These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks Series #1)

These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks Series #1)

by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas

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These Vicious Masks 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
An amazing, lush read with excellent characters and slow-burning romance. Think X-Men meets the Victorian era, and you’re somewhat on track, although the book is much more than that. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to just about anyone. Go read it. NOW. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Strong characters and a driven plot. I liked that it didn't fall into the same old boring love triangle trap most ya novels devolve into.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique and engaging, this YA historical surprises at every turn. The magic element is well done and feels belivable. I'll be purchasing the next book for sure!
jojosmodernlife More than 1 year ago
Evelyn's sister Rose is simply perfect.  No one has met her that did not immediately adore her.  No one could imagine a dull life without her until she leaves a note that she has run away.  This event creates a chasm between Evelyn, who is convinced she has been kidnapped and is desperate to organize a rescue, and her parents who are desperate to protect their social standing.  Does Rose need saving and who can save her? To be quite frank, I should have marked it as a DNF and moved on early into the book.  I just kept hoping the ending would be worth the time invested-it wasn't.  The writing was shallow and did not create an emotional connection between myself as a reader and any of the characters.  Least of all, Evelyn, the main character.  She is supposed to be headstrong, independent, and a trailblazer.  However, she came across as arrogant, irritating, and weak.  Furthermore, the main objective is for her to rescue her sister, Rose, but her attention keeps getting misdirected towards the love triangle that forms between her, Mr. Kent, and Mr. Braddock. Another issue that I had with the writing in regards to the characters is that the supporting characters are not well established.  For example, halfway through the book Mr. Braddock becomes Sebastian, which is initially confusing.  Another example is the character of Robert, the gentleman who has had his heart set on Rose since childhood.  He is introduced in the beginning and then is absent until about halfway through the book where is expected to have been remembered by the reader.  He does not really serve a purpose except to get in the way and remind the reader that Rose is missing.  He is an annoying obstacle rather than a big help.  The love of his life is kidnapped and all he does is get drunk, whine to anyone who will listen, and talk down to Evelyn.  I had hoped he would snap out of it at some point and get to helping Evelyn and the others rescue Rose rather than wallowing in his self-pity.    The final issue that I had with the book was the love triangle.  It. Serves. NO. Purpose!  It does not enhance the story.  In fact, it seems to be more of a filler than anything.  The romantic connections are lacking in emotion.  The only "romance" is Evelyn being defiant towards their advances.  Also, the powers of each gentleman are not mind-blowing.  The only thing I am willing to bend on my opinion of this is that, in regards to Mr. Braddock, his powers do somewhat provide a tragic backstory for him.    This book claims to be "Jane Austen meets X-Men" but it tragically fails.  There is not any depth to any of the characters.  The ending seems rushed in order to make it into a series of books rather than a standalone.  The powers of some of the characters are lacking and therefore does not even compare to the superpowers of the X-Men. The only thing I can see where they desperately attempted to make a connection to X-Men is that in the end they are trying to recruit other people with powers to form a team.  Also maybe that the former governess of Rose and Evelyn, Miss Grey, is kind and can find and communicate with people through the mind, kind of like Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix in X-Men (but this Miss Grey communicates with others in their sleep) but even that is a stretch. In conclusion, I would not recommend this book to any reader, although there are many reviews that state the opposite.  I would also not recommend this book in the AudioCD edition. 
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
Evelyn is not looking forward to the upcoming season. But then her sister goes missing and the season is the furtherest thing from her mind. Evelyn rushes off to London, without her parent’s permission, in an attempt to locate her sister. She is helped by friend Mr. Kent. But newcomer Sebastion Braddock also offers his help, and upsets Evelyn’s world. This book was like a lighter, YA version of the Amanda Quick/Jayne Anne Krentz Arcane Society novels. The supernatural element here involved a specific, honed power. And there were attempts at a science element to it. And I love the Arcane Society novels. At times, Evelyn as a protagonist could feel a little forced. She wanted to be different really hard. She was OVER society. I did have a moment where I kind of agreed with one of Evelyn’s antagonists, but it was a pretty great quip so I’m not going to ruin it for anyone. Still, I felt like she grew, and I didn’t dislike her. I generally enjoyed these characters. For a Swoon Reads book, which I don’t think I’ve read before, there was flirtation here, but the focus was on the plotting (even if the villain could be a little obvious and over-the-top at first). Another way it models some of the adult romances with a mystery bend. Which I think is great. I’m glad to see some variety coming back to YA novels that are straight to paperback. It reminds me of the feelings I had discovering YA romance Old Magic as a teenager. These authors definitely know their stuff when it comes to romances. They’ve taken the structure of an adult romance and provided it for the YA set. And, like the best adult romances, there is humor here. If you’re looking for a light, historical, YA romance, you should definitely pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
These Vicious Masks is pitched as "Jane Austen meets X-men" and frankly, I wish they never met. This book had such a strong beginning and I was really excited to be reading it. However, after about a fourth of the way through, I started getting confused by the X-Men elements and felt like they took away from the plot instead of adding to it. I pushed through until the end because I really liked the characters—especially Evelyn—but that sadly wasn't enough to save this book for me. There was definite potential in the plot, but the execution was all over the place. I started liking it again towards the last third of the book, but was ultimately disappointed with how everything wrapped up. It wasn't satisfying by any means, and if anything, it was just frustrating. Full review here:
Kenzigrl More than 1 year ago
Love, love, loved this book!!! Evelyn was just an amazing character that I instantly fell in love with! Hoping theirs a sequel!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I will read anything that's pitched as "Jane Austen meets the X-Men". Thankfully, it lived up to its tag line. I absolutely adored Evelyn. She's snarky as hell and her inner monologue was like being in my head. I loved how she refused to be left in the dark about the situation and repeatedly inserted herself right in the middle of things. There are two boys in this book and I was amused by both of them. The plot was engaging and entertaining. I had that delicious problem of wanting to hurry through it and wanting to savor it at the same time. From the first page, I was captivated by Evelyn's fight between acting proper in London society or hunting for her sister. The only reason it's not 5 stars is because of a few things I didn't care for at the end. Perhaps some of them were to keep the door open for a sequel? Regardless of the why, I know I'll be on the lookout for future works by Tarun and Kelly. **Huge thanks to Swoon Reads for sending me the arc**
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
What a terrific story! I loved Evelyn, our restless, sometimes reckless, heroine, to whom propriety matters but saving her sister matters more. I loved Mr. Braddock, our dark and brooding hero, who would rather not be dark and brooding, but can't help it. I loved Mr. Kent, Evelyn's ardent, smooth, sometimes-smarmy suitor. I REALLY loved Tuffins, the butler with a heart of gold. (I need a Tuffins. I think we all do.) And I loved the way the Victorian setting, complete with its underbelly of humans with secret powers and even more secret motivations, leapt off the page. Running through it all is Evelyn's distinctive wry narrative voice. Can't wait for the second book!
Interstellarmind More than 1 year ago
Omg this is right up my alley and I loved it!!!! I finished it in like a day! Can't wait for the sequel.... P.S. I'm totally in love with Evelyn
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
England, 1882. Evelyn would rather do anything than spend another night at another interminable party with the same vapid women and the same eligible bachelors that her mother considers ideal candidates for marriage. Evelyn has no desire to be married off so quickly and disappear behind the veiled curtain of domesticity. Little surprise, then, that Evelyn immediately secures passage to London when her younger sister Rose disappears under mysterious circumstances. Accompanied on her search by the dashing Mr. Kent and the brooding Sebastian Braddock (who claims Evelyn and her sister have healing powers), Evelyn is thrown in a world of secrets populated by extraordinary people. Evelyn isn't sure what to believe or who to trust. The only thing Evelyn knows for certain is that she has to find Rose before it's too late in These Vicious Masks (2016) by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. These Vicious Masks is the first novel from Shanker and Zekas. It is also the start of a series. These Vicious Masks starts with a fun premise. Victorian England. Romance. Superpowers. Action. This book literally has it all complete with a heroine with decidedly modern sensibilities (something that was, personally, less satisfying to read than a character operating within the social mores and expectations of her era). Evelyn's narration is filled with snark and humor as she bemoans her status an a young (bored) debutante before her sister's disappearance. The story is filled with evocative descriptions but thinner on historical detail with the time period serving more as set dressing for the novel than an integral part of the plot. Readers will follow Evelyn's search for Rose with as much interest as they will her romantic prospects with the appropriately contrasting suitors of Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock in a love triangle that is filled with intrigue and tension. These Vicious Masks is a fast-paced and super fun read. Ideal for fans of light historical fiction and superhero adventure. An open-ended conclusion and shocks in the denouement promise an exciting next installment. Possible Pairings: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey, A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee, The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan, Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read next book in series.