These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Borrowed, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas | Audiobook ReviewThese Vicious Masks by Tarun ShankerKelly Zekas
Series: These Vicious Masks #1
Narrator: Heather Wilds
Length: 8 Hours 44 Minutes
Published by Macmillan on February 9, 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Superheroes, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Borrowed, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781250078025

Jane Austen meets X-Men in this thrilling Victorian adventure full of magic and mysticism, perfect for anyone who loves a confident, rebellious heroine, snappy dialogue, and a hint of romance.

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.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, These Vicious Masks is an action-packed, genre-bending novel by debut authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas.

Praise for These Vicious Masks:

"Striking a strong balance between romance and mystery, this novel captures society’s rules just as well as it does the unbelievable powers of the main characters. Readers will easily be swept up in its fast pace and sympathetic narrator, who is filled with both self-doubt and resolve to do anything to protect those she loves. This is a perfect pick for someone who wants a little magic in their Victorian novels, and its combination of historical fiction and mysticism will remind readers of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy." —Booklist

"This tale has brisk pacing, plenty of action, and a heroine with more than her fair share of girl-power confidence." —School Library Journal

“This is a great read, compelling and addictive. Well written and great character development you cannot stop reading. I was spellbound from the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey!” —Sue Speakman, reader on Swoon

“My favorite thing about this book is the dialogue. The authors intricately composed period-style phrasing with a modern-day wit that is incredibly nuanced and thoughtful – very well done. I was successfully transported by the characters in a way that rivaled my indulgence in Harry Potterland.” —Cayla O'Connell, reader on

“So much fun! Like a story by one of the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen, except the characters are much more self-aware and genre-savvy.” —Duncan Pflaster, reader on

Why Did I Listen To These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas?

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas really had this high appeal factor for me — it’s about a girl who just wants to find her sister. It is set during the proper England era. Actually, I think the technical term is the Victorian era. Anyways, so there’s sleuthing. There is also MAGIC. So you know, it does not take a lot to get me on board to read this book. Of course, I had to listen to it because I am going through this project where I am listening to as many of my Netgalley queue books as possible.

What’s The Story Here?

Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas’s These Vicious Masks kicks off this series about Evelyn – who is sick of balls but instead wants to learn more about medicine. As it turns out, she has this ability to heal people and is known throughout her village for being helpful with the healing skills. Anyways, her sister Rose goes missing. So, Evelyn being a kickass lady, decides to go looking for her, propriety be damned. She’s got the help of two men – Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock. Oh and Mr. Braddock is claiming that Evelyn has a magical power as does her sister. So, at first Evelyn is all, that’s bullshit. Eventually though, her mind starts to change. Friends, that’s really the book’s plot in a nutshell.

How Did I Like These Vicious Masks?

Hmm, well, I thought These Vicious Masks was an okay book. I am not about to start a fan club or anything out of love for this book. Evelyn’s dedication to her sister, Rose, was quite amazing. I did also enjoy the X-Men vibe (even though I still have not seen that movie). Overall, though, I did not entirely connect with this book. Maybe if I had read instead of listened? Either way, it just wasn’t a new favorite for me. I don’t think I will continue with the series either. Or at least, I will not prioritize continuing with the series.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook is narrated by Heather Wilds. I have not listened to anything narrated by Wilds before. Overall, I think that I would have been served better listening at a slower pace. My attention wandered A LOT while listening to this book. These Vicious Masks is 8 hours and 44 minutes and friends, I felt every single one of those minutes — even at 2x speed. So, this wasn’t entirely for me via audio, but that’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy it.

Other reviews of These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas:

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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