ARC Review: These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
These Ruthless Deeds is the second book in the These Vicious Masks series by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas. I would like to thank the publisher, Swoon Reads for the Advance Reader Copy provided through Netgalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way influenced by outside factors. Be sure to catch up on book 1, These Vicious Masks, before These Ruthless Deeds is released on March 14th!
Category: Young Adult, Historical Fantasy
Publication: March 14th, 2017; Swoon Reads
England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.
As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…
I have to admit that I’m truly becoming obsessed with this series. The writing is humorous and brilliant. The characters are all perfection. And this installment was a step above book one. I loved it.
We pick up where we left off. Evelyn and company are searching for new gifted people to accrue. Her plan to help save the world to honor her sister’s wishes is in action. But a wrench is thrown into their plans when they run into the previously mentioned (and thought to be evil) Society of Aberrations.
These Ruthless Deeds is fast-paced. Far quicker and more action-packed than These Vicious Masks was. And, it was also ten tons more intriguing this time around. We meet many new characters; members of the Society and even new members of Evelyn’s rich society. Her parents are now back in the picture having moved to London. Their intent is to marry off Evelyn.
I still love Evelyn. Shes even more bad ass this time around. She’s learning more about herself and her powers. And in many ways, she’s extremely independent. However, I absolutely LOATHE her feelings for Sebastian. I know I’m going to be the minority, but I cannot help it. I’m so tired of that dark, brooding hero trope. And it’s in full effect in this book. I mean, why is the only man worthy of loving these days always the guy who’s broken or damaged, or so “good” because he’ll sacrifice his happiness to help others? Especially when he’s acting like a baby. I’m sorry, but I just can’t always fall for that. It’s way overdone. Not to mention that he’s rarely in the story. Even in book one! I don’t feel there’s been enough interaction between the two to develop any realistic loving feelings. But that’s probably because I prefer Mr. Kent. His humorous antics are quite possibly the best thing about this series. I look forward to every scene that contains him. And he has known and interacted with Evelyn long enough to hold feelings. And, yes, I know that you can’t help who you love. I’m just blah about it being the typical hero constantly portrayed in the genre. Sometimes, I just want it to be the average, nice guy.
Setting all of that aside, this story is utter brilliance. As the gang tried to determine who is at the head of the Society, I thought I had a pretty good idea. (I was right!) But their plans are fun, even when completely spoiled. So many scenes are filled with tension; I was constantly waiting for someone to be gravely injured. Or captured. Or, killed. And then there’s the wondering who to trust… it can be maddening! Several new incredible powers are introduced—ones that make all the characters we love look boring in comparison. And once we find out the truth about the Society… things start to unravel.
The ending is pure insanity. The action scene was so well-written I could envision it as though I were watching a movie. (Side note: this series would make wonderful movies.) I was both excited and upset to be reaching the end. It’s clear the story isn’t finished, but now I’ll have to wait months before getting my hands on the next one. I still don’t know the fate of a few of my favorite characters!
This series has quickly made its way onto my favorites list. Thanks to the humorous Nicholas Kent, I find myself laughing at what should be serious moments. There’s nothing quite like a good tension killer. So many elements go into these books, and all are woven in seemingly effortlessly. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves X-Men or Vicious by VE Schwab.