Ironskin Hardcover – 2 Oct 2012
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"A lyrical, beautifully crafted debut. I was particularly taken with the beautifully conceived strangeness of Connolly's fey-touched, just-a-shade-away alternate magical England. A haunting exploration of the true price one must pay for magic, beauty, and love, "Ironskin" will stay with me for a long time to come."
--M.K. Hobson, author of "The Native Star
""Clever and romantic at the same time--no mean feat. A magical and entertaining waltz across the fairy forests and dark moors just a sideways step or two from Haworth Parsonage."
--Ian R. MacLeod, author of "Wake Up and Dream
""A gothic, eerie, and pitch-perfect retelling of Jane Eyre, in which the moors are haunted by menacing fae and the hero's secrets are steeped in magic. Ironskin kept me up past my bedtime and stayed with me long after the last page has been turned."
--Leah Cypess, author of "Mistwood"
"This is an astonishing book: an evocative re-imagination of "Jane Eyre" that concerns itself with beauty, love and social upheaval. Jane Eliot is an unforgettable protagonist, and the setting is strange and familiar at the same time. Connolly's fey creatures manage to be both ethereal and menacing. This lyrical and utterly marvelous debut is one of the standout books of the year."
--"RT Book Reviews", 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick!
"Connolly has created a complex and well-drawn world here, and the story is indeed an original and imaginative take on the gothic-fiction tradition. An intriguing and ambitious fantasy tale."
"Connolly includes all the romance, mystery, and horror that a good gothic story needs, without the florid prose. Her writing is clean and fresh, but she gives us just enough bygone language to show she knows exactly what kind of story she's telling, even as she shakes it up."
This is an astonishing book: an evocative re-imagination of "Jane Eyre" that concerns itself with beauty, love and social upheaval. Jane Eliot is an unforgettable protagonist, and the setting is strange and familiar at the same time. Connolly's fey creatures manage to be both ethereal and menacing. This lyrical and utterly marvelous debut is one of the standout books of the year. "RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick!"
Connolly has created a complex and well-drawn world here, and the story is indeed an original and imaginative take on the gothic-fiction tradition. An intriguing and ambitious fantasy tale. "Kirkus Reviews"
Connolly includes all the romance, mystery, and horror that a good gothic story needs, without the florid prose. Her writing is clean and fresh, but she gives us just enough bygone language to show she knows exactly what kind of story she's telling, even as she shakes it up. "Portland Monthly"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
TINA CONNOLLY lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, in a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic. Her stories have appeared all over, including in "Strange Horizons," "Lightspeed," and "Beneath Ceaseless Skies." She is a frequent reader for Podcastle, and narrates the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. In the summer she works as a face painter, which means a glitter-filled house is an occupational hazard. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I feel that Connolly's Editor let her down - it definitely needed at least one more edit and not just because the structure is little unwieldy in places. Some of the phrases are so truncated that they actually don't make sense - you're left working out what was being said. If this was a demonstration of voice it might eventually have bedded in but it wasn't and the effect was to make the narrative look sloppy in places. Similarly, the first three or four chapters are choppy and the voice wobbles. The further you go in the book the more assured the writing becomes so I have to assume that the first few chapters weren't really looked at enough during edit.
On the whole though, this is a fun read. Not too heavy and with just the right amount of jeopardy to keep you page turning. As a homage to Jane Eyre (there are several parallels but this is very much its own book) this is satisfying and inoffensive - I've seen far too many people try to ape that classic with cringeworthy results. The characters are fairly well drawn despite a slightly borrowed feel to some of them. Perhaps the books greatest strength is the world building - it's raw and well imagined and manages to be fey and industrial, modern and period at the same time.
I'd definitely recommend it for people looking for a different slant on fantasy that isn't too dense. Despite any irritation at editorial details, I will be picking up the second book - Copperhead.
IronSkin is set in the time after the Great War with the fey. Humans are slowly rebuilding their world without the wondrous fey technology.
But some have been damaged by the war. Jane is coming to terms with her scarred face and fey curse. Her young charge has also been inexplicably cursed by the fey.
The author using evocative language, gliding over the surface glamour of a world of Bright Young Things, powerfully describing the dark country mansion, the menacing forest of thorny locusts.
In IronSkin we meet a cast of fascinating characters, feisty Jane, brooding, but don't forget attractive, Mr Rochart, Jane's shallow but charming sister, the intriguing butler, Poule.
And at its heart IronSkin has mystery. The author skillfully spins her spell to reveal those secrets into a fascinating story.
She doesn't see a whole lot of him, but there is the monosyllabic maid, snarky cook and bookish housekeeper (sorry, "butler") to keep her company. Dorie doesn't like to use her hands, she much prefers psychokinesis. Such a blatant fay curse must not be seen by outsiders, it would ruin her father's reputation, so Jane tries to teach the girl how to use her hands with tools. All the while falling in love with her employer ...
From the acknowledgements at the back of the book, this novel started out as a novella, and someone pointed out similarities to Jane Eyre. As the references are obvious in this novel, I guess these bits must have been expanded on when turning the novella into a novel. Those who are interested in this book purely because it's touted as "steampunk Jane Eyre" should probably curb their enthusiasm. There are similarities with Jane Eyre, undoubtedly, but it's not a straight re-telling in a fantasy/steampunk setting.
If you, on the other hand, go into it expecting a fantasy/steampunk story with elements of Jane Eyre, you'll fare much better. In fact, you'll probably get a kick out of recognising some of the exchanges between Jane and Rochart. They might not be cut-and-paste, but they are familiar.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So much potential in this plot, all reduced to, "Wah, wah poor me. I'm not pretty." And "Oh, woe is me, I've been cursed with rage... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sadie Forsythe
I tried this book on a bit of a whim. It's not really my thing, but it was a well structured story with interesting characters which it would have been great to get to know a bit... Read morePublished on 7 April 2014 by StumpyB
This novel is basically Jane Eyre with fae, which isn't a bad thing. The hero is brooding with a Dark Secret, his daughter is adorably contrary, and the main character flawed but... Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2014 by Sparklepony
The premise is interesting but the book itself doesn't deliver - the characters are poorly developed shadows of those of Jane Eyre, so rather than an inspiration, it just seems... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2014 by Emma Sheppard
Not all hearts and flowers, some pretty grim scenes. The Fey in this book are rather nasty sorts calculating cruel and controlling. Read morePublished on 15 Jan. 2014 by Amazon Customer
A clever concept. A classic love story with a modern day twist. I hope there is another one as enjoyed every page of this, I look forward to seeing how the story will develop and... Read morePublished on 15 Jan. 2014 by jodie