Jane Austen meets X-Men in this gripping and adventure-filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.
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.
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2016 by Swoon Reads
Four stars: An entertaining, exciting read. Loved the X-Men goes historical vibe.
Evelyn is wishing that she could go anywhere except to the next ball. She is tried of being dragged around society, at the insistence of her parents, in the hopes of finding a suitable match. The only one who understands and commiserates with Evelyn's plight is her beloved sister, Rose. The two sisters manage to survive the ball, after a couple of strange encounters. Before bed, the two agree to talk to their parents, so they can be free to pursue their dreams of nursing and helping others. Unfortunately, that conversation never happens. The next morning, Rose is gone, leaving a strange note behind. Evelyn knows that Rose wouldn't have left her, and she is certain that someone kidnapped her. Evelyn must make a bold decision, she can either go to London to find Rose, or stay and save face in society. Can Evelyn find her sister?
What I Liked:
- I was a bit hesitant going into this one considering it is being compared to Jane Eyre and X-Men. More often than not, these types of comparisons are inaccurate. This one certainly fit the bill as far as the X-Men comparison. I loved that the historical setting, and I especially enjoyed uncovering each of the character's unique talents. This ended up being a fun, and exciting read, that left me eager for more.
- I loved the characters. At the heart of the story is seventeen year old, Evelyn, who wants nothing more than to escape the rigid and ridiculous rules and expectations of society. She is sick of being paraded around from one social event to the next, all to catch a proper husband. I loved how feisty and fierce Evelyn was, and that she refused to be cowed by the rules of social decorum. Along with Evelyn are two interesting men: Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock. Both men, also agree with Evelyn's opinions on society, and they encourage her to speak her mind. Mr. Kent is more social and likable, while Braddock is dark, brooding and holding back. Each man is hiding something. I loved peeling away their layers, and learning their secrets. The cast of secondary characters is also interesting, and I liked that many of them had a secret talent.
- Speaking of secret talents, I liked when the abilities of the numerous characters are revealed. One can heal, one can bring death by touch, another can always make people tell the truth, while yet another can open portals and doors out of thin air. I especially liked the character who could take on other's appearances. It was easy to draw comparisons to many of the characters in the X-Men. So if you are a fan of X-Men, this is a fun one to take on. I ended up enjoying the historical setting and the twists.
- The story kept me guessing throughout. Just when I thought I had things figured out, another twist was thrown in. I was pleased at the creativity of this one, and that it never lagged.
- The ending, surprisingly, does not end on a cliffhanger. I was fully expecting a cliffhanger, but thankfully, the story resolves the main threads of this book, before dropping some tantalizing threads to follow up on in the next story. I am anxious to see how this series will develop from here.
And The Not So Much:
- The one thing that held this one back a bit was that it established a love triangle. Granted, there isn't a full romantic development yet, but the foundation has been laid for a love triangle. I hope that it will quickly resolve as I don't want the series ruined by a ridiculous love triangle.
- Even though the ending wasn't a cliffhanger, there was a shocking development that left me a bit rattled. I am still not sure how I feel about it. Hopefully, it will all make sense in the next book.
- There was one character whose behavior wasn't fully explained. A girl, who is the perfect model of a proper girl, behaves nastily toward Evelyn, and I was left wondering why she did what she did. Was it because she feared Evelyn was going to snatch away someone she was fancying, or did she know something that the reader wasn't clued into? Or was she just being vindictive? I need to know more.
These Vicious Masks is a book that lives up to the hype. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It is indeed a historical take on X-Men. This is a book with an interesting cast of characters, an exciting story full of mystery and danger, blended with some thrilling twists and developments that you won't see coming. If you are a fan of X-Men type stories, this is a fun one to try. I enjoyed this book, and I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.