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Unmasked (Rise of the Masks Book 1) by [Kaplan, EM]
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Unmasked (Rise of the Masks Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in Rise of the Masks (2 Book Series)
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Length: 377 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"EM Kaplan doesn't lead you gently into the pages of her fantasy novel Unmasked. Instead, she pushes you off a cliff and wishes you luck as you plummet head first into this action-packed story of a young woman named Mel who is desperately trying to find her place in the world that Kaplan has so artfully created..."
-- Mike Billington, author

Product Details

  • File Size: 1662 KB
  • Print Length: 377 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Black Crow Books (May 28, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 28, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KNCNVCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
EM Kaplan doesn't lead you gently into the pages of her fantasy novel "Unmasked."
Instead, she pushes you off a cliff and wishes you luck as you plummet head first into this action-packed story of a young woman named Mel who is desperately trying to find her place in the world that Kaplan has so artfully created.
The action starts right on Page One when Mel, who is in training to become a Mask, is kidnapped by a hulking, vaguely humanoid monster and carried pell mell through the woods toward an uncertain fate before she is rescued by a woodsman. From that point to the end of the novel the action never lets up and, for me, that's a good thing. The reason: In my experience too many fantasy authors spend too much time setting scenes and building worlds rather than just getting on with the story. Make no mistake, Kaplan has built an impressive world full of mysterious - and often misunderstood - characters but she does so in the context of the story, often while her protagonists are fighting for their lives. She doesn't waste chapters waxing poetic about the sun and stars: She does not, in other words, pause her narrative so she can dump a ton of information on the reader before moving on. As a result, the narrative maintains its headlong momentum allowing us, as readers, to learn about the world that Mel inhabits as she and the other characters make their way through it.
The characters are appealing, each in their own way. Mel is, for example, the daughter of a man and woman who are Masks - the mysterious arbiters of disputes and healers of the sick. She is also, however, a highly emotional young woman born into a culture in which people do their best to shun their feelings so they can better act as mediators.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How well can I put it? This epic escapade got me glued right from the first chapter!
The abduction of Mel sets the pace with such suspense that I could not find an excuse to put the book down!
The story line revolves around the life of masks-somewhat supernatural-humans who work and help humanity in their community mainly to resolve conflicts, in which their livelihood is threatened by an attack by giant-hogwash creatures, namely trogs.
The plot flows well with vivid description, which brings every character and scene to life.
I kept reading on because there’s so much excitement from the introduction and I got curious to learn
The outcome of the storyline, especially of what would become of Mel, and the fate of the Masks.
However, I found vivid description to be overly dominant throughout the book, which became a minus for and a temptation to skip a couple of pages.

The main concern for me was the plot twist at some instances in which EM revealed the outcome of some conflicts cutting short the heavy suspense that is heavily to blame for my interest in the book!
One of these instances involved the revelation of Rob Cool’s killer, Guyse; before it actually became a concerned to the parties who accused Rob of killing his father! The revelation of the offender would have served the plot of the story better by building on suspense. As such, the plot twist would have been more interesting 
All the same, I enjoyed the ride meeting masks, Mel and her friends and of course the Trogs apocalypse!
And there grab your copy and watch out for the trogs!!!
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Format: Paperback
Right off the bat this engaging fantasy kickstarts the action and kept me glued to my Kindle when I should have been working. Oh well, it was worth it. EM Kaplan has created a world of deep fantasy that is grounded with everyday aspects of human nature, making this tale a great jump off point for those who are new to the fantasy genre. Action and substance work together beautifully as there is never a false moment thanks to the tight storytelling. Unmasked delivers unique characters, vivid descriptions and smart dialogue set within a mystical world that was as refreshing as it was imaginative. I'm hoping to read more in the future about all things Masks and Trogs. I'm looking forward to what's next from the author and I hope I never have to "take a walk in winter."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually give out five stars, but this is an instant classic in the fantasy genre!! This sophomore novel is brilliantly written and I read it in less,than a day. I couldn't put it down. If you miss the writings of David and Leigh Eddings, you will enjoy this book! The characters are fully fleshed out and beautifully written! I can't wait for the next installment!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first thought upon finishing this complex story was "Epic!"

I loved Mel right way, possibly because she is such an observer/outsider herself. I also relished the intensity of her insatiable desire for Ott. I actually liked all the characters, not just Mel and Ott, because Kaplan spends time developing the desires of her secondary characters too. They have stayed with me long after I finished reading.

I felt quietly pleased by Mask culture: arbiters and archivists of the highest authority. Think librarians as superheroes, only much, much cooler.

With beautiful language choices, Kaplan created a world rich in detail, unique in creative touches, and filled with enjoyable sensory imagery. Because of the story's complexity and blend of genres, it has a wide potential audience. In some ways, it reads like a romance, similar to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. As I read, I thought of both Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (no small compliment from me) and Game of Thrones. Although it was written for adults, young adult fans of fantasy would like it too.

I hope Kaplan writes another story in this memorable world.
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