- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 10 - 12
- Lexile Measure: 830 (What's this?)
- Series: These Vicious Masks (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Swoon Reads (February 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250073898
- ISBN-13: 978-1250073891
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 134 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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These Vicious Masks Paperback – February 9, 2016
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"Striking a strong balance between romance and mystery, this novel captures society’s rules just as well as it does the unbelievable powers of the main characters. Readers will easily be swept up in its fast pace and sympathetic narrator, who is filled with both self-doubt and resolve to do anything to protect those she loves. 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
“This is a great read, compelling and addictive. Well written and great character development you cannot stop reading. I was spellbound from the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey!” ―Sue Speakman, Swoon Reader
“My favorite thing about this book is the dialogue. The authors intricately composed period-style phrasing with a modern-day wit that is incredibly nuanced and thoughtful – very well done. I was successfully transported by the characters in a way that rivaled my indulgence in Harry Potterland.” ―Cayla O'Connell, Swoon Reader
“So much fun! Like a story by one of the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen, except the characters are much more self-aware and genre-savvy.” ―Duncan Pflaster, Swoon Reader
“I need book two!! Where is book two?? This sucked me in right away (it was a terrible idea to start reading on a break at work – I could barely bring myself to go back to work) and kept me engaged the whole way through. Some really great characters. (Also any book that mentions self-defenestration wins). But seriously, can I read book two now??” ―Erin Keskeny, Swoon Reader
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.
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I bought this almost on a whim, liking the idea of Jane Austen meets X Men, but not expecting much, and was SO pleasantly surprised. The whole beginning of the book is just plain fun, with witty banter and flirting, so is really appealing to fans of historical romance. Then the book turns more serious and philosophical and becomes enjoyable on a completely different level.
Honestly, there was not that much romance in it, so don't let that stop you from buying it if you are not a romance fan. I can usually see plot twists and surprises a mile away (this happens when you are an adult reader of YA), but this book fooled me. I was surprised by the sophistication of the writing style and loved how the theme of "masks" is explored.
I am eagerly awaiting more of the story and wanting Evelyn to get together with her love interest. I can't wait to see what new powers we will encounter in the next book. I think the biggest compliment you can give a book is that, once you are finished with it, you want to start reading it all over again immediately. This book is definitely one of those!
THESE VICIOUS MASKS by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas is the first book in a YA historical paranormal thriller series. This is a stand-alone novel with a love triangle and a cliffhanger ending, which promises a sequel.
I chose to read this book solely based on its comparison to X-Men. It was a very fair comparison!
Evelyn and her sister Rose are being forced into a high society, a life they don’t want to live. Their mother expects them to attend balls and find husbands while they prefer to tend to the sick as nurses. When Rose disappears, Evelyn must enlist help from a man she can’t stand to find her. She learns what she is capable of and is introduced to a world she didn't know existed.
There were a couple of things about this book that really worked for me. The first was Evelyn. She was supposed to act proper and represent her family name in the most respectable way. However, she cared for none of it. She was hysterical and tenacious. She wouldn’t let anyone push her around or limit what she could do as a woman in the Victorian era.
I also really enjoyed the love triangle. Although I had a clear favorite, and I believe Evelyn did too, there was a lot of back and forth between the men and her feelings for them. When a love triangle is done well, it's very exciting to see who's going to win. Since I loved Evelyn so much, I was invested in who she'd end up with. Unfortunately, the book ended with a cliffhanger before that question was answered, and I need the sequel yesterday.
I truly enjoyed this one. For fans of super-hero fantasy, this is a must-read! I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. The characters are too good to not see how it ends.
This book earns 3.5 North of Normal stars!
Evelyn doesn't travel alone. She instead finds herself in the company of Nicholas Kent who truly believes that he is the greatest detective in the world. Then, there is Sebastian Braddock who claims that both Evelyn and her sister Rose are of extraordinary talents thanks to something called saltation. It is also what brought Rose to the attention of the sinister villain in this story. Kent and Braddock couldn't be more unlike. Kent is more socially liked, even though his family is a royal pain, while Braddock is dark, and troubled, and has a hard time not pushing people too far.
One of the things that really stands out to me is Evelyn herself. She's feisty, she hates being put in one category or another, and she could give a good pox if anyone calls her names while searching for Rose in rather unpleasant environments for a so called Lady. Evelyn apparently has the talent of healing which makes things interesting when in search of her sister. As things start to piece themselves together, Evelyn finds that Sebastian has been right all along. It will be up to the combined efforts of Evelyn, Braddock, Kent, and Alice Gray to try and rescue Rose from the sinister villain.
I hesitate in comparing this book to the X-Men. There are those with extraordinary abilities, yes, but nothing like Wolverine, or Storm, or Cyclops, or even Professor Xavier. Characters in this story can not only heal themselves and others, but they bring about death by touch, can make people tell the truth, are able to create portals, and one can even mimic the appearance of anyone she encounters. A positive for me was the lack of a cliffhanger ending. Even though I was definitely prepared to deal with one after all that happens, it never came. Instead, the authors use the final chapter to bridge to the next installment in the series. A book that I will be reading shortly.