These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas


This was fun and delightful to read, but I didn't love it like I thought I would.

I don't have anything to pinpoint and complain about in this book, as you will see. It was just lacking a little bit here and there, so I didn't love it. It's fluffy and I liked it a lot, but it wasn't wonderful. It could have ruled the world with its uniqueness, but it ended up rolling around in the middle for me.

Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

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.

I can honestly say that I loved the characters. In fact, the characters are what made this good very readable. Evelyn is sarcastic, compassionate and independent, which I love so much because that's basically how I describe myself. I'm pretty sure that I would have been Evelyn if I lived in Victorian England. And Sebastian Braddock...just...yes. Please. Closed off, complicated, swoony, sarcastic, loyal. Yes, again. I love that type of character.

When a book is published by Swoon Reads, I expect to swoon more, especially directed at the romance. I ship Sebastian Braddock and Evelyn Wyndham so hard, I didn't get enough interaction between them, enough development. I mean, I understand that it's a short book and the first in a series, but throw me a bone. I wanted to swoon more than I did. They had great chemistry and had some really wonderful moments, but I guess I'm just greedy and I thought there should have been more.

To be honest, I was hooked by the pitch. Jane Austen meets X-Men? Seriously? Swoon Reads was obviously like, "Hey, let's publish a book that Melissa would love," because superheroes and Jane Austen adaptations rule my life. So expectations were high. And I enjoyed the stuffing out of this novel, but it wasn't incredible. It could have been so much more. I wanted a little more clarity, a little more plot, and a little more romance.

I'm absolutely excited to see what happens next, and for my ship to sail off into the sunset.

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