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Jane Eyre, faeries, and steampunk all in one book?? It sounds EPIC! View all 6 comments. Oct 08, Jessie Ageless Pages Reviews rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , tlc , arc-book-tour , received-for-review , ssh-ssh-family-secrets , magical-realism , steampunk , arc , tales-of-fae-and-faery-tales , owned-copy.

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Fortunately for me, I have never read the original, and that's one of the reasons I think I was free to enjoy this supernaturalized version as much as I did. I had no predispositions or favorites or even opinions going in - Connolly was free to do whatever she wanted with any of the characters, or with the plot, and it all worked out amazingly for me. Ironskin was a creative outlet of steam really more fey- punk, that managed to be both entertaining, and full of surprises.

A few twists were expected, but Tina Connolly managed to pull the rug out from under my feet more than once before this short-ish novel was over. With a solidly built world, and a strong protagonist who changes and develops as the pages progress, I found a lot to recommend about this novel.

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A debut novel, Ironskin comes loaded with great characters, a compelling storyline, and with a unique, new interpretation of steampunk. The ideas and fey-punk bluepacks, etc. There's more of a supernatural feel to Ironskin as well - from Rochart to his daughter, magic is alive and un well at Silver Birch. Despite its clear homages to Jane Eyre that even a reader almost wholly unfamiliar with that story could pick out, this is a fantasy tale obviously flavored with Connolly's original spin on the Victorian genre of literature. The well-handled themes of love, betrayal, acceptance, and atonement are subtly interwoven into the storyline of protagonist and governess Jane's attempts to reconcile a fey-talented child into a fey-hating world.

The characters took a bit longer to gel than the rest of the novel. I was easily enraptured by Connolly's lovely and often very visual writing to the benefit of the atmosphere, but her characters were a different story. With a slower-paced novel like this one, it's more difficult to get a grip on personalities, ambitions, and more. Jane, for the fiirst hundred or so pages, can be hard to empathize with, or relate to.

She wasn't as astute as could be hoped for, but in the end, her journey to self-realization makes up for it. Thankfully with this author and engaging novel, the time spent building Jane, Dorie, and Rochart into distinct beings all payout in the end. The romance between the two adults is many things: expected, tumultuous, well-handled, and slow-building.

No headlong rush into instalove here! The conflicts and complications that frequently spring up between Rochart and his damaged employee are part and parcel to the up-and-down relationship the two endure as they struggle to trust one another and protect Dorie. There isn't a ton of chemistry between the two for the first pages, but Connolly manages to rectify that in time with some chance meetings and subtle conversations to build their relationship into something more believable than it started out as.

The unsettling setting, the unknown details of Jane's life at Silver Birch, the tension between the ironskins and the rest of the populace and more make for an encompassing, suspense-filled atmosphere. Ironskin is a well-written novel where the slightly creepy ambiance is as much of a part of the novel as the plot itself or the characters that grow from outlines into fully fleshed and three-dimensional people. The world, full of history and war and curses is a complex and imaginative more.

Connolly is thankfully one of those few authors that don't inundate their audience with all the details immediately in an infodump, but one that parses out small, pertinent pieces of information slowly as the novel progresses along, creating an informative, large worldview of the time and place Jane lives in. With a few open-ended plotlines obviously leading up the next book in this series, Connolly is a writer who knows how to hook her readers.


I certainly eagerly awaiting to see what new struggles and battles Jane will encounter as well as gaining more knowledge about the Great War that lead up to the current conflict. With a strong ending, an intriguing and original interpretation of a beloved classic, realistic characters with human and otherwise.. View 2 comments. Jul 23, Anne rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy , read-in , steampunk , fairytale , retelling.

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On the book jacket it describes Ironskin as being a retelling of both Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. Doesn't matter.

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  7. It's also touted as steampunk. Ok, so I'm a little confused as to what elements a book needs to be classified as steampunk. As far as I can tell, if one person shows up wearing goggles , and another turns on a gas lamp It's steampunk! By that definition, yes. This was a steampunk retelling of Jan On the book jacket it describes Ironskin as being a retelling of both Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast.

    It starts out with Jane headed to Mr. Rochart's estate to interview as a governess to his weird kid. There has evidently been some great big Fairy War, which left her damaged and scarred hence the huge iron mask she wears. As the story progresses you find out about the curse attached to her scarring, and what exactly is different about Rochart's daughter. There's also lots of strange going-ons in the attic or on the upper levels of the house.

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    I don't want to ruin anything by giving spoilers to those of you who may be interested in reading this book, so I'll just keep my mouth shut and wrap this review up. The story started out pretty well, but by the end of the book the Blah factor had kicked in. Well, for me anyway. It was readable, but I doubt I'll continue with the series. Recommended for hardcore Jayne Eyre fans looking for a new twist on the classic. I feel it's only fair to mention that I did not enjoy reading the original Jane Eyre, so this may have tainted my feelings for this book View all 9 comments.

    Dec 22, Monica rated it liked it. The world building for this novel was intriguing, but I didn't get fully engaged in the novel until about halfway through. Once I got into the story I really enjoyed it, and I will definitely be reading Copperhead, the second book in the series. I would recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys historical novels especially those set at the beginning of the 20th century , and also readers who like some supernatural elements blended with their historical fiction kind of an oxymoron, b 3.

    I would recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys historical novels especially those set at the beginning of the 20th century , and also readers who like some supernatural elements blended with their historical fiction kind of an oxymoron, but you know what I mean-right? Sep 04, Angie rated it it was ok Shelves: retellings , steampunk. Originally reviewed here. The moment I heard about a steampunk retelling of Jane Eyre , I geared up for its release.

    I am always up for a retelling of this book. And I've had spectacular success in the past. This one is not YA, or even New Adult, and I could tell it relied more heavily on the rich fantasy aspects of the world and story, all of which I was eager to fall into. I love the cover, particularly the iron mask, and everything about it just had the ring of excellence to it. This is not to Originally reviewed here. This is not to say that I wasn't apprehensive, because there's always a bit of that when you go into a retelling of any kind, isn't there?

    But do any of you ever start to tire of your own wariness when it comes to upcoming releases? I go back and forth between feeling justifyingly jaded particularly when it comes to oversaturated genres or tropes and feeling like shaking off all my suspicion and caution and just jumping in like I used to as a kid. Because the exhaustion of both maintaining expectations and forcing yourself not to have them. So all of that to say that when an ARC floated my way via NetGalley, I didn't even blink before downloading it to my nook and settling in that evening.

    Jane Eliot survived the Great War. They don't call it a victory as the Fey just up and disappeared rather than outright lost. But the humans who survived are altered beyond recognition.

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    Some of them inwardly and some of them like Jane very much outwardly. Those struck by Fey fire during the war bear a curse. The curse not only affects the victim but spills out from the site of the wound onto all those they come into contact with. Each curse is different. For Jane, it is rage. From the jagged scars on her face that never heal, rages pours through her and onto those she encounters.

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    That is until she stumbles across the Foundry. There ironworkers create what they call ironskin. These pieces of iron attach to their bodies over the wounds, sealing them in, preventing the curses from affecting passersby. And so Jane wears a mask, and all the rage is bottled inside. Nevertheless, when she applies for a job taking care of the reclusive Mr. Rochart's daughter Dorie, she does cherish some small hope that in this wild, remote location she might find a place where she could belong.

    Of course, Mr. Rochart, his daughter, and the entire household are so strange that Jane begins to feel the normal one. Despite her mask and veil. Despite the rage boiling under her skin.

    Ironskin (Ironskin, book 1) by Tina Connolly

    For something very wrong lurks behind the doors of her new home and Jane may find her mask is not the only one keeping curses at bay. This is a fantastic setup. I found myself instantly caught up in the whole notion of the ironskin, of seeping curses from fey wounds, of Jane filled with an unnatural post-war rage. I even enjoyed Connolly's revisionist version of Mr.

    Rochart's uber-creepy secret. The whole world, its history, the way it was peopled, and the horrors they bore set my imagination racing. I couldn't wait to watch it play out. But then it. Unfortunately, I felt as though the writing itself never matched up to the premise, which was grandly dark. The words just plodded along, never rising above serviceable, never engaging in an organic way with the world's potential to really give the story wings.