Jill's Reviews > Ironskin

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
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Sep 14, 12

bookshelves: fantasy-pnr-sci-fi-romance, 2012-debuts
Read in September, 2012


3.5 stars

Jane Eliot has lost her teaching position and applied for the position of governess in the country at Silver Birch Hall. She wears an iron mask, covering the injury on one side of her face where she was hit by fey shrapnel during the war. The ironskin serves to keep the curse that comes with the injury, contained within her body and stops it from leaking out and affecting others.

Edward Rochart's daughter, Dorie was born during the war and although she bears no scar or injury she is fey-cursed as well. Jane who understands what it is to be cursed, searches for a way to help Dorie overcome her inability to use her hands. As she deals daily with Dorie, she also grows closer to Edward. But Edward, an artist is not all he appears. Who is he really? And what are the masks used for that he sculpts?

This novel was one of highs and lows. Parts were original and fresh, others seemed flat and commonplace. For me the alternate history, the world of the fey was really engaging.

The prose seemed at times awkward and stilted. The romance between Edward and Jane is very light. Readers looking for a relationship between the protagonists that is deeply moving or reminiscent of the Jane Eyre classic, I think will be mostly disappointed. The characterisations were at times a bit flat. Edward and Jane have little interaction within the story and their subsequent relationship fails to really ignite.

Set in an alternate Britain, it roughly translates to post-WWI era with its references to the Great War, cars, cinemas and the fashions of the time. The war between the human and fey has been over for five years and the only thing that keeps the fey at bay is iron. Readers expecting a lot of the world normally associated with steampunk may be let down as well. I don't know that there's really much steampunk here, more elements associated with fantasy.

Certainly Ironskin is different and entertaining. All in all it's a pretty good debut and worth reading. I liked it, but can't say I was blown away by it either as a Jane Eyre re-telling, or as a steampunk or fantasy. However, I enjoyed it enough to want to read the sequel.

Steam: 1.5


ARC courtesy of Tor/Forge Books via NetGalley

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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Looks like another good one Jilly! :)


Jill Wendy wrote: "Looks like another good one Jilly! :)"

Hi Wen, sorry didn't get a notification of your comment.
Yes, it's pretty good. Definitely worth reading.


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel This seems really interesting. I can't wait to read your review, Jill. :)


Jill Rachel wrote: "This seems really interesting. I can't wait to read your review, Jill. :)"

Hi Rachel, I'll post a review as soon as I'm allowed by the publishers. It's very good, very different. And different to what I was expecting. But I think if you like fantasy and alternate history, you'll enjoy it. Not sure how much romance you like in your novels, but it is light on the romance though.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Thanks, Jill!


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Great review, Jill, but you are right it's not one for me. :-)
Wish you a wonderful weekend!


Kristen (Peddler of Smut) This one seems like an interesting read. Nicely done, Jill.


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Great review, Jill.


Jill @ Baba
Thanks B! You have a great weekend as well.

@ Kristen
Thanks Kristen!

@ Rachel
Thankyou Rachel!


message 10: by Karla (new)

Karla Nice job Jill!


message 11: by Jill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill Karla wrote: "Nice job Jill!"

Thanks Karla!


message 12: by Elis (new)

Elis Madison Great review!!


message 13: by Jill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill Elis wrote: "Great review!!"

Thanks Elis!


message 14: by KatLynne (new)

KatLynne Great review Jilly! Hope you have a wonderful weekend:)!


message 15: by Jill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill KatLynne wrote: "Great review Jilly! Hope you have a wonderful weekend:)!"

Thanks KatLynne! You too!


message 16: by Jill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill BamaGal wrote: "Good review. It does rather sound like a take on Jane Eyre based on the summary."

Thanks Naysa! Yes, it's been touted as a re-telling of JE.


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