These Vicious Masks
These Vicious Masks #1
Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
February 9, 2016
Source: Netgalley, e-ARC
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I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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.
Throughout reading I felt a bit removed from both the characters and the plot. Basically, for the majority of this book I was just reading it because I had an ARC and felt as if I had an obligation to finish, since nothing was really annoying me enough to DNF. I’m glad I finished because the ending really helped up my enjoyment of this novel and I am 85% positive I will continue with the series.
What I liked:
I really enjoyed that she was constantly rebelling against society’s restrictions, but at the same time acknowledged that deep down it still mattered to her. I feel like whenever I read about a heroine who wants nothing to do with Society they often don’t recognize how difficult life would actually be if they were to truly spurn it. She was sassy and outspoken, and she was always ready to save not only her sister, but herself. Yes she got help from 2 men, but she wasn’t about to be left behind while they played hero.
I also really liked that even though she is told that she has special “powers” she doesn’t actually believe it until she sees it. I am so sick of instant acceptance. Oh, I can heal people with my touch? OK awesome. No need for proof. Nope. Not Evelyn.
The “X-Men” aspect
I LOVE X-Men. When I was in high school I used to watch those movies over and over again. Until I saw Captain America, they were in fact my favorite superhero group. So I really enjoyed this part of the novel. I’m really looking forward to the sequels to learn more about them and what other people can do. There actually wasn’t much information about the powers in this book, as it was more Evelyn’s searching for her sister and her introduction into this new world, but I’m ok with that.
The Romance (or lack thereof)
Ok, this one is kind of misleading, because I wasn’t in fact the biggest fan of the love-triangle, as you will see, but I will mention that I did appreciate that you could remove the romance entirely and the book would survive and still be pretty awesome.
I have to say that I saw it coming, and I’m totally OK with it. It just had to happen, in my opinion. It opens up so many possibilities for the sequel, but it also doesn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger. It would have been totally possible to end the book with the first one, but I’m glad there will be more.
What I didn’t like:
The Love Triangle/Square
I have to admit that I don’t automatically hate love triangles. I can enjoy them well enough, but usually only if the girl (who is usually the top of the triangle) has enough redeeming qualities for me to see why even one guy would be interested in her. And it works because Evelyn is pretty damn awesome, but I just didn’t really like either of the male love interests. Sebastian Braddock was dark and broody, and they had some nice scenes, but I just didn’t see any chemistry between them. Added to the fact that there is also another lady who is interested in him, and things are getting a bit crowded. I did like Nicholas Kent more, but there was just something about him. He always seemed a bit shady.
That’s pretty much all that I really didn’t enjoy, and even that didn’t take too much away. The plot was fast paced and non-stop action and it kept me engaged for the majority of the time. And there is nothing quite like reading a historical novel (even a supernatural/paranormal/sci-fi one) to make me thankful I live in the 21st Century.