Series: These Vicious Masks #1
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Published Date: February 9th 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA, Fantasy
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
“We do not remain the same each minute to the next. Every word you hear, every sight you see, every smell, every thought you have, every moment-it all changes you. We keep putting on mask after mask, layers over layers. That's how one grows.”
Evelyn and her sister Rose, are nurses in time period where lady's of high class should be doing no such thing, especially in England's high society. With a mother who is trying to marry them both off, they feel somewhat trapped. With Evelyn making it almost impossible for her to find a suitor, and Rose's nursing career that she wants to do keeping her from wanting to settle down they appear to not really care what society thinks of them. That is until disaster happens and all Evelyn really has to use is her standing in society in order to find out who took rose, why they took her and how in the world she is supposed to find her and get her back. With the help of a Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock she is able to not only learn a lot about herself, but also the society at that point in time.
“That’s just it. Perspective is a curious thing. One day, you see everything from one angle and you think you know what’s important,” he continued, looking out at the dancers. Then he turned to me, smiling wryly. “Then another day, from another angle, you see what’s really important, and everything else just . . . melts away.”
This book was such an enjoyable read and I loved it so much. While it isn't a new concept with people having special abilities added into the Victorian era, it is one that I am completely on board with. Add in a heroin that will do anything in order to save her sister, and who doesn't try to let men stop her or fall head over heels in love with and I am all yours. I mean really that doesn't happen that often in any novel let alone a young adult one. Sure there were love interests and you could tell she did care for them, you can also tell that she wasn't going to let it get in her way, or confuse her from what was really important.
“You are right about one thing, Mr. Kent. I don’t need a hero,” I said in a firm, even voice. “But I could never love a man who would not be my ally.”
The sarcasm that Evelyn uses as well to mask her true feelings of thing's is just spot on in my opinion as well. As for all of the special abilities, I found all of them to be really interesting, especially considering the time period and how strange things that they were able to do were seen as insanity in some cases and probably witchcraft for some of the more deadly abilities. (I wonder how this would work in a different society out of England? Or maybe even in England just with the lower class?)
Honestly I'm afraid to say to much more because I don't want to give any of the abilities away because that is a big part of the story and figuring out how everyone is going to fit together in order to make it possible to find/save Rose.
“Well, when one door closes, another slightly more inconvenient, out-of-the-way one opens. Let’s be off, shall we?”