Monday, March 20, 2017

Georgette Heyer Meets Agents Of S H I E L D

So the first book I read after I finished my Cybils reading for the YA speculative fiction category was...YA fantasy. Can you believe it?

Though These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas seemed like a play on the Regency romances by Georgette Heyer that I consumed like potato chips when I was in high school and relied on for exam week reading in college, it's actually set in a later period. Still, though, it has that upper class culture that exists pretty much only to sustain itself by marrying off young members to one another and a young female main character who either doesn't embrace her social network or finds herself in a situation that puts her at odds with it. And there is a romantic interest. In these types of books the romantic interest is sometimes a man who is inappropriate in some way. Sometimes it's a guy who is very appropriate but has layers.

Yeah, I read a lot of those things.

With These Vicious Masks, we're talking a  romance/fantasy mash-up about a teenage girl who leaves her English country home to go to London to find her sister who has been kidnapped. She learns that a number of people she knows have paranormal powers. There is not one romantic interest, there are two. The torn between two lovers scenario is popular these days. If I saw a lot of it when I was reading years ago, I don't recall it now.  

The ending of this book is extremely interesting, though, of course, I can't tell you why. What I will say is that my understanding of traditional romance (I went to a Connecticut Romance Writers luncheon many years ago where I heard this, so make of that what you will) is that they are supposed to follow certain formats. Vicious Masks doesn't in at least one way. Not that I'm complaining. I particularly liked that.


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