Parents' Guide to

These Vicious Masks

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Magic, mad scientist mix in darkly romantic Victorian romp.

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First-time authors Shaker and Zekas conjure up a Victorian universe of superpowers, deception, magic, murder, and millennial-like attitude in their snarky, darkly romantic series debut. Often a quirky mix of Jane Austen and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, THESE VICIOUS MASKS may lack historical accuracy here and there, but the authors' barely concealed sense of too much fun is infectious as they peel away one layer of disguise only to reveal another, serving up moments like this:

"I stood up, unable to resist the wine any longer. I poured it into a teacup and ignored the snort behind me.

"'Ah, so you know what to do when a man takes you for a doxy?'

"Mortified, I felt my face flush, but somehow kept myself from spitting out the wine. 'When a man takes me for a ... doxy? So you see it as an inevitability -- why, thank you.' ...

"'Forgive me for sullying your innocent ears, but if you go to a dancing room unaccompanied, you will hear much worse. And you will inevitably be taken for that kind of woman even if you're wearing a nun's habit.'"

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