Publication Date: October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books
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.
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.