Egalley thanks to Tor Books
This is another book I would hesitate to even call steampunk-ish. This is more of a Gothic novel in alternative reality.
Really atmospheric and strangely beautiful like most of Gothic novels I've had pleasure to read. The plot is ever so familiar that anyone who've read Jane Eyre or watched the movie would recognise it straight away.
And yet, Blanche for example is a passing character, there is no mad wife, and Jane has a younger sister, so even if you know that this is another interpretation of the famous novel it's not that predictable and it will surprise you from time to time.
Jane is a very strong woman, but she is only coming into her powers in this book, the author is still unsure as to how to sculpt her character so Jane goes through a lot of yo-yo moods and changes in personality, but, MY GOD, by the end of the book she is someone you would not want to cross. Absolutely formidable!
Dorie was pretty amazing, otherworldly and difficult. If you ever watched Firelight, she strongly reminded me of Louisa, and I could understand the challenges Jane faced trying to forge connection to her.
Mr. Rochart was perhaps the coldest character in this book. I really couldn't get a feel of him, and you can blame him for the lower rating I gave to Ironskin. I also felt that there was no chemistry between him and Jane.
Aside from that minor problem, the world-building is very interesting, especially the representation of Fey - these cold, alien, eery beautiful creatures, that everyone is terrified of. Any fey detail was fascinating and carefully incorporated into the mythology of the world.
Overall, a fabulous promising novel with very dark undertones, wonderful secondary characters and great world-building. Recommended to all fans of Gothic literature.