ARC Review: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

Title: These Vicious Masks 
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction 
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
Publication Date: February 9th 2016
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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.


Initially when I finished this book, I was a bit frustrated because it was cliffhangery and there was no news about a sequel. But after talking to Kelly on twitter she confirmed that her and Tarun have a trilogy planned. So after lots of squealing, I was comforted with the fact that this may not be the end of it for Sebastian and Evelyn. (Crossing my fingers real hard for that ship not to sink on me!) 

I have a thing about historical fiction books, I am either going to love them or hate them. There is never an in between. I FREAKING LOVED THESE VICIOUS MASKS. Badass heroine. Dark, mysterious boys. A good love triangle. Tons of snarky banter. It contained all the elements that I love in a good story. 

Evelyn made the list of my favorite female characters of this year. She is determined, sharp tongued and brave. When her sister goes missing under mysterious circumstances Evelyn steps up to look for her. Since her parents only care about how they look to the other families in society and Evelyn doesn't she goes off to London to find Rose. Evelyn is extremely sarcastic and in the Victorian era it was definitely not getting her any friends. 

Now when I say love triangle I am using that term VERY loosely so please don't be scared off that term. It goes like this: Evelyn has no interest in getting married but her mother wants her too. Mr. Kent (Evelyn's friend) is in love with her. But then at a party Evelyn meets Sebastian who she doesn't like because he is dark, broody, and mystery. But when Rose goes missing and Mr. Kent agrees to take Evelyn to London to search, Sebastian shows up also searching. Suddenly Evelyn has this strange connection to Sebastian. Mr. Kent confesses his love for Evelyn. IT'S COMPLICATED, OKAY? I ship Evelyn and Sebastian really hard though. So I am begging for this ship not to sink on me. 

The only thing I wish was covered more in the book was Saltation. Saltation is the reason that Evelyn, Rose, and all the other characters have their powers. It is an evolutionary thing that skips generations. Powers of those who are affected typically peak at the age of 14-16. But there are so many questions about it that aren't answered. What causes it? Is it a new race of humans? More of the common things, that you thing aren't really answered. It is such an interesting concept that I really can't help but want to know more. 

Overall I really loved this book and I can't wait until the second book comes out. Kelly and Tarun are killing their readers with a painful cliffhanger that left my heart hurting after the long journey Evelyn and the reader has been on. 


(4.5 Stars - The non clarification of Saltation) 

Be sure to check back in February because Tarun and Kelly will be visiting as part of our The New Authors on The Block feature! There is a Q&A, Excerpt, and Character Interview! 


  1. Great review! Now I'm really excited!

  2. Glad to hear you loved this one Amber! And glad that there's a series planned so it doesn't leave you with an open cliffy ending for no reason!


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