Title: These Vicious Masks
Series: These Vicious Masks #1
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: February 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, YA.
Average Goodreads rating: 3.67
Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can’t inspire her to give in to society’s expectations. She’d much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in her radical quest to become a doctor. Then she meets Sebastian Braddock. The reclusive gentleman is vexing, annoyingly attractive, and quite possibly mad – and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Rose disappears, Sebastian is immediately suspect.
Yet Sebastian’s strange tales of special powers soon prove to be true, and Evelyn learns that Rose’s kidnappers have much worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can’t help but worry that his secrets are the most dangerous of all . . .
Debut-novelists Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas have created a charming, witty and exciting romance, chosen by readers, writers and publishers for the Swoon Reads imprint.
What a pleasant and deserving surprise this was! The setting and the characters were so vivid and I must confess I didn’t expect this one to be this raw but I liked it, very much! I wish there had been more action, given that it was sold like a Xmen kind of story. Let’s not forget this was the first installment of a trilogy, so the plot will get thicker and the action bigger, or at least I hope so! 😉
The writing was engaging. I don’t know what else to say about it, it felt fresh and fun, especially coming from The Handmaid’s Tale. And the setting, the characterization was imaginative and descriptive in such a way that I pictured everything perfectly to the last detail, and this doesn’t happen as often as I would like.
As the story goes, maybe I wasn’t expecting this but something more action packed (there being paranormal powers and all… 😋). Still it didn’t disappoint but made me laugh a lot and trust me I needed it. Kidnapping, rescuing, being exiled and more adventures is what you’ll get from this dynamic group of characters! The action most of all is a hide and seek kind of game they are playing in this first book. An interesting game that brings some colourful bunch together to fight evil… It reminded me, on more than one occasion, of The Parasol Protectorate. In both we had some secret cult/scientist bunch prone to explore and extract the paranormal properties for human usefulness.
The characters were simply fun! Yes, their actions were very predictable, but for some reason that didn’t infuriate me. In fact it appears I don’t get tired of a witty female lead (especially in this Victorian period) novels, more like I cannot get enough! Of course you also had to have a tall, handsome but secretive and rude one, that will end up stealing your heart, but did I mention fun? Let’s just say I saw this coming from page one and for once I really didn’t want it to happen, but what can you do? Destiny and all of that… 😂😂😂 I still have hope for our other main flawed character to redeem himself. Because although I don’t fully trust him anymore I really want to.
Let’s just say I can’t wait to read the next one, These Ruthless Deeds, and then for last installment to be released! This ended up with a promising start for the second novel but I am scared the next one will end up on a cliffhanger!!
If you are looking for a guilty pleasure you won’t be guilty about… I do recommend this! This was fast paced, yes not that original and quite predictable, but was exactly what I was looking for! Sold like a Xmen in Victorian London yes it has powers as such, but is not Xmen, still highly enjoyable!! 🙂 🙂
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PS. Seeing yesterday’s The Handmaid’s Tale review only got a 4* rating from me you might be curious how I find this better?? Well, The Handmaid’s Tale is a powerful classic, a great book (but not perfect) for which I had super high expectations. This, on the other hand, was an enjoyable little read you didn’t have to think much about and the characters and especially the setting was simply compelling enough!
Like I have in my goodreads profile, I value differently contemporaries and classics. Maybe I am more critical with the later yes, but what can you do?? 😋