Tuesday, March 14, 2017

These Ruthless Deeds ~ Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas (earc) review [@SwoonReads @tkshanker @kellyzekas @StMartinsPress]

These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2)
Swoon Reads
March 14, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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...

"Believe me, if we were trying to be subtle, you would know it."
"Actually that  would negate the very meaning of subtle--"
-pg 164
These Ruthless Deeds is the sequel to last year's These Vicious Masks and you really should read that book before reading this one, if only because it's so good.

There were definitely things about These Vicious Masks, about Evelyn, Mr. Kent, Br Braddock and their powers that I had forgotten between reading it and starting this book. The authors do a great job both throwing you right back into the action, with Evelyn, Miss Grey and Oliver breaking into a Belgian asylum.  As both that attempt and the story continue, you're reminded of past events and revelations either by characters informing other characters or their own recollections. It is a good way to bring readers back into the story without dumping a bunch of information on them.

I was thrilled to see that Evelyn Wyndham, Mr Kent and the other characters have just as much snark and intelligence as they did in the first book. There may be a bit less brooding by Mr Braddock, but you also know it's not going anywhere just yet (and he is oh so good at it).

There were things I wanted them to ask the Society when they were employing Mr Kent's ability, but covering all possibilities or issues would have made for a boring story.

The authors do a great job of incorporating some more of the 'background' of the characters' powers and an expanded look at just what they're capable of with the storyline and the novel's action.

I really love how the characters still manage to fit within their era but several of the girls and women are more outspoken and honest than expected and Mr Kent is charming and but also upfront about the less than upstanding things he does. It makes them that much more human while also being incredibly entertaining. Mr Kent and his sister are two of my favorite characters, I love them and what they seem to bring out of Evelyn.

"Before I met you, I went to brothels, gambling halls, scandalous music halls, all sorts of indecent places."
"And let me guess, ever since you met me, you've changed?"
He shook his head. "No, I just want to do these indecent things with you."
-pg 115

The big 'event' that precipitates the ending maybe still has me a little bit mad? I don't like it but also can't fault it's inclusion because it really fits where the story was going, what had already happened and who the characters were. It also sets things up pretty dramatically for the next book!

digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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