigued by the concept behind this take on Jane Eyre, and I'm open to new spins on old tales. Unfortunately, writers have a tough task ahead of them when they take on projects like these, because comparisons to the original are inevitable. Readers don't expect the same story, but we expect many of the elements that we loved so much in the source--and unfortunately, Ironskin's charms fall short of Jane Eyre's in every respect.
The world in this novel doesn't feel fully realized; we're given just enough information about the Great War between the humans and fey to understand the plot, but not enough for a feeling of immersion. The relationship between Jane and Edward rings hollow, because not enough care is taken to develop the tension between them in that slow, careful dance Charlotte Brontë choreographed so masterfully. Here, they seem to realize they're in love with each other because the author decided it was time for them to do so. (And truthfully, a number of teams who've adapted Jane Eyre for movies or television have made the same mistake.)
As individuals, the characters hold up no better than their relationship. This Jane isn't unlikable; she does share the bravery, stubbornness, and determination of her predecessor. However, she also comes up short. (view spoiler)[Jane Eyre never would have donned a fey mask after she knew its true nature; this Jane lacks that heroine's staunch adherence to her sense of right and wrong. Here, we're just told that Jane Eliot is a resolutely moral creature--mostly by her sister Helen, who's a dingbat with zero credibility. (hide spoiler)] And while this Rochart says some of the right things, adopts some of the quirky mannerisms, ultimately, I'm not sure why anyone, let alone Jane, would fall in love with him. The appeal just isn't there.
I'm not sure I can go with more than two stars because I couldn't truly recommend this novel to anybody. Brontë fans will likely be disappointed, and readers who've never read Brontë would be better off with another choice from the paranormal romance or historical romance aisle.
Absolutely fantastic. If I had only a limited supply of stars to give books over my lifetime, well, too bad, other books, because this novel deservesAbsolutely fantastic. If I had only a limited supply of stars to give books over my lifetime, well, too bad, other books, because this novel deserves every one of the five stars I'm giving it. RTC. ...more
The angst hammer swings hard in this one--too hard, really. While there's nothing inherently wrong with tackling emotionally fraught subjects2.5 stars
The angst hammer swings hard in this one--too hard, really. While there's nothing inherently wrong with tackling emotionally fraught subjects, Allred's treatment of them in this novel is heavy-handed. Nowhere is this more obvious than in her incessant use of foreshadowing: statements like, "We should have had some premonition that disaster was about to strike," and, "I didn't know... that fate was rushing toward me at the speed of light" litter the entire book. It's hard to stay in a moment when the narrator continuously reflects on the importance of that moment in hindsight.
A couple of things save this from being a two-star book for me: I did actually find the portion of the novel that chronicles Alix and Nick's childhood engrossing, and Allred does a good job of depicting the dynamics of the setting, a small town in Arkansas. Unfortunately, the novel morphs from being a story about a precocious young girl and the boy she befriends into a story about a bitter woman and the man she has come to blame for every bad thing that ever happened to her. The author brings it around to themes of healing and forgiveness in the end, but for my taste, she veers too far off into Lifetime territory on the journey. ...more
Fluff tends to be really hit-or-miss for me, and this one was a miss. Several friends have enjoyed it, and I can see why: three sisters are reunitingFluff tends to be really hit-or-miss for me, and this one was a miss. Several friends have enjoyed it, and I can see why: three sisters are reuniting after the death of their mother to rehabilitate a ramshackle inn they've inherited, and the small-town atmosphere does have some charm. In addition, Shalvis clearly has a sense of humor, and she's not afraid to use it.
Unfortunately, I tend to prefer slow burns to more frenetically-paced contemporary romance, and I found most of the characters two-dimensional. The hero was a smorgasbord of virtues (rich but loans his money out like he's a bank, hot but down-to-earth, holds advanced degrees but owns a toolbelt and knows how to wear it). The heroine is sweet, and is working hard at standing up for herself, but ultimately, she's not a character who will stick with me.
On a side note, I'm tired of hopelessly klutzy female characters. Sure, we've all eaten concrete at one point or another, but you know what? It sucked; it wasn't cute. Please don't try to convince me that ineptitude as a defining characteristic is endearing.
But hey, it's probably just me, not you. If they made this into a movie, I'm sure it would sell plenty of tickets--and if they don't, I'm sure the series will continue to provide a welcome escape for readers who are looking for a summertime diversion. I do like a good beach read from time to time, but this one just wasn't for me. ...more