These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
Do you ever read a book, absolutely fall in love with it at the time, and then a few months later, you can’t even really remember what happened?
When I first read this book, I was such a fan of this book. It was being pitched as Jane Austen meets X Men, and since I was totally excited for the new X Men movie coming out, this was totally on the top of my TBR. However, it perhaps wasn’t the brightest idea to read this book and then also The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, since they were pretty, pretty similar. Now, I’m totally lost on what Victorian powers and strong heroine driven plots happened in each book.
Let’s try and start off with the basics?
When Evelyn’s sister, Rose, mysteriously disappears, Evelyn sets off to London to find her. Rose is known for her healing abilities, and Evelyn is worried that her kindness might have led her into trouble. She is accompanied by the funny and dashing Mr. Kent, but soon, she finds herself relying on the enigmatic and always disappearing Mr. Braddock who keeps claiming that Evelyn and Rose have secret, magical powers. Of course, Evelyn thinks him mad, until she starts to see real-life in magic in action and begins to believe. Will her magic help Evelyn find her sister before it’s too late? Or cause more damage than good?
Okay, writing that summary actually helped me remember far more of this plot than I thought that I had remembered, so yay for that?
This was my first adventure with Swoon Reads, and it soon began the weird love affair I have with this publishing company. For some odd reason, I can’t stop buying their books – mostly for a few reasons. They’re cheap, they have cute covers, they’re cheap, they have cool and adorable plots, and oh, did I mention they’re cheap? I know people love a good hardcover, but for this Book Princess, sometimes she’s on a book budget and Swoon Reads will normally save the day. This is the book that got me started on this love affair, and there were a few reasons why.
First off, what I loved the most about this book is the characterization. Evelyn is a strong heroine that doesn’t take crap from anyone and yet also knows her place in society. She can’t be as strong and independent as she wants to be, but she still tries. She is quite likable, and I wanted to root for her with every page. You could feel the sisterly love between her and Rose, and I definitely enjoyed her as a main character.
I also loved the characterization of the two love interests. Yes, there is a love triangle – but this book isn’t focused on the romance parts. It is focused on the magic and the adventure, which is a nice change of pace from a book with a love triangle. Yes, I totally wanted to know who she was going to pick since I didn’t root for the wrong one, but I also didn’t care as much as I usually do because I enjoyed the characterization of them each.
Mr. Kent was tremendously witty, and I got a total Oscar Wilde feel for him. I loved his humor. I also enjoyed Mr. Braddock. He’s the perfect Victorian hero – brooding and moody and totally mysterious. I think that was the point. For the good first half of the book, he would literally just storm out of the room any chance he got, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious. He was also super caring as well, which I totally thought was a nice contrast to his brooding.
The plot and adventure was interesting as well. It wasn’t quite as X Men as the summary made it out to be, but it was interesting with the powers. The ending was super shocking, and I totally loved how it was something so different than what I was expecting. It definitely kept me entertained and guessing at what was going to happen next.
Originally, I had put this as a favorite, but over the next few months, after forgetting a lot of what happened, I decided to change my opinion on its favorite status. It’s definitely a five crown, though, and a Tiana rating!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you ever change your thoughts on books much later on? Do you have five star reads that definitely aren’t favorites?