These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

These Vicious Masks   
by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
On Sale Date: February 9, 2016
Juvenile Fiction \ Love & Romance \ Fantasy
Ages 12 to 18
Published by Swoon Reads
320 pages
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars
Add to: Goodreads

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.

The only thing more dangerous
than a gentleman with deadly superpowers
is falling in love with one.

What a breath of fresh air! Fun, adventurous, and entertaining - These Vicious Masks did not disappoint. The description of "Jane Austin meets X-Men" is a good pitch as These Vicious Masks takes elements of the paranormal in the form of extraordinary super powers and gives readers plenty of manners and etiquette as the protagonist Evelyn tries not to die of high society boredom while chasing villains and rescuing her sister. 

I completely adored Evelyn. She's sassy, pertinent, and likes to thumb her nose at society rules, often hilariously bending etiquette to her whims. Most of all, she's determined to find her sister and though her actions at times seemed impulsive, I admired her fierce devotion to her sister. Evelyn's qualities make her an easy heroine to follow.

The setting has all the lovely accompaniments that readers crave in a Victorian setting. Stuffy society members, etiquette, and rules to remember. Lavish parties, dresses, and balls. The actual pace starts out fast and I found myself flipping the pages grinning and waiting to see what smart remarks Evelyn would throw out next. My one complaint is that as the story progressed and Evelyn's sister falls into sinister hands, the plot and pace lost some of its momentum for me. I did not find the need to rescue Evelyn's sister near as exciting as discovering more about the x-men like abilities. It wasn't long before These Vicious Masks picked up again, especially when the intriguing dash of extraordinary powers came into play.

For romance fans, there is a touch of romance in These Vicious Masks that I enjoyed. The dashing Mr. Kent and brooding Sebastian are perfect foils to one another, each seems to carry an interest in Evelyn. I enjoyed the clever repertoire and daring adventures between Evelyn and her two handsome gentlemen that ensured many grins

Mr. Kent is your typical Victorian society's ideal gentleman. He brings to the story balls, dances and the possibility of romantic affections. Charming, with an easy whit about him, it's hard not to like him.

Then there's the mysterious and brooding Sebastian Braddock that I'm sure will make more than a few readers happy as he epitomizes those dark heroes many readers love. He introduces Evelyn to a world where people are gifted/cursed with extraordinary powers and I loved guessing just what his connection to it all was. I'm a fan of these dark heroes, and secretly, I think Evelyn is too!

These Vicious Masks is off to a great start, a debut that offers lots of entertaining reading. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.


Book ReviewsKimComment