These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas (2017)
YA Fiction | Historical | Paranormal
“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…”
Expected Publication Date: March 14, 2017
pooled ink Review:
I love it! Well done. Very well done indeed! Having loved the first book, These Vicious Masks, I was quite eager to read its sequel which I am thrilled to confirm is just as thrilling, if not more so, than its predecessor. I hardly have the words to describe my feelings for I am still recovering from the shock and grand explosiveness with which this book concludes.
Perhaps if I begin by focusing on the smaller things, start from the beginning…
I’m ever so pleased that the story hasn’t completely left behind the traditions of London’s middle and upper society. All the powers, mystery, and adventure are enthralling to be sure, but I love it even more when contrasted against the lives of the normal. Evelyn is forced to dance along the line between what her life might have been and what it has irreversibly become. It really gives the time period of this series a true purpose by tying its characters and plot firmly to the setting. The setting thus becomes as much a part of the plot as the protagonists, the villains, or even the curious powers they’ve been given. Therefore I quite love and appreciate how this series takes its setting firmly into account with regards to how everyone and everything operates, behaves, and reacts.
The story picks up not too long after whence it ended in the first book. These Ruthless Deeds opens with a rather dramatic, exhilarating, and perhaps confounding prologue before dumping us quite in the middle of a daring heist and a return of the familiar cast.
This is truly a spectacular sequel that takes everything beloved and praised in the first book and adds upon it in this continuation filling the pages with the somewhat familiar while simultaneously keeping us suspicious and on edge. Evelyn is still the witty force of nature that turned the pages in These Vicious Masks, Mr. Kent remains the ever amusing and dashing gent, and together they poke their noses in all sorts of secrets as they surround themselves with both new and old faces intertwined in a sinister tale.
Perhaps my favorite part of this series is the sarcasm and wit of both Evelyn and Mr. Kent, and I assure you that there is no shortage in this book. All the quips and witticisms are just the cherry on top of an already delectable book. They speak to my sense of humor perfectly! I’d greatly love to quote a few for you but I’d rather not and leave them to be hidden gems for you to stumble over and laugh upon discovery.
Now for the heart of this book: we finally learn more about this secret Society of Aberrations. Of course Evelyn is immediately distrustful and eyes them with venom, as we all do I’m sure. But to be fair Dr. Beck cannot possibly represent the whole of a mass. With every chapter we meet other members and find ourselves digging deeper and deeper into the cavern of this Society with only a candle to shine light on the promises around us. I found the whole affair undoubtedly intriguing but shall refrain from declaring them as either good or traitorous. Several characters certainly cast their hopes upon them but others remain reluctantly unsure. I think it best, perhaps, to simply leave you with a quote with regards to this subject:
“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.” But also never forget and “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
Evelyn does her best to protect her friends and find her footing in her ever-changing world. Slowly but surely the plot thickens and the stakes escalate to the point where I was quite on edge just waiting for this carefully constructed reality to simply blast apart. I must say I was surely at my wit’s end with Mr. Redburn’s (and others) roguish behavior when the tables suddenly turned. At last.
These Ruthless Deeds is a excellent continuation of the series and is full of adventure, mystery, travel, distrust, suspicion, intrigue, gallantry, and grace.
And now for a few words regarding the ending, and incredibly rude cliffhanger, of this book (do excuse me for I fear I may find myself resorting to the use of all capital letters for words may fail to adequately convey my emotions):
The ending of this book comes as quite a shock…no, let’s just go ahead and press the Caps Lock button.
THAT ENDING THOUGH. WHAAAAT??? HANG ON. STOP. BACK IT UP. WHAAAT?? I HAVE NO WORDS. I HAVE ONLY EMOTIONS AND I CAN’T EVEN TELL WHAT THEY ARE. IT REQURIES ME TO WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS AND EVEN THAT IS NOT ENOUGH EMPHASIS TO FULLY CONVEY THE MASS OF SWIRLING SHOCK AND EMOTIONS WITHIN ME RIGHT NOW.
I honestly don’t know if I want to cheer and applaud the most dramatic, clever, and shocking ending I have read in quite some time or if I want to burn everything around me and demand a re-write. At the very least my mind shall remain rudely uneasy until I receive a full list of who will be returning in the next book. I simply must know.
Overflowing with thrilling plot twists, fascinating characters, and proving itself as an overall exhilarating read, These Ruthless Deeds pens its drama with a sharp knife dipped in darkest blood, curling its tale with poise, short-breaths, and an unyielding hand. But even its gorgeous prose cannot veil the ruthless deeds contained within.
Purchase Here: These Ruthless Deeds
Read the rest of the series: These Vicious Masks (Book 1)