It took me a bit to get into this book, as there was a distinct lack of world-building and description in the beginning. I know this is the third book, but I should still be given enough detail to picture the train car and the city-scape. It seems like the characters exist in a vacuum of space. As the book goes on, places are described in more detail, but it still reminds me of playing Silent Hill (1 or 2?) where you’re walking along and all you can see is the little bits of land in front of and behind you because the whole area is shrouded in fog…and those bits you can see are pretty washed out. This is distracting in the beginning, but you slowly become accustomed to it and eventually no longer really notice.
Evelyn is a bit of an SFP. She goes off half-cocked all the time, never learning from her mistakes, and she refuses to listen to anybody else in the group. She’s kind of a detestable MC. Her need for vengeance (per the title) blinds her to reason…even days later. However, as she is made aware of her failings and flaws, she actually becomes a better character and you can see how she becomes the true heroine of the story. She, along with other characters, show significant growth and depth that I find surprising after the lack of world-depth.
With all of that, the characters become real and you become invested. Evelyn’s SFP syndrome is revealed through blunt statement to be a character flaw–and one that she gets taken to task for by multiple characters. Other characters’ flaws are also pointed out. The difference in this book is that instead of ignoring or glossing over these flaws, the plot and characters incorporate them and make plans that allow them to work around the flaws–and even use them–to achieve their end goals.
This Victorian X-men novel was fairly enjoyable. There was very little downtime, and it read like one very long climax–but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Overall, I’d say this warrants somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4-star.
These Vengeful Souls
Kelly Zekas & Tarun Shanker
(These Vicious Masks #3)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.
Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.
Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.
Kelly is a writer and actor 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 loves a good paperback romance.