Author: Tina Connolly
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: October 2012
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Romance
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
A new re-telling of Jane Eyre complete with fairies, evil and a possessed child.
Jane Eliot, after losing her teaching position, takes a job at a country estate house as a governess. There, she is to help Dorie, the young child who displays certain fae talents and the only child of a widower, Edward Rochart.
Jane herself is scarred, after trying to save her brother from a fatal blast, and the only thing that keeps her rage in check is the cool iron mask she hides behind.
But as time goes on, Jane suspects there is more than Mr. Rochart is telling her, and while Dorie's behavior grows more and more troublesome, something lurking in the woods behind the estate. Something that is dark, strong, and coming.
I really loved the idea of this re-telling. Adding mysterious fairy elements, new steampunk ideas and contraptions, and an overwhelming sense of darkness, Ironskin could have been just the right thing to warm me on a cold week in NYC. Alas, it was not meant to be.
True, there are some wonderful things about this book. The writing is well done, lending a slow and deep unsettling feeling as I turned the pages. Dorie herself is pretty creepy, a somewhat possessed child who has powers she cannot really understand. The history of the war and the damage it had done in this world was clever. In fact, the first half of the book was fast paced and intriguing. I enjoyed it for the most part. That is, up until the end which fell flat. I was so disappointed in the ending! After all that buildup, and then...
But what really hurt the book for me is Jane and Edward. Jane, a strong willed girl, is rather flat. She has all of the characteristics as a headstrong heroine, but her actions never follow through and I was left on the outside of her character, not wanting to be her friend, but not wanting to abandon her either. Edward is simply maddening. Tortured, dark and whiny, I know he's supposed to be the strong brooding dark hero of this tragic tale. But his motivations are too muffled, to unclear even at the end. In fact, Jane and Edward have so few encounters in this story, I really didn't understand the attraction. By the end, I'm sad to say I didn't like either of them.
Rating 6 Good but wouldn't own a copy.