Karen's Reviews > Ironskin

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
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's review
Jan 09, 2013

it was amazing
Read in January, 2013

This book was incredible, and I'm delighted beyond words that it's first of a series. It stayed with me long after reading, making me think a great deal about the images we hold of ourselves, and how often what we long to be (or what we thought we SHOULD have been) gets in the way of what we could be. How it keeps us from seeing our own strengths and talents. How labeling oneself "victim" traps a person in that role, keeping one mired in a painful past without hope for growth into a NEW role.

I think that calling it "steampunk," sticks this book in a box where it doesn't quite fit. (Ditto with Jane Eyre or Beauty and the Beast-- yes, there are distinct parallels, but this is decidedly its own new thing. Gothic in atmosphere, yes, but nowhere NEAR that melodramatic.) I think I'd describe it as an alternate history fantasy of post-WW I England, where instead of fighting the Axis, the Great War was against the fey. The technology in this world-- the ironskin, the bluepacks-- is innovative and unique in my experience, and yet SO perfect in how it dovetails with fey lore.

The characters are amazing-- Jane especially, of course, but even Dorie grows beyond the "annoying child/duty" role, and Jane's sister turns out to be a lot more complex than I'd given her credit for at first.

The middle of the book felt a little slow-moving action-wise initially, but on reflection, there was quite a bit going on in there character-wise.

Just... go read it. Really. And stick with it. You won't regret it.
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