Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ironskin by Tina Connolly [ARC REVIEW]

(Ironskin #1)
by Tina Connolly
Summary 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.


Five years have passed and the Great War between human and fey has long gone. But the tragedy brought upon the world still lurks within the victims of the war. They are called, the ironskin, and Jane is one of them.

Seeming to want nothing more than to live as normal as possible, Jane takes on the job of a governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochart’s fey-cursed daughter, Dorie.

As Jane struggles to teach Dorie to learn how to suppress her curse, she begins to develop feelings for Mr. Rochart… but does he have the same feelings for her in return?

Later then, curious Jane suddenly uncovers mysteries surrounding Mr. Rochart’s residence… and although the fey seem to have disappeared and let the humans live their lives after the war; it doesn’t mean they have yet left them alone and live in peace…

Let’s get to the good stuff first:

That cover. Can you say awesome? And the fact that Jane actually did wear a gown exactly like the girl posing on the book cover. It’s not often that I see book covers [with girls in gowns] lately that actually show significance with the actual content of the book.

I was really intrigued about the Ironskin world. How the fey had this technology that helps humans in their everyday lives, and how humans seemed to go back to square one after relying so much on that technology. That was one unique setting.

I finally found a YA novel with a protagonist who is twenty-one! Yay! Seriously, when you say young adult, it’s not just in the teen years. Just saying.

So what could’ve possibly made me find this not to my liking?

Here’s the bad stuff:

There was a lot of brooding around going on with Jane’s mind. I don’t get her fascination with Mr. Rochart. There’s only a few times that he ever made his appearance. His most consistent one was way near the ending. So why fall for someone who isn’t even around that often to develop even a slight tinge of friendship? Yes, he’s charming (or so Jane says, I didn’t seem to recognize such personality though), but what did he do to prove it?

I would have liked it if the author gave more details on how exactly the fey technology worked. It was just more focused on describing it as something blue…and then what? And what else did the fey give to make people rely on them so much, aside from that blue something?
Now with regards to Mr. Rochart’s studio and his occupation, it was good, fascinating even. But I don’t get why he had so many guests come all at the same time. And why do they have to stay so long? Healing process? I don’t know.

And then there’s the inconsistency of the storyline. Everything happened too slowly for me. Most of the time I see Jane with Dorie, and I’m glad to see that it goes through an actual process – baby steps as Jane says. But the rest just came out imbalanced. One moment I’d see Jane having a few second “moment” with Mr. Rochart, the next she’s out helping Dorie, then the fey come along threatening them, and then she goes off to her sister’s party??? I thought no one was supposed to leave the house for safety reasons?

This would have been an amazing book with all the steampunk, fey fantasy theme, but the way it was executed was not really something I appreciated.

* Thank you Netgalley and Tor/Forge for the copy of Ironskin.

1 comment:

  1. Too bad this didn't work out. I've seen quite a few negative and mixed reviews. Not sure it will be for me either. An intriguing concept and plot bases. I'm not into broody and inconsistencies though. Maybe give it a scan at the library sometime.


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