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Book Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly

  • Method of Obtaining: I preceived my copy from the publisher.
  • Published by: Tor Books
  • Release Date:  10/02/2012 (This edition)
        

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.

Reason for Reading:
  • The gorgeous, gorgeous book cover.

I recommend:

My Review:

If ever there is a case of book cover lust, it definitely would strike hard for a book like Ironskin. The first time I saw this cover I knew… I had to read this book – I didn’t even care that it was described as a “Steampunk Beauty and the Beast” novel. I didn’t care that, once I began reading, that Tina Connolly had openly ripped off Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (even to the point of giving her characters remarkably similar names) and just infused the story with magic and fae and dwarves. But soon, I couldn’t ignore those very things.

Quite frankly, I was more excited by the cover than I was by the story. I was interested, but it didn’t grab me. I was curious, but not burning up with curiosity. More than once, I put the book down, confused, because the story seemed to me like a bunch of puzzle pieces that all just didn’t quite fit.

So while I will probably keep this book on my shelf for the sheer pretty factor, I don’t know that I’ll steer anyone toward it – unless they, like me, wish to give it a shot and see if it can hold up its end of the bargain.

I’ve been trying to figure out over the last few days what could have made this work more. I think different name choices (there’s no need to beat your readers over the head with the fact that you are writing a Jane Eyre spin-off) would help. A more developed relationship between Jane and her sister would have worked well as well as more development of the relationships in the manor. And Connolly’s version of Mr. Rochester had me all sorts of confused – was he a good guy? a bad guy? And what about these Fae wars? What went on there. In short, I felt as if I was thrown into the middle of a story that had me turned around and completely confused by the time I was two chapters in.

So, in short – great cover, interesting premise, and a failure to follow through for this one.

Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!

Parajunkee | Heather’s Book Chatter | Book-Marks the Spot

Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman

Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman
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Reason(s) for Reading:
  • I saw the cover while “shopping for library books” at B&N and wanted to check it out.
  • I love dragons.  Seriously, dragons and elves, how can you go wrong?
I also recommend:

Summary from GoodReads:

Once humans had magic and an alliance with dragons. Now they and the other races have been enslaved by the Rhonas Empire-the elves-and can’t even remember the world the way it used to be. But thanks to the intervention of one determined dwarf and the human slave warrior known as Drakis, all of that is about to change.

My Review:

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the following words I get goosebumps and a fluttery feeling in my stomach: dragons, elves, chimera, manticore, gnomes, dwarves and magic.

… Okay, so maybe I get that because I’m just a nerd.

But I can’t help it! I mean, I grew up on Fantasy – from as early as I can remember I was fed The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  I dreamed about furry-footed little beings and fantastical scenarios!  So when I see what looks to be a good fantasy – I jump on it!

Lately I’ve been reading for my fantasy fixes some old authors, Tolkien being one of them, and some new-to-me-authors, Michael Sullivan and Brandon Sanderson.  Now I’m adding Tracy Hickman to that mix and wondering how in the world I didn’t start reading his books earlier!

In the interest of full disclosure though, I will tell you that it takes a while for this story to get started.  I was a bit confused with all the strange names and concepts, but once everything clicked the story really moved and I was drawn in and devouring every little scene.  This book had it all.  Traitors? Check. Really mean bad guys? Check.  Annihilation of entire races? Check. Slavery? Check. The little guy rising above it all? Double-check!

If you are in the mood for a good fantasy, this one will do it. However, it’s the first in a series.. and the rest aren’t out yet, so be warned!

Check out these review(s):

Crusade Against Boredom

Bear