These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Title: These Vicious Masks
Author: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
Series: These Vicious Masks, #1
Pages: 320
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 9th 2016

      “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.

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“I struggled to utter words, sounds, anything as I heard the metal clang of a dropped blade and scraping as one of them  picked it up.”

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas is a fun debut novel with amusing characters and an interesting premise. Evelyn Wyndham’s life is dictated by the expectations of society and her unrelenting mother bent on seeing her married off well. Evelyn wants no part of this plan as she’s always longed for something more out of life. For her, marriage feels more like a cage, and this is an unbearable thought for someone who wishes to travel the world. Rose, Evelyn’s younger sister, also has her own ambitions. Together the girls have served the sick throughout their region, and Rose’s secret ambition is to become a doctor, something their mother and society would not support. When Rose disappears after an encounter with a mysterious man, leaving a strange note behind, no one but Evelyn seems to understand that her sister is in danger. Evelyn’s willingness to break convention and push the boundaries of what is acceptable in society is a testament of her character and shows the strength of sisterly love.

I did hope to see more of Evelyn’s sister Rose as she spends most of the novel missing. I thought her desire to become a doctor would have been an interesting issue to explore during the Victorian era. The world-building with regards to society and its expectations felt very cliché in this novel, several female characters were either presented as silly or overly ambitious when it came to eligible bachelors. Predictably, only Evelyn seemed to defy the convention, which did little to make any other female characters well-rounded. Mr. Kent, a good friend to the Wyndham girls, accompanies Evelyn on her search for her sister. While I did find his one-on-one conversations with Evelyn very amusing at times, he did not feel like a very complex character. Sebastian Braddock immediately caught my attention for his awkward manners. We learn more about him and his rather tragic past as the story progresses. I confess I felt more for him than any other character in the novel.

While These Vicious Mask wasn’t exactly what I expected when I heard it was a cross between Jane Austen and the X-Men, it was an enjoyable read that had me laughing and managed to surprise me with its ending.

Rating: 3/5

★★★

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13 thoughts on “These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

  1. I’ve been curious about These Vicious Masks for awhile, but still haven’t gotten around to reading it. It sounds like the author did a decent job even if it wasn’t exactly what you were hoping for. I hate when they have to go to extremes with female characters… :/ Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would not have gathered that storyline based on the title – These Vicious Masks – and the cover art. I thought it would be a bit darker; however, the ambitious females would seem to create a silly plotline at times. I’m glad some of the other characters, such as Evelyn and Sebastian (meow–sorry, that name gets me every time), seem to carry the story for a more positive experience. Great review, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

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