Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
Ironskin by Tina Connolly is a retelling of Jane Eyre set in an alternative universe where a war was waged against the Fey in which Jane was injured. To hold in the curse that is part of the non-healing injury, she wears an iron mask, hence the title.
Rather than continue to explain the story and risk spoilers (I hate spoilers), let me sum up... as a YA retelling of Jane Eyre, this worked for me. Some small bits were too directly taken from Charlotte Bronte's work for my taste, but overall I enjoyed the new twists that were given. Except the gross parts, I could have done without them, though they are over quickly and work well with the Fey aspects of the book. The quality of writing and continuity of the story were very good for a first book and done well enough that I am adding the second book, Copperhead, to my to-read list.
Part of the reason I chose to read this book was that it was supposedly Steampunk. It is not, in my opinion, Steampunk. To me the feel of the book changed back and forth between being victorian-esque (gas lights, etc) and very post-war 40's (descriptions of clothing, the t-strap shoes, etc). But this is an alternate universe, and no era specifically stated by the author, and though I enjoyed the book, I don't intend to reread it in order to straighten out the question of the era.