Thursday, October 25, 2012

REVIEW: IRONSKIN by Tina Connolly



So let's get a few keywords about this book out of the way: Steampunk, Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast.  Yes there are elements of all of those words in Tina Connolly's delightful debut, but it is the strong narrative voice of Jane that binds the reader to the story.
Jane has always lived a life of responsibility. She has been a source of strength to her family and even carries the scars of her brave attempt to save her brother from a Fey bomb. A bomb that has left Jane with a curse. The curse of rage. without her Ironskin Jane has the ability to inspire rage in those around her as well as stirring the emotion in herself.
Five years after the great war Jane's mask is a constant reminder to her employers, and an eyesore (no pun intended) to a rich upper class that is striving to live oblivious to scars the wars has left behind. A class that Jane's sister Helen is about to be married into.
Desperate for a position, Jane applies for a governess post at the home of the artist Edward Rochart. Edward's daughter Dorie is a unique case. She bares no Fey scars but has a multitude of abilities that can only be explained by someone touched by the Fey.
As Jane struggles to bring Dories powers into balance, she is also intrigued by the women who move through Edward's studio, and the horrible masks he makes after each session with them.
Jane's interest in Edward surprises and flusters her. It is hard for her to keep centered on Dorie and to fight the emerging love she feels for him.
When Edward brings a party of guests to his home strange stirrings move through the house and through Jane's emotions. Jane begins to question everything she has believed about her curse and learns the secrets of Dorie's powers. 
It is Edwards secrets however that have the potential to shatter Jane's life and the lives of all his clients.
Though I had been steadly working through this book for a few days I truly became immersed in it over the weekend. The trio of a day off, a cool rainy day and a pot of tea conspired to put me in the perfect mood to quickly devour the last 100 pages of the book!
Jane is wonderfully updated in this novel. Tina gives us a Jane that is both familiar and unique. There is a stillness to Jane but there is also a coiled fighter that has just waited for certain circustances to be awaken. The birth of this new Jane and her belief she develops in herself is decisive in the final battle.
Tina has a lot of unique concepts in this novel. Though there is obvious paralells to certain genres , her writing style shines through andshe also adds an intriguing layer to the mythology of the Fey.
A wonderful debut and very satisfying read!

1 comment:

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one - I'm really looking forward to picking up a copy for myself!

Thanks for being on the tour.