{Book Review} These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

{Book Review} These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly ZekasThese Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
Series: These Vicious Masks #1
Published by Swoon Reads on February 9, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
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Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

There is really a ton to love about These Vicious Masks. Here are five things that I couldn’t get enough of:

  • Witty Dialogue: this book is bursting with witty and clever dialogue, especially between our main heroine, Evelyn, and Suitor #1, Mr. Kent. From the get-go, these two have adorable repartee, and while I know it’s a love triangle, I would sort of love for Mr. Kent to fade a bit to a best friend. But anyway, here’s a prime example of their dialogue:

With gentle pressure on my waist, he guided me in slow circles, weaving us through the dizzying stream of couples, our every step and turn on point with the beat. My head felt light, almost giddy with the rush of motion. His light brown eyes met mine, and they seemed to dance along with us.

“You were right, this is absolutely dismal,” he said.

“Don’t be so quick to judge,” I replied, “here comes the exciting part, where we continue to twirl in the exact same manner as before.”

Mr. Kent scoffed. “Would you like to reverse our direction? Knock a few couples down?”

“But then there’ll be nowhere to dance, with bodies all over the floor.”

“My God, you are impossible to please.”

-Kindle Loc 202 of 4105

  • Byronic heroes: Oh Sebastian Braddock. I didn’t think I was going to like you in the beginning. I do so love being surprised by love interests. You have quite the interesting story, and while yes, you are dark and dreary compared to Mr. Kent’s sunshiny disposition, I found myself liking you rather more and more as the story went on. Besides, you have the whole tortured hero thing going for you, which is almost always irresistible.
  • Powers! in a period piece! What could possibly be more exciting? They weren’t lying when they said a mix of Jane Austen and X-Men; it doesn’t really sound feasible, but it works rather well. We don’t fully get to enjoy this mix till the second half of the book, but now I can’t wait to see what other powers manifest in the next installment. Not to mention having to discover bad guy powers in the middle of a fight with said bad-guy; makes for very exciting reading.
  • Likable and entertaining secondary characters: Friends of Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock in London help out our heroine along the way, namely a Miss Laura (Mr. Kent’s younger and hyperactive sister) and a Miss Lodge (a sickly but stout-hearted friend of Mr. Braddock), both of whom are quite loveable. Also along for the ride is a Robert Elliot, who is madly in love with Evelyn’s kidnapped sister Rose; poor Robert has no idea what is going on, but he valiantly stays true to Rose, willing to knock down any door or impediment in his way. I actually really enjoyed the idea that even in extraordinary circumstances, ordinary people like Robert can be just as helpful and brave as the extraordinary. It was a different route than many Sci-Fi/Supernatural books go, and I enjoyed the difference a lot.
  • Terrifying bad guys! Evil Mad Scientists! Is that you Magneto? Just kidding; but to be honest, I was pleased with the development of the bad guys. You see through some of our heroes past experiences just how bad they are, which made me practically rabid for Evelyn and Sebastian to take them out. Nothing kills a conflict quite like boring bad guys; These Vicious Masks doesn’t suffer from that particular ailment, thank goodness. I was quite ready for them to be annihilated.

With a surprise ending, I am quite ready for the second book. I’m rather upset that I shall have to wait for so long to get the next one.

Content: Violence, some disturbing images, some kissing. Recommended for 14+.

Book Review #2

4 Stars

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