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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.
Top customer reviews
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Pride and Prejudice with super powers. That's what it is. Described as Jane Austen meets X-Men. Well that is a perfect description. And I loved it.
You know that feeling you get when you have to put down a book to do something. But you get itchy and antsy and keep thinking, "Ugh I just want to go back and read!" All the while you can't stop thinking about the book. Yes. That is the feeling I got while reading These Vicious Masks.
This is the first book in a new trilogy. And while there wasn't a huge cliffhanger, I absolutely cannot wait until the next book comes out. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling it. The synopsis does a really fantastic job. But I will say that there were twists I wasn't expecting and a swoon-worthy love interest.
These Vicious Masks went above and beyond anything I could have expected. As a lover of Austen novels, this was the perfect read for me.
I am absolutely in love with this book. I cannot wait until the second comes out. If you like Jane Austen novels and novels with a slight fantastical twist this one is for you.
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.
This story is fun and well-paced, more akin to X-Men in detail than any Jane Austen, although it also takes place in Victorian England (I know, I know, Austen was Regency- but the female protagonist is very much Over Society's B.S., living in the country, with shades of Lizzie Benet).
This plot has action, romance, character growth, consequences, and some very funny moments. There's a love triangle, but definitely no 'easy out' of it (not for the character, and not for the reader, as both men are morally grey and wonderful in their own ways). There are also a lot of secondary characters, which you know I adore.
If you enjoy historical fiction, witty characters, believable romance, fantastical scenarios juxtaposed with harsh human-nature reality, and action/adventure romps, you should definitely read this one. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
I'm still reeling from everything that happened in the end and I don't want to give anything away... So here is a list of what I love about this book, in no particular order.
1) Evelyn- A smart, witty, strong heroine that I love and can identify with. I love her banter and verbal tennis with everyone.
2) A love triangle where I can't easily decide whose team I should be on. (Leaning toward Team Sebastian)
3) It's historical! The Oscar Wilde-esque England/setting give the book an edge that I love. Darker than Jane Austen for sure.
4) The title... While I was reading I kept thinking back to how good the title is!!!
5) The mystery and characters kept me guessing about what would happen (now I'm wondering about the NEXT BOOK!!).
Most recent customer reviews
These Vicious Masks was an enjoyable blend of Jane Austin and X-Men.Read more
This is a solid book. There's so much going on and yet, we get through it in 300 pages. Beautiful.Read more