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.
I know I'm going to be an outlier on this one, but while the plot trips along nicely in this novel, this effort doesn't convince me that Richelle MeadI know I'm going to be an outlier on this one, but while the plot trips along nicely in this novel, this effort doesn't convince me that Richelle Mead is the right author to take on complex questions of race, nationalism, and genetics. The sci fi elements are extremely sloppy, even nonsensical at times.
Long-time Mead readers might actually find the characterization in this opening installment of her new series refreshing: Mead's characters typically start out quite likable and become less so as each series progresses. Here, both main characters are so flawed from the beginning that it's at least easy to imagine a redemptive, rather than regressive, character arc for each of them.
Mead continues to seem at home, as usual, with the paranormal elements of the novel. Readers who focus on that and on the orchestration of the dance between the romantic leads will probably like this book just fine. That said, readers who need the science in their sci fi to make sense--particularly when that science is presented as crucial to understanding the racial and ethnic politics of a fictional world--will probably be frustrated. ...more
3.5, rounded up because the blurb promises exactly what you get with this book: an entertaining YA ghost story with an engaging mystery. The main char3.5, rounded up because the blurb promises exactly what you get with this book: an entertaining YA ghost story with an engaging mystery. The main character was likable and the pacing was strong. This might not be a story that sticks with me, but it was perfect for my mood. (And I love that it's a standalone book; those are getting rare these days.) ...more