These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2)
Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Published: March 14, 2017 (St. Martin’s Press)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from the previous book. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, These Vicious Masks.
Still recovering from the loss of her sister, Evelyn Wyndham has thrown herself even more into the task of finding and helping other people with power. On one such mission Evelyn and her collaborators are hijacked by The Society of Aberrations, who tout the recruitment and protection for those with power. Having the same mission statement as Evelyn and her friends, they quickly throw themselves in with the Society. At first, Evelyn’s orders of healing the sick and wounded are just what she’s wanted to do with her powers. However, as she’s sent on recruitment missions that quickly turn dangerous, Evelyn can’t help but feel there’s something more sinister going on beneath the surface of the Society. She, along with her stalwart suitors Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock, will risk everything to uncover the truth.
Where These Vicious Masks deals with the discovery of new powers and the awesomeness thereof, These Ruthless Deeds kind of looks at the drawbacks of what some of these powers can actually do. The possible danger, as with Sebastian Braddock’s power that pretty much sucks the life out of those too near to him, which he’s unable to control. The sometimes burden of what it means to have powers gives this book a more somber view than its predecessor.
That’s not to say that These Ruthless Deeds did not showcase some great wit and wile, it certainly did, but I found it to be more veiled and unexpected. Which, honestly, made the moments of levity all the more humorous and endearing.
The love triangle is still ever-present, but like the first book, it didn’t particularly annoy me. I think it’s because Evelyn has so many other things to put her focus on that, despite what Evelyn’s mother might have to say about it, her looking for a love interest is secondary. For those of you out there who despise the love triangle, worry not. We do get more closure on that aspect of the story by the end.
The pacing was a bit slower to start. I mean, we know from just reading the book blurb that there’s shenanigans going on—or at least they’re suspected by Evelyn—with the Society, it just takes a bit too long to actually unravel the main mystery of the book, which turns out to be finding the anonymous leader of the Society.
The slower pacing does do the great service of allowing the showcasing of more powers, which made me extremely happy. From the more widely known telekinesis to a girl that can demolish anything just by looking at the object for too long, and much more in between. I mean really, what is a superhero book without the superpowers? I liked, beyond seeing their powers, meeting the characters behind the powers and learning a little about their lives.
What the slower start also accomplishes is somewhat lulling the reader into a sense of complacency. That’s why I was completely unprepared for the final climatic moments. Moments that will be the basis for driving the story and the characters in the conclusion of the trilogy.
Sexual content: kissing