Release-Day Review: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas


These Vicious Masks VBC ReviewThese Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1)
Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Published: Feb. 9, 2016 (Swoon Reads)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

This season, Evelyn Wyndham’s biggest concern is how many suitors she’ll have to stave off after her mother gets to meddling. When her sister Rose mysteriously disappears in the night, Evelyn has something new to worry about. While their parents are more concerned with keeping the family name from being dragged down, Evelyn knows something more sinister is afoot. Renowned for her work as a nurse, Evelyn believes Rose was kidnapped for her abilities. Against her parents’ wishes, Evelyn immediately leaves for London in search of her sister. Fortunately she is aided by the ever-charming Mr. Kent.

But what awaits Evelyn in London is far more than she bargained for. She learns that she’s not the only one interested in finding Rose. With this comes the realization that Rose’s abilities are less skill and more actual powers of healing. As this information sinks in, Evelyn’s eyes are opened to a whole new secretive world that’s always been there, that she too is a part of. All too quickly, Evelyn understands that if she ever wants to see Rose again, she needs to find her as quickly as possible. With the clock ticking, Evelyn will finally figure out who she can trust and who’s harboring even more dangerous secrets.

These Vicious Masks had me from the first page, the first sentence, where we’re treated to a good dose of Evelyn’s wit and cynicism. This refreshing wit, and a penchant for telling things like they are, runs throughout the entire book and really made it quite enjoyable. The back-and-forth banter between Evelyn and her would-be suitors: Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock had me laughing at nearly every exchange. And, I wasn’t even put off by the potential dreaded love triangle (I know, color me shocked!). While I liked both Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock just fine, and while the somewhat mysterious and secretive aspects to their characters were certainly interesting, at this point, I don’t really care who she may, or may not, end up with. For Evelyn, everything comes second to finding Rose. That is the true love of this story.

Then there’s the fact that, you know, there are super powers! I always love reading books or watching movies that feature people with extraordinary abilities. Half the fun is seeing who will have what power and how it will manifest. I don’t even think we’ve broken the tip of the iceberg with the powers we did see in These Vicious Masks, which is a good thing because I’m sure it could all have ended up feeling overwhelming.

Instead, the story progresses and develops at a slower rate with the search for Rose the first and foremost important task. Everything else kind of falls into place around that search and it all just builds up to a somewhat surprising conclusion. While plenty of things happen over the course of the story that were pretty much in line with what I was thinking in my head, having something unexpected come about really just makes this book stand out for me. So far, this is one of the best books I’ve read in the new year.

Sexual Content: Kissing

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