These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1)

23688792Rating: 4 Stars
Published: February 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Historical Fiction // Fantasy-Paranormal
Favorite Quote:

“Well, when one door closes, another slight more inconvenient, out-of-the-way one opens. “

Evelyn is appalled when she realizes her dear sister Rose has been kidnapped and no one believes her.  Evelyn decides to take matters into own hands and rushes off to London to try to find Rose.  A suitor, Mr. Kent, is determined to help and accompanies Evelyn.  Which was pretty lucky for Evelyn since she didn’t entirely have a plan.  Then comes along Mr. Braddock, who’s desperate to save someone close to him. He offers his help in exchange for Evelyn’s extraordinary ability to heal the sick.  Following clues that lead all around London, at all hours of the night, the three of them just might shock proper society.

So this is a trilogy, which I did not realize when I started this book.  And I’m glad, because things were very much not resolved at the end of this book.  It was enough to temporarily satisfy but curiosity will win out eventually and I’ll be dying for the next book — which isn’t even on Goodreads yet so that’s entirely too disappointing.

I read this within 24 hours.  It was so much wittier than I thought it would be.  The writing was fantastic.  Shanker & Zekas are writers to watch.

“Why don’t—” He stopped abruptly and took a breath. “Normally I’m good at being polite, but with you, I have to try very hard.”

“Were you trying very hard the two times you’ve compared me to a prostitute today?”

I was starting to get frustrated at how many people Evelyn kept running into that had a gift.  They were seemingly everywhere but they all were “rare”.  I get that they were all probably drawn to each other but still.  It bothered me.  Not enough but enough that I’m still thinking about it.  Miss Grey’s character also reminded me of Seraphina– how she could see others like her in her head.

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.

The setting reminded me of Soulless just because of how much “society” and “propriety” was mentioned. I also couldn’t help but think of Pride & Prejudice, even though P&P was set in the early 1800s and not the late 1800s like this novel.  I loved all the images and references this book conjured.

I found myself smiling at the book like a madwoman.  It was worth it. It’s a story that when you’re reading it, are completely captivated– you may not even entirely know why but you can’t put it down.

I didn’t care for the love triangle but I’m hoping that all gets resolved in the next book and that it doesn’t drag out. The tension worked for a while but then it got pretty old. I adored the banter between Evelyn & Mr. Kent and I liked the antagonism between Evelyn & Mr. Braddock but I don’t think it was necessary to have slight romantic inclinations with both of them.  I think Mr. Kent could have been just a great friend.  Then again, things are complicated with Mr. Braddock and his situation as well so maybe he could have been the friend? It’s all very confusing but I hope a solution finds itself in the next novel.  I have to say though, I won’t be at all upset if Evelyn ended up with no one, even though that simply isn’t done in proper society.

The ending was a little bit of a shock.  I could both not see it coming and kinda had a feeling something like that would happen.  My timing was just off. It makes me curious and it indeed left me wanting more. I’m glad it’s not a standalone (for not everything was explained properly).

Speaking of not explaining things, there were a lot of questions this novel raised but didn’t answer. I understand that the main character, Evelyn, is just as confused as the reader so maybe that was intentional. I hope things are cleared up soon and that the next installment has a little more swoon-worthy scenes.

Over all, this was surprising and a quick read.  I loved being around these characters and their witty dialogue.  It’s clear these new authors have talent and I can’t wait to see what they write together next.

Have you read These Vicious Masks? Was it one of the books you were anticipating for this year? Did you enjoy this novel as much as I did?

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