In Copperhead, the sequel to Ironskin, Jane’s sister Helen must navigate a tangled web of conspiracy when Jane disappears during a disastrous face lift procedure that goes terribly wrong. (It might have gone less wrong if it hadn’t been taking place during a party where a weapon meant to be used against the fey was being exhibited.)
Helen takes it upon herself to find her sister and convince the rest of “The Hundred” to undergo the procedure that will rid them of their fey beauty and restore their original faces. If this quest wasn’t challenging enough, Helen also has to dodge her husband and his cronies in “Copperhead,” a fascist organization prejudiced against both the fey and the dwarvven (who until now had always been considered allies). The B plot involves Helen’s growing romantic feelings for a half-dwarvven double agent investigating the Copperhead organization.
I had the same lukewarm reaction to Copperhead that I had for the previous book. The plot has some interesting twists and turns, but there were a few scenes that seemed a little too convenient. For example, Helen runs into an actress who wanted to undergo the facelift procedure. This actress turned out to have a connection to Rook, a half-dwarvven double agent who had infiltrated Copperhead, who initially contacts Helen during the party where the facelift procedure was taking place. On top of that, Helen conveniently discovers that she can use her “fey beauty” to manipulate people. These are just a few of the very convenient coincidences.
I also had some trouble engaging with the characters and the setting. I think part of the problem is that the previous book had a more “Jane Austen” feel to the setting while this book is more like the Roaring Twenties. The difference the difference between the settings, when both books are so closely linked in time was a little jarring. Despite my difficulties with the plot and the characters the book was generally readable with good pacing.