Do you like the X-Men series? Do you like Victorian England? If not, this is not the book for you.
If, like me, you are intrigued, then let me tell you about These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas.
I became so hooked on the characters and their stories I immediately downloaded the sequel (These Ruthless Deeds) and let me tell you, this series does not disappoint. There are terrifying and clever powers, an explanation for such powers that is plausible yet not overly explained, and interesting characters who wield said powers. You’ve got a heroine who grapples with what it is to be a “hero” (and one might argue she doesn’t quite live up to the title) while stopping at nothing to reunite with her sister. You’ve got a charming suitor and a mysterious, brooding gentleman — Jane Austen would swoon — who trap our heroine in a delicious love triangle. Dangerous escapades and comic misadventures balance well throughout the novel, making for a quick and enjoyable read.
The writing is not flawless, and some things seem to wrap up too neatly, but nothing that sticks out as blaringly awful or even memorable once the story is through.
I adored the ending of the sequel. I won’t say anymore than that because I’ve tried wording my feelings a dozen times and I can’t figure out how to convey my thoughts without somehow spoiling it or creating an expectation that I did not have going into it, so I will leave it at that. It was fascinating.
The first book is $4.22 for paperback, $7.09 on Kindle ($14.89 for both books on Kindle). I highly recommend checking them out!