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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Overview

Jane Austen meets X-Men in this thrilling Victorian adventure full of magic and mysticism, perfect for anyone who loves a confident, rebellious heroine, snappy dialogue, and a hint of romance.

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.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, These Vicious Masks is an action-packed, genre-bending novel by debut authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas.

Praise for These Vicious Masks:

"This is a perfect pick for someone who wants a little magic in their Victorian novels, and its combination of historical fiction and mysticism will remind readers of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy." —Booklist

"This tale has brisk pacing, plenty of action, and a heroine with more than her fair share of girl-power confidence." —School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250073891
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Series: These Vicious Masks Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 304,075
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mild-mannered assistant by day, milder-mannered writer by night, Tarun Shanker is a New York University graduate currently living in Los Angeles. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, David Bowie's music fills the air and chai tea flows freely from fountains.

Kelly Zekas, an NYU graduate, writes, acts, and reads in New York City. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth (other than cupcakes) and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

These Vicious Masks is their first novel.

Read an Excerpt

These Vicious Masks


By Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas

Feiwel and Friends

Copyright © 2016 Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-07802-5


CHAPTER 1

Death. This carriage was taking me straight to my death.

"Rose," I said, turning to my younger sister. "In your esteemed medical opinion, is it possible to die of ennui?"

"I ... can't recall a documented case."

"What about exhaustion? Monotony?"

"That could lead to madness," Rose offered.

"And drowning in a sea of suitors? After being pushed in by your mother?"

"It would have to be a lot of suitors."

"Evelyn, this is no time to be so morbid," my mother interrupted, simultaneously poking my father awake. "And it is certainly not suitable conversation for dancing. You must enjoy yourself tonight."

"You're ordering me to enjoy myself?"

"Yes, it's a ball, not a funeral."

A funeral might have been preferable. In fact, there was a long list of things I would rather do than attend tonight's monotonous event: thoroughly clean the stables, travel the Continent, have tea with my mother's ten closest friends, travel the Continent, eat my hat, and — oh, yes, of course — travel the Continent. At this moment, my best friend, Catherine Harding, was undoubtedly watching some fabulous new opera in Vienna with an empty seat by her side, meant for me. But when I had modestly, logically suggested to my mother the importance — no, the necessity — of a young woman seeing the world, expanding her mind, and finding her passion, she remained utterly unconvinced.

"Catherine tells me Vienna has grand balls," I put in.

"This isn't the time to discuss that, either," Mother replied.

"But what if tonight, in my sheltered naïveté, I accept a proposal from a pitiless rogue who takes all my money and confines me to an attic?"

"Then better it happens here than on the Continent."

I bit my tongue, for it was quite useless to argue further. Mother would not be swayed to let me leave the country. Instead, she was determined to see me to every ball in England. But what was the point of all this? Was anyone truly satisfied with seeing the same people over and over again, mouthing the same false words, feeling nothing, and saying less? Even my London season felt like I was in a prison, trapped in the same routine of balls, dinners, theaters, and concerts that all seemed to blend together, just like the shallow people in attendance. They were so eager to confine themselves to a role and make the correct impression that they'd forget to have any actual thoughts of their own. How would I ever figure out what exactly it was that I wished to do, stuck here in sleepy Bramhurst?

Gazing out the window, I wondered if I should try very hard to have a horrible time tonight to spite my mother, or if we were still close enough to home that I could just throw myself out the door and roll back down the hill. But since we had left, the light pattering of rain had become an angry barrage, while the lightning flashed and the thunder raised its voice in warning. Hopes for an impassable flood took root within me as our carriage swerved and slowed along the slick, muddy road. Suddenly, it jerked to a dead stop, and I believed my prayers answered until the driver shouted down to my father.

"Sir! There's a carriage stopped up ahead! Reckon they're stuck! It'll be just a moment!"

We lurched forward until we saw the outline of a carriage crookedly tilted halfway off the road. Our driver's voice carried: "Hello there! Can we be of assistance?"

Rose and I crowded to her tiny window and found three drenched men — a driver, a passenger, and a near giant — all attempting to push the vehicle back out of a muddy ditch. They paused upon hearing us, and the large man tipped his hat toward our window, the carriage light illuminating his tanned skin and pale lips.

Their driver wiped his brow with a handkerchief as he approached. "Thank you, sir!" he yelled, panting as he waved us along. "It's quite all right! Get your passengers to their destination! We shall manage —" The rest of his words were sucked up by another growl and crackle of thunder.

Whether it was the man's words or the storm that was convincing, our driver decided not to argue and sent the horses forward. As I turned back, watching the three men fade into the blackness, a flash of lightning unveiled them for one last glimpse, their shapes stark against the bright white rip across the sky. But it wasn't any figure that caught my eye. It was their carriage, which seemed to be lifted entirely off the ground by the giant man and heaved onto the road before they were swallowed by the darkness again.

"Did you see that?" I asked Rose.

Her raised brow answered the question, but then it furrowed as she considered the matter. "Is the fair in town? Perhaps he's one of those strong men we always see advertised."

"But ... still, to lift an entire carriage by himself?"

"Evelyn," Mother interrupted. "I don't wish to hear another story about hallucinations rendering you too ill to attend —"

"Rose saw it, as well!"

"Oh. Excellent. Then we need not risk the health of any of our footmen to fix that driver's foolish mistake," my mother said, in her infinite kindness.

Our conversation died in the din of the storm, but the unnatural image of those four wheels suspended in the air stayed with me as we rolled up the narrow dirt path to the congested entrance of Feydon Hall. Though there was surely a rational explanation, my nerves were now on edge, making Feydon's familiar details seem sinister. At the crest of the hill, the mansion loomed over the rest of the country, and thick clouds roiled menacingly over the magnificent estate. Cracked stone statues of Hades and Charon welcomed visitors in, while gnarled trees reached out to capture all who dared to veer off the path. Towering gargoyles stretched upward as if to attract an ominous flash of lightning. This was ridiculous. Was my mind so tired of Bramhurst that it was conjuring up these gothic images? This must be how girls go mad: It's the only alternative to boredom.

Shaking the absurd thoughts away, I followed Rose and my parents out of the carriage. Umbrella-wielding footmen led us to the front door and into the bright, breathtaking vestibule that set the tone for the rest of the mansion. Though our home was rather large and well kept, Sir Winston's home of Feydon was still awe-inspiring. Vivid paintings glowed in the gaslight against the dark wood paneling. Lush oriental rugs covered the floor, and the ceiling reached toward the sky, providing room for the second-floor balcony — a place where guests wanting for conversation topics had a steady supply of people below to scrutinize.

Still, in spite of the main hall's enormous size, the waves of fashionable men and women rendered it impossible to navigate. This looked to be by far the biggest ball our small town of Bramhurst had seen in years, which unfortunately meant I didn't have to worry about a sea of suitors, but an ocean. We had not gone three steps when my mother fixed her eyes on a boy frozen in perfect imitation of the bronze statue beside him.

She leaned in confidentially. "Evelyn, see there. The eldest from the Ralstons. I hear they have a lovely collection of stained-glass windows." Ah, yes, just my type: a stiff, prideful lord-to-be with impeccable, cold deportment to prove his perfect breeding.

"Set a date," I declared solemnly with a wave of my hand. "I shall marry him immediately."

Rose choked back her giggle, but Mother was far less amused. "Not this childish behavior again," she said through her teeth, which were still arranged in a polite smile for the guests. "You will give these men more than a second's thought or deeply regret this attitude in a few years' time."

"Yes, when I'm crying next to, God forbid, a plain window," I said with a sigh.

As we slowly made our way inside, my sister caught my arm and flashed me a commiserative smile. Only Rose seemed to understand how unbearable these evenings were for me. If I could just make Mother see that, or annoy her enough, perhaps she would pack me off in frustration. I reaffirmed my plan to show her how joyless a ball could be. For everyone.

She, however, seemed to have her own plan and reinforcements, leading us to Sir Winston at the foot of the grand stairs. With his round face, sizable nose, and wide smile, our host's jovial nature was easily apparent as he greeted his guests. But lurking beneath the surface was a slyness that most people missed; he was a Machiavelli who plotted marriages. Mine, mostly.

"My dear Wyndhams," he greeted, giving me a quick wink. "I'm so glad you could come! I am the picture of health, thanks to you, Miss Rosamund, and of course your sister, Miss Wyndham! You are so very welcome tonight. What a pleasure!"

"The pleasure is ours," I said carefully, wondering what he could be planning — for the man was always planning something.

"Sir, I am simply glad to see you so well recovered. The ball is beautiful." Rose, of course, was all sincerity.

"A wonderful evening, indeed. I am sure you have many new friends gathered here tonight," my mother said, stealthily shifting the subject. "Is there anyone of special acquaintance we should be sure to meet tonight?" They shared a mischievous look.

"Why indeed, Lady Wyndham, I must confess that tonight's ball is a particularly special one. For we are celebrating the arrival of my nephew, Mr. Sebastian Braddock. Sebastian! Come meet the prettiest girls I know, Miss Evelyn Wyndham and Miss Rosamund Wyndham!"

With another wink at me, Sir Winston stepped aside to reveal his nephew behind him. Good Lord. His appearance was nearly a caricature of the dark and brooding hero from every gothic novel. He stood very tall, even more so than my gawky frame, arrogance oozing from every inch of his broad-shouldered form. Alert, hooded eyes scrutinized me fiercely, as if trying to turn my blood cooler. His lips were drawn into a slight frown, presumably a permanent state, while the crease in his brow gave the absurd impression of perpetual deep thought. With a gloved hand he brushed away a strand of mussed, straight black hair to afford us a better view of his captivating face. I felt sure he knew exactly the effect this would have on most young women.

Most.

Standing as far from us as was possibly acceptable, he shifted awkwardly, eyes held on Rose, and murmured, "Good evening."

"Welcome to Bramhurst, Mr. Braddock," my mother said, taking charge. "I hope you are finding the country agreeable."

"It is ... yes," he said, still looking keenly at Rose. My sister is quite pretty indeed, but this felt like something else. "I have heard much about you. I — I hope to see Miss Rosamund's ... miracles myself." His eyes burned bright as he put on a strange sort of grimace that I could only assume was an attempt at a smile. Was he mocking her nursing expertise?

Eager for us to be further acquainted, Sir Winston stepped in to hurry the process along. "Sebastian, why don't you accompany Miss Wyndham and Miss Rosamund into the ballroom, and Miss Rosamund can tell you all about how she saved your dear old unc — What? Don't be shy, boy, give her your arm." Sir Winston gestured to Rose, who was closer to his nephew.

Mr. Braddock took a step back, his eyes flickering between all of us. "My apologies. ... Perhaps they — you — uh — can find your own way in?"

He gave Rose a stilted bow and whirled away with nary a good-bye. We watched in stunned silence as he attempted to escape the main entrance hall, his initial route into the dining room too slow-moving and his alternative into the obstructed ballroom even worse. On his third try, he crossed back to the other side without meeting our eyes and finally disappeared into the game room.

"Ah, my nephew," Sir Winston said. "You will have to accept my apologies —"

Rose jumped in to save the floundering man. "Sir Winston, do not trouble yourself. He must keenly feel the pressure of meeting your many friends. I assure you, we are not offended."

Sir Winston relaxed at her kind words. "As usual, Miss Rosamund, you see straight to the heart of the matter. He is quite overwhelmed. I hope Miss Wyndham will also give him the benefit of the doubt!" Sir Winston beamed hopefully at me, and Mother's gaze cast a hot warning.

"Of course, I understand," I said. I believe it even came out sounding somewhat sincere.

With yet another wink, Sir Winston bade us a good evening and steered my father toward the smoking room. I let out a quiet snort that only Rose could hear.

"My, my, what an attractive, eligible young man," my mother proudly declared, ignoring my dropped jaw. "A bit odd and mysterious, yes? I know that's very popular these days. Mr. Sebastian Braddock — I shall have to ask about his parents."

"Mother, are you really trying to marry me off to the man who just snubbed your youngest and ran off in order to appeal to fashion?"

"It was not on purpose, Ev," Rose said. "He must have been anxious. And even you must admit he is extremely handsome. And tall."

"As handsome as he may or may not be, he couldn't simply walk you in like a gentleman?"

Mother glowered at me in an unwitting imitation of Mr. Braddock. "Perhaps he was running from my daughter, who could not make the slightest effort at politeness."

"There is a troubling Byronic trend you will see next year, Rose, where these men try to appear mysterious and brooding without one true emotion among the lot of them. It will be nothing but exasperating," I explained.

"Surely it cannot be as exasperating as your complaints about them," my mother snapped, turning on her heels and all but dragging us into the crush.

The night already felt like an eternity. Yet deeper in we ventured. My mother's punishment meant deliberately passing the dining room, where the waft of fresh breads and pastries could tickle and taunt my nose before we closed in on a bright waltz tune. If there were a tenth circle of hell, it would most definitely be a country ballroom.

The crowd bulged to the edge of the white marble dance floor, and a flurry of twirling dresses revolved around the center. All eyes fell on Rose when she floated in: The orchestra struggled to concentrate on their unremarkable tune, and a man accidentally stepped on his partner's foot, while she withheld the yelp for propriety's sake. Sometimes I wondered if I simply imagined the effect my sister had on a room, but here it was undeniable. It isn't just her fair curls and bright blue eyes that draw attention; Rose has something indefinably wonderful about her — a coat of goodness she is unable to shed.

As a result, a mass of charmed suitors seemed to slink across the room to Rose. Mother, meanwhile, greeted several friends and fell deep into such giddy conversations about bachelors, one would think they were just out of finishing school. I could see her starting to arrange dances for us, but fortunately, a welcome sight intervened. He bowed before us, dropping his head full of silken brown hair and rising up with his face wreathed in an ever-present smile. Our dearest, oldest friend, Robert Elliot.

"Evelyn, Rose, good evening to you. You're looking quite lovely tonight." His brown eyes never left Rose as he spoke.

In fact, his eyes had not left Rose much in his eighteen years. Living on a neighboring estate, Robert had been our constant companion since childhood, suffering through many a doll's tea party and game of hide-and-seek. He grew into a kind, affable man, if slightly earnest. Not the man for me, but ...

"Thank you, Robert," Rose replied. "A lovely evening indeed."

My sister never mentioned her feelings for Robert, but the attachment between them had always been obvious. Even when we were children, I often felt as if I were sneaking into their secret society without an invitation. I wondered whether tonight would be the night he finally made his intentions clear.

"It really is a lovely evening, isn't it?" Robert continued with far more passion than the topic called for.

I glanced at Robert, who looked at Rose, who looked back at Robert. Well, odd one out, then. Maybe he would propose if I disappeared.

"Oh look! Upholstery," I declared, feigning fascination with a side chair in the corner of the room. "I will be right back."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas. Copyright © 2016 Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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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: http://www.bookrambles.com/2016/03/arc-review-these-vicious-masks-by-tarun.html
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.