"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."
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books
The Cover . . .
While usually I am not a fan of book covers with a model, looking mysterious and beautiful in a dress, 'cus frankly it's been over done and butchered to death, something about this cover (and it's intriguing premise) drew me in and challenged me to read it, so I did. And I am very happy that I did because though the book had it's flaws, it was unique and refreshing and a story I enjoyed.
The Not-So Good . . .
The only major issue I had with Ironskin was though Jane's world has suffered a war between the Fey and Humans, we as readers, aren't truly shown the visuals of how the world now looks. We know the home (Rochart's mansion) is in the moor and that the Fey make magical electrical devices, but I could not entirely envision it. Nothing was particularly descriptive and trying to grasp for details that are not fully there is very off-putting because it throws you out of the story and makes have to go back and read over what you just read, which if you have ever experienced, is very tedious. I should mentioned however, that this does not occur often, which is why I finished the book. The lack of information also attributed to not being able to fully connect to all of the things that intrigued Jane herself. She found the creepy Rochart mysterious and for the most part, because I never felt that I understood his character completely, just found him, well, creepy.
The Oh-So Good . . .
Everything else was great. I absolutely loved the world (or rather the concept of the world) and just thought it was so special and intriguing. I wouldn't say it was a Steampunk Universe, because it really didn't have that essence, but it did have steampunk like devices. I enjoyed the writing and Connolly's prose, which at times could be beautiful and dark. Though I didn't fully buy into Jane's final affections for Rochart, I did enjoy the romance, simply because it was slow building and was not love at first sight. Jane's love for Rochart blossomed over the pages and in the end did seem believable. My favorite character in the novel was def Dorie, who was strange, beautiful, creepy and pretty perfect if she were to have her own horror movie. I liked her and truly did believe her character.
Overall . . .
Ironskin by Tina Connolly was a dark, romantic Gothic that had a grand and fantastical world that while, yes, did fall short at times, was far better and greater then it's flaws. With it's dark characters and simple romance, this novel is for those wishing to find an intriguing escape to a world where the darkness inside of people is not afraid to flourish. Part Jane Eyre, part Beauty and the Beast, Ironskin was an exciting enough novel that makes me excited for the sequels!
Visit Tina Here: http://tinaconnolly.com/novels.html
Buy Ironskin Here: http://www.amazon.com/Ironskin-Tina-Connolly/dp/0765330598