I thought about tackling each of these reviews individually, but the truth is, I’ve actually already reviewed both of these books on the blog before, so why do double trouble when I’m already going to be a mess about the third one. I’m going to break it down into 4 parts: a brief BEGGING YOU TO READ the first book, These Vicious Masks; a brief I’M CRYING review of the second book, These Ruthless Deeds; an actual review of These Vengeful Souls; and then some weird fangirling
messconclusion about my thoughts on the series as a whole and my favorite/least favorite parts where I just try to convince you all to read it.
These Vicious Masks
Original Read Date: April 2016
Reread Date: March 2018
Can read my original review here
Basic review points:
- Pitched as X-Men meets Jane Austen and it’s totally legit??? I mean, it totally has the regency feel, but it has the premise of the X-Men and IT JUST GENIUS AND SO INTRIGUING
- SISTER LOVE SISTER LOVE SISTER LOVE
- Evelyn is a strong heroine that doesn’t take crap from anyone and yet also knows her place in society. She is one of those poor Victorian heroines that wants to show her epic womanly power but gets dragged down by stupid society and she actually understands the repercussions like a normal person??? Omigosh, I loved her voice dearly and I love love love her as a heroine.
- Mr. Kent was tremendously witty, and I got a total Oscar Wilde feel for him. The man can do no wrong with his sass and wit and I just want a Mr. Kent for myself
- Mr. Braddock makes me cry/swoon at the same time. Imagine every brooding mysterious Victorian hero and he’s that but totally being poked fun at the same time BUT ALSO SO MUCH LOVE
- There is the dreaded love triangle but you literally don’t care because it’s the story isn’t even about the romance and BOTH OF THE LOVE INTERESTS ARE GENIUS AND LOVE AND MY LITTLE BABIES THAT I LOVE SO MUCH.
- The ending was super shocking, and I totally loved how it was something so different than what I was expecting.
- Super entertaining, fantastic characters, fast paced with some light hearted fun, and just so much interesting things
5 crowns and an Aurora, Rapunzel, and Mulan rating! Also, yes, favorites shelf comeback time.
These Ruthless Deeds
Original Read Date: March 2017
Reread Date: March 2018
Can read my original review here
Best review points:
- MR KENT MR KENT MR KENT
- His wittiness basically put him on the level of an Oscar Wilde character – pretty much the creator of epic wit.
- So many times, YA heroines have the struggle of not asking the right questions and being too trusting, but Evelyn kicked some major butt.
- The other side characters were great as well. I loved Oliver, Mr. Braddock was moody and broody as usual – which swoon – and I super grew to love Catherine.
- The plot was super interesting as well. I was constantly guessing what was going to come next, and I never guessed right. There was some super surprising plot twists that had me :O faced, and I super applaud these two very talented writers.
- All of the characters were fantastic, the plot was enthralling, and the romance was swoony.
- Reread thought: I wasn’t super pleased with one of the plot twists and it kind of wasn’t my fave. I saw why they did it, but I thought it was kind of unnecessary and it did put a crimp in my book game. Got moved down to a four star read because I was going so fast and loving it to not so much enjoyment.
4 crowns and an Ariel rating!
These Vengeful Souls
England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.
Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?
This wasn’t quite the finale that I was looking for, but it still a pretty good ending to a fantastic series. Even though I wasn’t as pleased with this novel, this is still one of my most favorite series. It does everything brilliantly from fantastic characters, witty and ridiculously entertaining writing, and more. I think this book just suffered a bit from a couple of different things, but it still brought so many smiles to my face and still something I couldn’t put down.
The first thing that always gets me about these novels is the writing. I don’t know how Shanker and Zekas do it, but they do it so seamlessly and brilliantly. It’s fun, witty, and so easy to read. You’re never confused, you’re always entertained, and there’s never anything in the novel that doesn’t need to be in there. I will forever be reading anything by these two authors – whether it’s them being their dynamic duo selves or them going solo. They actually make me laugh out loud, which is so very rare to do.
Mr. Kent was just absolutely brilliant in this novel as well. He will forever go down as one of my favorite characters ever. He’s right up there with my absolute love, Carswell Thorne. He is honestly everything that Oscar Wilde would ever want with a character, and CAN SOMEONE JUST GIVE HIM HIS OWN BOOK SO I CAN CRY AND FANGIRL OVER HIM FOR ETERNITY? pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I felt some of the other characters were a bit contrasting for me in this one. Evelyn has been one of my favorite heroines that I’ve ever read, but I felt like she was so consumed in this novel about revenge and murder that I lost a lot of the characteristics that I loved about her. She seemed so unlike the girl that I had read about in the prior two books, and she acted so rash and impulsively that I just sat there going, GIRL, CHILL. I felt she redeemed herself in quite a few instances, but I just felt a bit of a disconnect from her in this one. I felt the same issue with Mr. Braddock as well.
The cast of characters continued to grow in this one, and while I loved a lot of them, I felt like since the cast was SO large, a lot of the deeper characterization got a bit lost. I mean, I knew who a lot of them were and really enjoyed them, I felt that I just felt swarmed by cool characters and I was just really overwhelmed by them. However, I really liked the more in-depth characterization we got with Catherine and A-Person-That-Can’t-Be-Named-For-Spoilers, and I absolutely adored the romance that was brought between them. I also really enjoyed that person a lot more than I did in the prior book. Shanker and Zekas can create a fantastic side character, though, and there are so many people that I absolutely loved like the addition of Mr. Adeoti and the Tuffins, and Miss Chen, Emily, and Laura were fantastic as well.
I also felt a bit confused about Goode’s motivations. Like, I know he was bad and we had to stop him, but I was confused about why he was doing what he was doing. I just felt a bit lost, and I just wanted more from this villain.
The plot was interesting as well for the most part. I was totally enraptured in some parts, but some times, I was a bit unclear what was going on. I mean, they were kind of just sitting around and going in circles. It thought there were just things happening, and I couldn’t figure out what was the big end game besides murder?? The ending didn’t feel as concrete as I wished it would be. I was pleased mostly with it, but I guess I wanted something a bit more from it.
To be honest, there wasn’t too much romance in this one besides the official ending of the love triangle, and I was surprisingly okay with it. There was a lot of characterization and wrapping things up that they were handling that romance wasn’t really a factor. I was pleased with the choice that was made because I did think it made the most sense and did feel organic; however, my heart did feel a bit jipped with the one side of the love triangle – which I knew was going to happen anyway since I loved both of the love interests dearly.
Overall, I think it was a good ending to a fantastic series, but I just wanted a bit more from it. There were a few issues it, but it was still the fun and witty writing, characters, and plot twists that made me love this series in the first place. I honestly am so sad that this series is ending, because I just desperately want more from these characters, writing, and the plot. CAN THERE BE A SPIN-OFF SERIES PRETTY PLEASE WITH MR KENT JUST DOING MR KENT THINGS????? OR THE NEW GENERATION OF POWERED PEOPLE? PLEASE. I AM CRYING OVER HERE. Such a fantastic series, but three crowns and a Belle rating for this one!
Just read ittttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. It involves so much greatness between the characters and the writing and everythinggggggggggggg. I just enjoyed so much about this series. It may have a few bumps, but overall, it introduces you to a group of just fun, exciting people that go through some crazy stuff. Such a high four crown series that is easily going down a favorite forever.
What do you think? Have you read this series yet? Have I convinced you to give it a try? What is the last series you loved? How did their concluding book work for it? Let’s discuss in the comments below!