Format: Kindle E-Book, 320 pages
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Jane Austen meets X-Men in this thrilling Victorian adventure full of magic and mysticism, perfect for anyone who loves a confident, rebellious heroine, snappy dialogue, and a hint of romance.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.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, These Vicious Masks is an action-packed, genre-bending novel by debut authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas.
These Vicious Masks is the first installment in co-authors Tarun Shanker, & Kelly Zekas These Vicious Masks series. The story is set in 1882 Victorian Era England where 17-year old protagonist Evelyn Wyndham has had enough of parties, and doing what her mother wants her to do. She wants to be like her friend and travel the continent, and live the life that she wants. But, when her sister Rose disappears after a night of strange happenings with only a bizarre note left behind, Evelyn travels to London against her parents wishes in an attempt to find her.
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.