Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Title: These Vicious Masks
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Series: These Vicious Masks, book #1
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

This was JUST what I was in the mood for when I read it. (And honestly, still is what I'm in the mood for.) Special abilities. Banter. Snark. A heroine who just. Will. Not. Give. Up. Two handsome fellas, both vying for her attention. Fancy balls. Chase scenes. Missing sisters. Reputations damaged beyond repair.

It's hard to believe there was ever a time when I thought I didn't really like historical fiction. Sure, I've read some that I've loved -- and some, not so much -- but it's never been my go-to genre. Until lately, that is. I've read three or four in the past month alone, and I am hooked. I think it's the propriety and decorum that I'm drawn to -- and the fact that most heroines attempt to flout those rules, just as Evelyn does in These Vicious Masks.

Whereas some historical fiction novels are more thickly rooted in all of those stuffy old rules of society, the characters in this story are more likely to throw all manner of propriety out the window. It doesn't help that they all have special abilities that it's already a hindrance for them to hide. So, really, this was bound to happen. And included in those powers is the ability to heal, the ability to sway one's thoughts, and the ability to discern the truth. Nifty, right?

I loved all of the characters in These Vicious Masks...except maybe the villains. They're all hiding something. They're all protecting someone. And because of the nefarious lengths some will go to -- all in the name of science -- their world is about to be turned completely upside down.

In other words, this book was FABULOUS. Fun. Exhilarating. And the type of book I just love to read cover to cover, with no interruptions. There's no cliffhanger, not really, but this is most definitely only the first book in what will be a very fun and exciting trilogy.

GIF it to me straight:

About the authors:

Mild-mannered assistant by day, milder-mannered writer by night, Tarun Shanker is a New York University graduate currently living in Los Angeles. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, David Bowie’s music fills the air and chai tea flows freely from fountains.

His first novel, These Vicious Masks, co-written with Kelly Zekas, will be released by Swoon Reads / Macmillan on February 9th, 2016. It is the first of a trilogy.

Find Tarun:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Tumblr

Kelly is a writer living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still adores a good historical romance.

Find Kelly:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter


  1. I have this one on my list coming up. I thought it sounded so awesome. I am glad you loved it. I am the same as you... once upon a time i didn't like historical fiction and it really scared me. then I read some great ones and it for sure changed my mind.

  2. Oh my god this sounds amazing! I love historical fiction, but haven't read any good ones in quite a long time. I'm definitely going to have to get this book when it comes out.

  3. Oh wow. 5 stars! A good banter is a good enough incentive for me! :D

  4. Fantastic reviews, and 5 stars?! I need this book in my life ASAP, then! I'm glad I ordered it, or else I don't know how I'd cope, especially with it not being published over here :/ Jane Austen is one of my heroes, and anything that is likened to one of her masterpieces deserves all my money!

    Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA

  5. I just downloaded this on Netgalley because you've completely sold me. :)


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