My Rating: 2 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: I’ve never read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre; but through different retellings, I’m aware of the basic gist of the plot. As a result, I was curious about giving Tina Connolly’s Ironskin a try – especially once I found out that it involved steampunk elements and faeries. Sadly, while I loved the traditional Gothic feel of the setting, it was the fantastical elements of Ironskin that ultimately left me disappointed.
After being introduced to Jane and reading about her getting accepted as a governess at Silver Birch, I felt as if the pacing slowed to a crawl. I understand that Jane’s duties as a governess are going to be discussed, but who wants to read half a book about how hard it is for Jane to get her charge, Dorie, to obey her?! It certainly didn’t help that I couldn’t make myself care about the characters – or later, the romance (which if I wasn’t expecting it would have come as a complete surprise since Jane and Mr. Rochart hardly interact with each other before falling in love).
After waiting for what felt like an eternity for Jane to start caring about what Mr. Rochart did for a living, the second half of Ironskin dramatically picked up the pace. Unfortunately, I found that the plot became hard to follow with the greater prominence of the fey element.
I was also left confused by the theme of beauty in the book. For the majority of Ironskin, Jane desires to be normal and keeps thinking about how her life would have turned out had she been unscarred. To me, it seemed as if the author was suggesting that females should judge themselves based on their physical looks – particularly after Jane makes Edward put a mask on her so that she too can become beautiful. However, since everybody that’s beautiful in the book has a bit of a fey in them, there’s also the sentiment that being attractive isn’t a good thing.
Ironskin was released by Tor Books on October 2, 2012.
Comments About the Cover: Another pretty cover that lured me in … only to disappoint me with its contents!
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Tor Books) for free via NetGalley.