Copperhead (Ironskin #2)
by Tina Connolly
Tor, 2014. 335 pages. Science fiction.
Book 2 of Connolly's steampunk series is told from the point of view of heroine Jane Eliot's sister, Helen. Jane and Helen are trying to convince the many women who have had their faces changed by Edward Rochart's fey powers to make them the most beautiful women in the land to have their original faces restored. But the work is hard going; no woman wants to settle for ordinary beauty when extraordinary beauty is already theirs. What the Hundred don't realize, however, is that with the fey magic in their faces, they are prime target for the Fey King's nefarious plots. Compounding the problem is Copperhead, a militant human organization run by the elite that is eager to create a uniform society and cleanse the city of all who are not human.
While Ironskin focused on setting up Connolly's alternative England and is much more narrative, Copperhead is focused on action, which makes the plot move much more quickly. It was a fun read and makes the reader interested to know what is going to happen next with the characters. I also really liked how Connolly changed perspective from Jane (who can be a little strident) to Helen because it does give a more rounded view of not only the ills facing society but of the characters themselves. Helen, who seems very selfish in book 1, is allowed to explain her motivations, while Jane is able to be a little weaker and more human as a result of being seen from a second perspective. Overall, a very fun and fast-paced read.