Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
Series: Ironskin #1
Publisher: Tor Books
First published: October 2nd, 2012
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

First thoughts:
Mysterious and fascinating, Ironskin is a compelling read and made me crave more. In a world where beauty is a curse and you wish for your children to grow up being ordinary, Jane has to fight for the life she always dreamed of and pulls the readers right into the journey. At times though I wished for the story to move faster to capture my attention even more and make it impossible to put down. 

More detailed:
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Jane Eyre a couple of years ago, which was why I was dying to get my hands on Ironskin as well. And when thinking back to this retelling, the first thing that comes to my mind is its uniqueness. I've loved fey stories for a while now and Tina Connolly has created an amazing tale of mystery and fear that surrounds these creatures.

The story is told from Jane's point of view and she turns out to be a very entertaining character to listen to. There are lots of things she's thinking but not saying out loud and witnessing her interaction with the people she meets in various social circles can be anything - nerve-wracking, annoying, slightly scary, funny, and exciting.

For me the most important aspect in novels is always the love story, which sadly doesn't get too much attention in Ironskin. Jane and Rochart's interactions happen too infrequently and I had wished for a faster progress (no matter how slow the love story developed in the original story). Overall, I would have liked Ironskin to have a faster pace, because at times I felt as though the story dragged on slightly.

Nonetheless this is an interesting read that should be on your to-read list, if you are looking for a new and different take on worlds in which fey and humans interact. It's a story of beauty, both out- and inwardly, of loss and pain and of fighting for your life and to be the person you truly are. So, even though this might not have been my favorite book, I enjoyed it a lot and will definitely pick up its sequel.

Have you read Ironskin? If yes, what did you think about it?
If no, do you plan to read it?

I'd really love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I appreciate your honest review. I had been curious about this one, and while I don't think it's my kind of book now, after reading your review, I think I know a few people I can recommend it to --- so thanks!

  2. I was a little bummed by the lack of romance in this first one. I think I expected a bit more. I also had the same problems with the pacing. I'm glad you enjoyed the story still! I think the next installment might be more exciting, or at least I hope so. Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  3. Hm.... I wanted to read this one, but since you didn't love the romance part so much I'm not sure if I will pick it up... It does sound great and I love the premise and cover.. hm

  4. I'm looking forward to reading Ironskin, as it sounds absolutely intriguing! I'm not too keen on the fey thing, but hopefully, that works out well enough for me :)

  5. Oooh, I've been curious about Ironskin, since I love Jane Eyre too, but I'm a little disappointed to hear about the romance aspects. Hmm. I'll have to hold off on picking it up for the time being. Thanks for your honest thoughts!

  6. When I first heard about this book I was 100% on board. Then reviews started coming out and they were extremely conflicting. Half the reviews I've seen are glowing, the other half scathing. :/ So disappointing. I'll probably still give it a shot, just not any time soon.


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