Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

September 21, 2012 Book Review, Fantasy, Ironskin, Netgalley, New Adult, Paranormal, Retelling, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Tina Connolly, Tor Books, YA, Young Adult 12

Publication Date: October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books

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.

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~My Thoughts~

My very first Fey book! I am not entirely sure why I waited so long to give faeries a shot, but with a premise like Ironskin, I was ready to make the leap. And I wanted to like this novel, I really did, but it fell a little flat to me. I don’t think any of that had to do with being a new sub-genre that I had yet to explore, it just didn’t all come together in a way I was hoping.

What I didn’t like: It dragged something fierce. In the middle I really struggled to get through it. The beginning was good, but this is where things slowed down and I was anxious for something, ANYTHING to happen. I just kept waiting and waiting… I think part of the problem was that it felt like Jane, the main character, was inside her head too much, if that makes sense? I needed more character interaction, especially with Edward Rochart, who I guess is suppose to be the love interest. It really didn’t feel much like a love story at all. He was creepy, even if there were reasons for it. It’s like she suddenly just decided she was in love with him. I wanted to feel their connection develop and I never got that at all.

I often times found myself confused and kept trying to figure out what exactly the issue was. I think it was the flow of events that didn’t work right. Something, or maybe more appropriately NOTHING, would be happening and it would bounce all of a sudden to something else entirely going on which would leave me like, huh? Did I miss something? The transitions were not there in a way I needed for everything to flow together.

What I did like: The premise is great and I must admit the beginning was intriguing and hooked me to read on. I loved how stubborn little Dorie was and watching Jane try to handle her. As someone who works with kids, this type of scenario amuses me. Dorie the spitfire really didn’t make things easy for Jane but the protective relationship that developed between the two over time was sweet.

Though I wasn’t fond of the love story with creepy Mr. Rochart, I did enjoy what his secret was that dealt with all these women who would visit his studio. It wasn’t hard for me to figure it out on my own, and though it left me like O_o, it still fascinated me. The way the Fey fit in with it, even more so. These dark elements were a saving grace for this novel.

Finally, when there was about 60 pages left, it got exciting! Finally some action and more to do with the Fey that I had been craving to see more of. Wish we had a little more threaded through the rest of the novel.

Admittedly, I have not read Jane Eyre, which Ironskin is a loose paranormal re-telling of. And even though I didn’t love this novel, I do think some might enjoy it.

*This review is based on an egalley provided by the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

12 Responses to “Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly”

  1. Mad Scientist

    I heard that this one is tagged Steampunk, historical, fantasy and some other stuff but it doesn’t quite fit anywhere. I have it requested at he library. I might find out soon but I might just pass for others I really really want to pick up.

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  2. Joyous Reads

    Oh good. I wouldn’t have to fall over my feet requesting this. I hate slow as molasses stories. I have books to get through and if the story will take me at least three days to read, then it’s probably not worth my time. Thanks for the insight, Sara!

  3. Lizzy

    Well, I’m glad to know that it’s a loose re-telling of Jane Eyre, because as I was reading your review I kept thinking “Jane Eyre…that’s what this sounds like”. It’s a bummer that this one is confusing. Thanks for the honest review!

  4. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I love fairies! Need series, Faeriewalker series, Iron Fey series so I was looking forward to this. It sounded really different which I actually may not like. The love interest does sound creepy lol and I hate when books really slow down. Might still give it a try sometime. I hope you continue to explore the genre!

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