Review: These Vicious Masks


These Vicious Masks by: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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.

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friends Lola and Katerina! Click on their names to read their reviews!

I had heard about this book through Netgalley. It sounded interesting so I requested it. I was denied. When I went to re-read the synopsis I was immediately put off by the X-Men meets Jane Austen tag line. I have never been a fan of Jane Austen. I watched Pride and Prejudice but found Elizabeth to be rude. The way Keira Knightley presented Elizabeth might have been what ticked me off. Then Katerina and Lola recommended me this book. It has never happened where two of my friends recommend the same book. I became curious and decided to give it a shot. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book!

The book begins with Evelyn and her family attending a party. Evelyn does not understand the point of always going to the same parties and balls, with the same people. She feels that she’s just wasting her time and would much rather travel the world. Her younger sister Rose is the only one that understands her views.

They hit a bit of a detour. The people who are in front of them are trying to get their carriage upright. Evelyn’s family offer their help but the people refuse. They take off but not before Evelyn sees a large man put their carriage upright. The man is clearly very strong.

When they reach the party Evelyn tries her best to make a run for it. But her mother manages to keep her next to her. When the host arrives he introduces his nephew Mr. Braddock. It seems that Evelyn’s mother intends for her to marry Mr. Braddock. They introduce themselves. Mr. Braddock seems very interested in Rose and he starts to talk to her but then dashes off with some weird excuse. Evelyn is very annoyed at this. It was really rude that he just ran off like that.

Evelyn uses this as her excuse to go and hide. So that she can avoid her mother’s friends and the dancing. While enjoying some cake her friend Mr. Kent arrives. They talk for a bit and then they dance. After they’re done dancing they go on to eat some more cake and talk to their friend Robert. Evelyn has had too many drinks and accidentally says that Rose will most likely marry Robert.

Embarrassed Evelyn runs off to find Rose. After some searching she finds Rose with the large man that lifted the carriage and Mr. Braddock. It seems that they were in some sort of an argument and Evelyn interrupted it. Mr. Braddock gets the man to leave and tries to talk to Rose. Evelyn sensing something off about Rose pushes her out and tells Mr. Braddock that Rose isn’t available for a conversation. They argue and then Evelyn goes home.

Rose and Evelyn decide to talk about all that has happened. Rose explains that the large man has a sister that is very sick in London and needs Rose’s assistance. Evelyn then reveals to Rose about what she told Robert. Rose says that she would love to travel the world and become a doctor. Evelyn tells Rose that they can try to convince their mother together in the morning. They hug each other and go to bed.

That night Evelyn has an odd nightmare. She seems to be in Egypt and is conversing with her governess Miss Grey. For some reason Evelyn can’t really hear Miss Grey’s voice too well and nor can she respond. Miss Grey informs her that someone is after Rose.

I was surprised that I enjoyed this book! I honestly did not expect to enjoy it this much. I liked the writing style and the banter between the characters. This book was pretty fast paced which was nice.  And I absolutely loved the sibling relationships! The plot was well done. And the powers were really cool!

I absolutely adored Evelyn! It was lovely to read about her character development through this book. And about her relationship with the other characters. I really felt for her when she was frantically looking for Rose. Her reaction to powers existing was realistic. Mr. Kent was kind of annoying at first but he started to grow on me once I started to understand things from his point of view. Mr. Kent’s love for his sister Laura was adorable! I loved how much he cared about her and looked out for her. I felt really bad for him considering his family situation. Mr. Braddock was nice and definitely anti-social. I do feel for him as well as he’s been through a lot. Mr. Braddock’s power is particularly interesting. I’ve never read about someone who has the same power. Laura was a doll and I enjoyed reading about her friendship with Evelyn! Miss Grey was interesting. And while Rose didn’t come in that much she was nice.

It was really cool that the authors included a masks theme in this book. Everyone behaves differently with some people. We usually have different masks on depending on who we’re interacting with. And it is interesting once we get to see different layers about a person. I felt that this was Incorporated well. I was very surprised at the ending. I didn’t expect the authors to take that route. No doubt it’ll be interesting to read about all the characters stories in the sequel. This just goes to show that the authors are not afraid of killing off characters.

I only had a few problems. I was really surprised with the love triangle. I didn’t see the point of it but it didn’t bother me once I started reading. I do hope it gets resolved soon so that it doesn’t drag out. I felt that Evelyn’s parents reluctance to look for Rose was done for plot’s sake. So that Evelyn would have no choice but to accept Mr. Kent’s help. Also the villain wasn’t really anything new. The same villains have been written before. With the same motive.

Overall this was a really great book! I recommend it to fans of X-Men and Jane Austen and anyone looking for a new and interesting fantasy series.


One thought on “Review: These Vicious Masks

  1. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2016 | Fafa's Book Corner

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