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These Vicious Masks #2

These Ruthless Deeds

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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...

293 pages, Paperback

First published March 14, 2017

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About the author

Tarun Shanker

7 books315 followers
Tarun Shanker is a mild-mannered assistant by day and a milder-mannered writer by night, currently living in Boston. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, soul music fills the air and chai flows freely from the fountains. He is the co-author of the These Vicious Masks trilogy with Kelly Zekas.

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Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
258 reviews4,864 followers
June 5, 2017
"Mr. Kent never hid his worse qualities. He wore them like badges."

Holy crap. I did not expect to love this so much. I mean wow.. if you haven't tried this series... you're missing out.

Basically if you're a fan of any of the following, you need to pick this up:

1. Historical fiction with a magic twist
2. A touch of Steampunk
3. Hilarious and vibrant characters
4. Humor and wit woven into every page
5. A loveable and flawed MC (seriously, Evelyn has to be an all time favorite MC for me.)
6. Ships that drive you nuts and make you want to slam your head into a wall because of the sheer PAIN of shipping everyone and not knowing how you feel and ugh.

I really loved the first book 'These Vicious Masks' despite being a little disappointed in the ending. I was just a bit wary about the direction of the plot from the ending and I wasn't sure I'd come into this with the same enthusiasm. But wow, I'm so glad I continued on.

The beginning was a bit slow mostly because I was lost for the first few chapters. It has been over a year since I read the first installment and I couldn't remember who everyone was - so I ended up having to go back and skim parts. I recommend that the first book be pretty fresh in your head.
*Update - here's a spoilery recap for the first book!! Thanks Kelly! Click here to read it

But things pick up quickly (of course, when Mr. Kent arrives.)

Mr. Kent raised his brows. "What are they asking?"
"For me to heal a little girl."
"My God, the brutes, the monsters," he mocked.

Okay, I'm going to stop there and rave about Mr. Kent. He's by far my favorite character in the series. Every. Single. Line. Everything that comes out of his mouth is two parts brilliance and three parts hilarious. He's full of witty little mumblings and I can't help but adore him to pieces. I love the guy so much and I'm over here thinking... Evelyn... girl.... open your eyes.

Mr. Kent nodded soberly. “I do. 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.”


Okay, okay, moving along...

I thought the plot was actually quite fun, but what really made the book was the writing and the characters. Just like the first book (and maybe even more so)... this one was down right hysterical and a blast to read. I was cackling my way through the entire book.

This picks up a little while after the first book ends. Evelyn is basically recruited by 'The Society of Aberrations' which is basically a secret branch of government for the 'gifted'. She's naturally concerned that it is corrupt and questions everything... and if you know Evelyn at all, you can pretty much guess she stirs up trouble. She goes off searching for Mr. Braddock, and things start to get a little crazy.

That about all I'm going to say in leu of not spoiling much, but lets just say the plot has lots of crazy twists and turns. I was worried about it being just another one of those 'rebelling against a corrupt secret government branch' type books but really it was so much more. And you know what? I honestly think that even if you aren't into the actual plot itself, you'll still have a blast just because of the writing.


Like okay... this book is clearly meant to be quite humorous but DO NOT BE DECEIVED. I had so many feels and emotions the whole time... first regarding Evelyn and the whole struggle with Mr. Braddock... and then of course serious Mr. Kent feels... BUT THEN THE END WHAAAAT AHHHH.

So now, I'm an emotional mess. The ending actually made me tear up. What in the crap. I did not expect to be this emotionally invested.

Well done, Kelly and Tarun. This book (and the series for that matter) gets a glowing recommendation from me. It was an absolute delight of a read. And the covers of both books are exquisite. Really, I can't rave enough about my experience and THANK YOU for such an awesome ride. Also if you could write the next book REALLY fast that would be great. Because I need closure.

**Thank you to the publishers for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. All quotes taken from this ARC may be subject to change in the final copy.**

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Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews976 followers
March 17, 2017

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

This book was such a roller coaster of emotions! From cold to warm, from happy to bitter, from laughter to tears. The authors definitely know how to manipulate readers' emotions. Evil geniuses. Love them!

Before I start the actual review, here's recap of These Vicious Masks, book 1 in case you've forgotten something from the previous installment. Kelly Zekas has written it and it's such a fun to remember the book with her!

The plot. These Ruthless Deeds start right after book's 1 ending. After devastating events that took place previously Evelyn and her friends are looking for gifted people and consequently find themselves mixed up with the Society of Aberrations devoted to recruiting the said gifted people. Evelyn doesn't trust this organization, because it was the reason she lost someone close to her. But her friends are sure that what happened was a terrible mistake and Society is actually good. Plus they have means to help cure Mr. Sebastian Braddock from his terrible gift, so Ev says yes and starts working with them.

Well, to say the storyline was smooth or utterly original would be a lie. First 20% or so I was bored with explanations and introductions into the Society. It was rather disappointing, really, how quickly everyone else agreed to work for these mysterious people. Granted, Mr. Kent "interrogated" them with the help of his special gift, but it still felt like such omnipotent organization would surely take more pains to cover their sins if they had any? But after 20% the real action started. Mixed with humor and adorable banters between Evelyn, Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock, and the cast of amazing secondary characters, I totally forgot about the plot holes. A couple of twists later the pacing picked up even more and the book turned into one delightful roller coaster. Granted, this series is not the kind to take seriously. It can be preposterous at times; the way young women act in the book did not display real Victorian England era, but somehow all the light and silly things make this story very charming and I couldn't find it in me to admonish the authors for sloppiness regarding some things. Plus as I said this book is a mix of laughter and tears. And when you almost convinced this is a light read authors go and kick you in the butt, reminding you that things can be ruthless and sad and, well, you need to read the book to find out just how serious the contrast between light and dark is.

The characters. I believe characters are the soul of this series what really makes it alive and readers to twist in their sits in worry for them. Every one of the characters - main ones and secondary ones - feel complex and you cannot help yourself but sympathize with them. Evelyn was and stays one of my favorite heroines. There wasn't a time, not once, I felt irritated by her. In this installment I admired her even more, because we were shown her ruthless side she didn't have in book 1. Choices must be made, sacrifices must be delivered. What would you do to save the ones you love? Who would you become?

“I was tired of rewriting my opinion of the Society. I was tired of wondering what Rose would wish me to do. I was tired of constantly wondering if I had made the right choice, if I even had a choice, or if I was being manipulated at every turn.”

But not even at the darkest hour Evelyn looses her spirit. Besides, I cannot not admire a girl who judges a person's character by their choice of food:
“And then I noticed the small cake that still sat uneaten next to him. And another in front of his mother. That was the last straw. I fully disliked them. How dare they leave perfectly good cake untouched?”

I agree wholeheartedly, only evil people would let a perfectly fine cake go to waste!

Mr. Kent is the star of this book. If my heart already wasn't given to Mr. Braddock, I'd definitely swoon over Kent. I mean I did swoon, and, to be honest, Kent's character resembles someone I would go for in real life, because brooding only works in books. And Mr. Kent was, as always, a first rate provider of humor and fun in this book. He is such a darling!
“Why are you here?” he asked, staring around me at Mr. Kent.
Mr. Kent laughed uncomfortably. “Why does anyone go to a gambling house?”
“To gamble,” Sebastian answered.
“To find information for our plan,” I muttered, Mr. Kent’s power inadvertently affecting me as well.
“What plan?” Sebastian asked.
I glared at Mr. Kent. “Nothing, nothing at all.”
“No one seems to understand what a rhetorical question is these days,” Mr. Kent said to the skies.”

Mr. 'brooding' Braddock, Byronic figure one cannot help but fall for. Sometimes it felt almost ridiculous how brooding Sebastian was, but then you remembered that his touch kind of kills people and you understand the whole brooding thing doesn't feel theatrical any longer, it feels tragic, the kind where you want to throw yourself at the world and protect the poor cinnamon roll from everything. Yes, I am quite a goner for damaged heroes, and it was inevitable for me to fall for Sebastian from the first moment he showed up in book 1. Plus. he's kind of Mr. Darcy's prototype, so who could blame me for favoritism?!
“It was a strange feeling, to want to throw something at him and protect him from dangerous flying objects at the same time.”

Now is the moment where I get really serious and say that, honestly, what Sebastian went through in his life is plain unfair. But no matter what he never turned into a hard callous person, he stayed a caring young man if only a tad bit more brooding, but we have already established that we are partial brooding.
“This awful power … it should have turned you bitter and angry and cruel. But despite everything it’s done to you, you’re still kind; you care about others more than yourself. You’re good, Sebastian. You do the right thing as instinctively as I say the wrong thing. You make me better—you make everyone better.”

The romance. Let's take a minute to applaud the authors for not turning this series into one angsty love-triangle. It's official now, there's no love-triangle in this series. From book 1 it is known whom the heroine preferred as her romantic interest and things stay that way in book 2. And who said that if there's two handsome men there's also should be a love-triangle? Yes, there's one side that still suffers, because he had feeling for the heroine, but I, once more, admired him for being decent and noble and not turning into a bitter villain because the girl said no.

As you know I was always team Braddock, and once again Evelyn and Sebastian's shared scenes proved to be swoon-worthy. Such chemistry!!
“Finally our eyes held each other.
Don’t kiss him.
“I was worried,” he said, slowly pulling himself off the bed frame, leaning forward. His face was so close to mine in the quiet morning. My heart faltered once before catching a new rhythm, faster than before. Sebastian’s dark hair had never looked so careless and my fingers itched to return to the inky strands. His eyes were the softest mossy green, and I was sure that all his usual awkward reserve had melted in this strange dawn. When I realized that his eyes were glued to my lips, I instinctively parted them, sucking in a fast breath.
Don’t you dare kiss him, Evelyn.
He was so close I could have counted the strands of gold that gleamed in the green of his eyes. I could have shifted forward one breath and his lips would be on mine. I was dizzy, lost in the world that existed here between us.”

“How did you get in?”
He glowered at me and blushed in the early light. “It’s—it’s unimportant.”
“Please, please tell me you didn’t scale the walls and climb in through my window.”
He glared harder.
“If you don’t wish me to think of you as some kind of tragic Gothic figure, you really must stop acting like one.”

No, Ev, let him stay tragic Gothic figure. It's so much fun!

And there was this one scene on the bridge that totally broke my heart, because it was one of the most beautiful and saddest scenes ever. I'll put it under the spoiler tag in case you want to experience it for the first time in the book, trust me, it's worth waiting, don't mind me, seductress of unsuspecting readers *smiles slyly*

And Mr. Kent is a charmer as always.
“I know I should not take such liberties with an unmarried woman.…”
“Especially when you’ve alluded to your indecent past.”
Mr. Kent nodded soberly. “I have. 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.”

...and provider of funny awkward moments:
“Was anyone unclothed?” Mr. Kent said sarcastically, clearly not expecting an affirmative answer.
“A bit,” my uncooperative mouth responded and I tried to cover it with a yelp. This was absurd. Both of them were absurd, tonight was absurd, and I was, assuredly, absurd.”

Hehe, give me more of such absurd moments, dear Mr. Kent.

The finale. Oh dear, what can I say... When you are relaxed and do not expect surprises they, of course, will nock on your door. Hello, dear reader, did you miss us? Now get your portion of heartbreak and tears and don't think of moving on for a week or two. This is why I called the authors evil geniuses. They know how to created a killer cliffhanger and leave you hanging like a dummy with your mouth opened and your heart on the asphalt crushed and stomped on by a herd of wild unicorns. Yeah, we all love these creatures.

All in all, These Ruthless Deeds proved to be an amazing sequel to one of the best books of 2016. If you haven't started the series yet, what are you still doing here? Run, reader, run! If you haven't started this book yet, come closer I'll give you a gently kick in the direction of the book. And, please, someone read the book already and discuss it with me, because I am kind of dying here, drowning in my misery. I'll need a good talk and a dozen of pretty cakes to bring me back to life after this book *makes puppy eyes*.

Profile Image for Rebekah.
739 reviews955 followers
February 22, 2017
This is such an awesome series and I'm loving it! We pick up where we left off, which is so helpful and I love when authors do that. We start with Evelyn and her new found power, plus some friends with their own powers, trying to seek out other who may be struggling or hiding due to their own powers. Especially find and save them before the Society of Aberrations does. And the only way to take down the Society is to find out who is at it's head and chop it off.

Well when the Society finds THEM and offers them a place among them Evelyn agrees...VERY hesitantly and with very good reason if you remember in These Vicious Masks...? Well if you haven't had a chance to read it then you should. Especially if you're reading this review and haven't read it yet. Go. NOW!

These Ruthless Deeds is fast-paced and more action-packed than These Vicious Masks was. It's intriguing as we meet many new characters; members of the Society and even new members of Evelyn's rich society, due to the fact that now Evelyn's parents are back in town and still very much intent on marrying her off! BOO! As Evelyn and a few of her friends try to determine who is at the head of the Society, while trying to keep themselves and their loved ones alive was brilliance. I found myself grasping my Ipad with tension waiting for someone to be severly injured. Or captured. Or, even killed. While wondering who to trust and who couldn't be trusted.

I really love the era chosen for this story, *sigh* I LOVE this time period of fashion, balls, mannerisms and marrying each other off.

I continued to really like Evelyn. She's strong and spirited and I like that in my female characters. She has backbone and she's pretty much independent which I love as well. She's smart, kind but wary and still wants to please and do what's best for her family. I enjoyed watching her character development and felt it was well paced with regards to everything going on around her.

I love the male characters in these books! Mr. Kent to Mr. Braddock. Now I've seen such a tie between which team people prefer to cheer for and I'm on the Mr. Braddock team. I like the dark broody trope. So sue me!

Overall I was very pleased and happy with how this story is continuing and I'm very happy and dying with that ending! doesn't make that much sense but it will! AH!

Sexual Content: mild
Violence: moderate
Language: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

*A HUGE thank you to Swoon Reads and Netgalley for the ARC which I got in exchange for an honest review.*

Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
March 2, 2017
I was a huge fan of the first book and I was stupid excited to get to this one.

I've loved Evelyn from the beginning. She's sassy and stubborn and it's so much fun to be in her head. There's huge cast of characters this time and while I did lose track of who was who {excluding the core group}, it was still enjoyable reading everyone's powers in action.

The plot is fast paced and there are lots of action scenes. The ending is exasperating and satisfying and absolutely maddening. I need book 3 RTFN.

**Huge thanks to Swoon Reads and NetGalley for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
April 21, 2017
Okie I rounded down so it's 2 stars now. o_o Believe me when I say that I am just as disappointed as you are.

Ehhhhhhh. Boring, frustrating, and quite the unnecessarily brutal ending?

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
Book Two of the These Vicious Masks series
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Rating: 2 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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...

What I Liked:

I think I expected too much from this series. I was so excited to read These Vicious Masks, and when I read it in 2015, I found that I didn't totally love it. But I was cautiously optimistic and immediately pounced on this book when I saw it on NetGalley. And yet... this one was even more disappointing than These Vicious Masks. It was so up-and-down, and while there were some aspects that were okay, there were more that I didn't enjoy. Overall I'm giving the book two stars but I'm honestly struggling to come up with positives..

Evelyn and her other gifted friends want to use their powers for good and find other gifted people. When they get caught trying to rescue a young girl with telekinetic powers, they are rescued by the Society of Aberrations. Several members of the Society try to convince Evelyn that they are doing good work, despite everything in the past. While some of Evelyn's friends decide to join, Evelyn does not, at first. How does she know that the Society is truly reformed? Who can she trust? Even in entering a tentative partnership with the Society, Evelyn doesn't trust anyone. Meanwhile, she has more than enough going on in terms of society, balls, her Little Season, and a potential marriage proposal. But it's all going to come down to the ball her family is throwing her - when two worlds collide, there is bound to be disaster.

Things I liked... hmm. I feel like I'm going to write my review in a bit of a cyclical way. You'll find more information in the next section (because I disliked more than I liked). But there were some things I liked - it's just that I also disliked those things too.

For example: I'm really glad that love triangle gets cleared up, by the end of this book. I hate love triangles, and this one was ridiculous and poorly written. So yay for Evelyn making a choice, Sebastian making a choice, and Mr. Kent making a choice, by the end of the book. BUT, the fact that the love triangle is in this book at all is a strike against the book. See what I mean? A thing I liked but overall, disliked.

I'm honestly sturggling to come up with things I liked about this book, so I'm going to move on.

What I Did Not Like:

I didn't like Evelyn's decision-making. I didn't like the love triangle. I didn't like the pacing. I didn't like the plot. I didn't like the ending.

Basically there was very little that didn't go wrong for me. I'll start with Evelyn. Her decision-making, from the start of this book, is terrible. I feel like she got stupider instead of smarter? It's like she's going backwards in the series, in terms of character development. She acts selfishly for the entire book, by stringing Mr. Kent along, or not voicing her feelings to Sebastian, or pushing Mae at Sebastian (for selfish, stupid reasons), or by saving the life of one person at the end of the book instead of _____ (leaving that blank because of spoilers). Evelyn is incredibly selfish; what's sad is that she thinks she is considering everyone and thinking of everyone, but she is only ever thinking of herself. Finding Sebastian? Finding Mr. Hale? The big plan at the climax, in which she invited all of her friends to help her? It's like Evelyn does not learn.

Also, at other times, it's like she didn't know how to open her mouth and say no. No, Mr. Kent, I don't want your affections or for you to kiss me. No, Mother, I don't want to spend time with Lady Atherton. No, Mother, I don't want to be courted by Lord Atherton (this is not part of the romance, trust me. More of a nuisance than anything else). Evelyn is supposedly feisty and outspoken, but it's like she bit off her tongue when her voice mattered most.

I hate love triangles. I worried about the development of a love triangle in this series, given what I read in These Vicious Masks. Mr. Kent is the childhood friend, the flirt and charmer, the one has been in love with Evelyn for years and even proposed to her before. Sebastian is the handsome, brooding, dangerous young man who is tortured about his particular power. I don't really have anything against Mr. Kent, but I hate him as a love interest. He's so hilarious and quite the flirt, but he's all wrong for Evelyn. I dislike how Evelyn doesn't refuse his attention and even tries to force herself to fall for him (which doesn't work). I don't like it when the heroine lets someone kiss her and clearly doesn't want the experience, but lets it happen anyway.

Also, can we talk about how clearly Sebastian is endgame, but it's not Sebastian that kisses Evelyn (or that Evelyn kisses) in this book? Um, Swoon Reads? Why are you so disappointing? I swear, every single Swoon Reads book has made me complain about the complete lack of swoon in their books. "Regular" non-Swoon-Reads YA books have more swoon than this imprint's books? This is a problem? I'm so over it.

To begin with, I don't find love triangles swoony. I find books even less swoony when the MAIN COUPLE NEVER KISSES IN THE BOOK. Especially given the massive amounts of NO SWOON in These Vicious Masks (yes, that sentence doesn't quite make sense).

The pacing - gosh this book was so boring. I honestly don't even remember what happened in the first 75% of the book. Things only started "happening" as Evelyn's grand ball drew closer. Pretty much everything in the first half of the book (or 75% of the book, really) didn't matter or didn't stick because it didn't matter. Like you could read the last 25% of the book with no problem, and find out all you need to know about the book. Sequel slump, anyone?

This kind of goes along with the plot - I felt like nothing was really happening, in the first half of the book. The story moved too slowly and when things did happen, the scenes were boring. I was very, very bored, while reading this book. It's so short and yet it took me three times as long to read this book as it did to read Traitor to the Throne. You all know how long that book is, right? I could barely keep my eyes open (in terms of These Ruthless Deeds).

That ending! What the heck! It's all kind of maniacal and brutal! I obviously can't say anything specific about it but goodness! The authors went all out. The only good thing I will say about the ending in general is that the love triangle is a done deal, and hopefully it will never plague the series again.

A final note - the authors do a poor job of bringing readers back into the story. You know how authors will do that mini info-dump in the first chapter that summarizes the previous book, so you're not totally lost? That didn't happen in this book (or simply was not effective). I barely remembered anything from These Vicious Masks, and really had a hard time getting into this one. Maybe reread book one before reading this book.

Would I Recommend It:

After reading this book, I actually no longer recommended this series. I can't even recommend the book, if you've read These Vicious Masks. This series just isn't impressive, the romance isn't swoony, nothing about this series is swoony or action-packed like X-Men. Where is that comparison even coming from? Maybe try this series when all of the books are published. This book suffers from a really bad case of sequel slump but maybe book three will knock the series out of the park.


2.5 stars -> rounded down to 2 stars. Initially I gave this book 3 stars but I started trying to think of things I liked about the book... and could barely come up with one. Honestly this book was more of an ordeal than anything else but I'm glad I read it. I'll definitely be reading book three because I need to know what happens next. But I'll also definitely survive if I never read book three.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
511 reviews299 followers
October 14, 2017
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was such a disappointment. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was fun, exciting, and entertaining. I was looking forward to finding out more about this world and the characters. Unfortunately this book surfers middle book syndrome.

Evelyn and crew end up joining the society of aberrations. They discover more secrets and such. First of I honestly don't understand why Evelyn joined the society in the first place?! I understood everybody else's reasoning but not Evelyn. It didn't even feel believable when she did end up joining them.

Evelyn felt completely different from the first book. She was extremely selfish throughout the entire book. She didn't stand up for herself around her parents. And she bossed everyone around like she actually knew what she was doing. I also did not like how she kept so many secrets under the guise of protecting everyone.

To a certain degree I understand why she acted the way she did. The authors just didn't make it believable or foreshadow it in the previous book. Yes she went through a lot in the previous book, but nobody becomes a whole other person just like that.

Just like the previous book this was very fast paced. But not a whole lot happened. You are introduced to new characters and some of the things we learned were quite interesting. There was a lot of finding out running around and getting caught.

The romance was very annoying in this book. Evelyn's parents are even more awful in this book then they were in the previous book. And it's just to move the plot along. The first thing Evelyn's parents do after not seeing her in months is get her into society and hopefully engaged. Like seriously?! How about a 'How have you been?' or a heart-to-heart! But no they care far too much about their reputation then their own children.

I skimmed most of this book. I just couldn't bring myself to read it and I also wanted to figure out when things would start actually happening. It wasn't until towards the end of this book that there was a plot. By that point I stopped caring.

The only thing I liked in this book was the banter. At least that didn't change. I did laugh out loud a few times as well. Unfortunately that was not enough to save the book.

Overall I did not enjoy this book. I will not be continuing the series. I don't recommend this series.
Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
March 26, 2023
update: you can read my review here! i'll be posting here soon enough.
I actually... I actually didn't like this book, and oh, how I wanted to. I really liked the first one--it was close to being one of my favourite reads, or, in the least, an honourable mention, for last year--and I was over the moon when I'd gotten accepted for this. How could I not? Secret societies! More mystery! More danger! More funny antics and banter!

But it just... It fell so flat.

One of the more annoying things was how one of the characters was brought back, only to be sidelined the entire time. I honestly didn't understand that? The society went through the trouble of locating Sebastian and bringing him back, even though he didn't want to go back. And then for the rest of the novel, he's hardly there! He has no big part to play until the very end, which I just found to be annoying. Why make such a big deal about bringing him back and not have him be more important?

Another thing that bothered me was the romance. I would've been fine with no romance than what was actually presented. There's sort of a love triangle going on, a continuation from book 1, and while yes, it does get resolved, it only takes the entire book! It only takes Evelyn to string along one party while pushing the other party away (and someone towards him). It was messy and I didn't really like it.

Hmm... there was also that ending, which was extremely unexpected. I won't lie, I didn't expect it at all and I don't even know whether I liked it or not. I didn't think that the authors would go all out like that!

One other thing to mention: there is a twist and I wish I hadn't expected it because it would've made the book more enjoyable for me. Alas, it was extremely expected, since like the beginning of the novel and by the time it was addressed, I just rolled my eyes.

Overall, this was a pretty disappointing sequel! My OTP hardly had any swoony scenes, there wasn't as much action as I'd hoped, and it just didn't reach my expectations. I am still looking forward to future books because I no longer know what to think with this series.

Final rating: 2.5 stars.
Torn between 3 and 4... This... This was different. I kind of don't know what to think.
(and waiting but let's not ruin it)
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews826 followers
July 4, 2018
6 out of 10

A bit disappointed. I guess it's all because of super high expectetions. Maybe RTC.

These Vicious Masks (Эти порочные маски):
These Vicious Masks (Эти порочные маски) #1/3
These Ruthless Deeds (Эти безжалостные деяния) #2/3
These Vengeful Souls (Эти мстительные души) #3/3
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews166 followers
September 10, 2017
I found These Ruthless Deeds is good but not great like These Vicious Masks was. The first book of the trilogy was a five star review for me. However, this was intriguing and had the humor from the first book that I absolutely loved. I am excited for the final book of the trilogy to come!
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,472 reviews259 followers
January 30, 2018
These Ruthless Deeds is a fantastic sequel to 2016's excellent debut, These Vicious Masks. It's, dare I say, even better than the first book of the series! I loved getting to see everyone and their powers in action, plus that witty banter amongst the main cast. Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas really take it up to eleven and after that ending I'm pretty sure I'm dying (for book three, These Vengeful Souls)! At least, I won't have to wait too long since it's due out February 20th, 2018. If you like historical fantasy, Jane Austen, the X-Men, and the Lady Helen series by Alison Goodman, then you absolutely need to try this!

Profile Image for Kerri.
Author 17 books23.3k followers
February 2, 2017
I stayed up into the early morning hours just to stuff my brain full of this magnificent world and (silk) layered characters. THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS is an incredible sophomore novel filled with intrigue, action, soaring magic and plenty of swoons. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!
Profile Image for Kris Mauna.
509 reviews49 followers
March 14, 2017
"Please allow us to welcome you to the Society of Aberrations."

I loved These Vicious Masks, but I FRICKEN LOVED These Ruthless Deeds.
So, I actually wrote a somewhat well-written review on Bookstacked already.. If you don't want to read all my fangirl thoughts right now then check that out instead!
Now let's get to the fun - no spoilers! ;)

I highly recommend re-reading These Vicious Masks beforehand or checking out Kelly's recap because the story begins right where the last book left off. Evelyn and Miss Grey are still searching for others who are also gifted. And I sure did miss our girl, Evelyn.

"The loss of Rose was written into every crease of my skin, every part of my body. Some days my right hand trembled ceaselessly. Other times my head pounded. Sometimes I woke in the middle of the night gasping for air, as if I had tried to stop breathing in my dreams. But as miserable as it was, there was some comfort in the physicalization of my heartache."

She is still incredibly brave and lovely as ever, but she's become more flawed as she deals with her grief. I enjoyed seeing a more vulnerable side to her in this book because in the end it only made her stronger.
The characters make this story SO fun, and everyone we loved in the first book are back! And I honestly didn't know I could love them more than I already did.. But I fell deeper in love with them, especially Mr. Kent! I enjoyed him in the previous book, but he wasn't my fav, but NOW I JUST LOVE HIM. Seriously, I was always Team Sebastian but there were moments when I questioned what team am I really on here?! He's just as charming as ever and I swoooon!

"Is your power still working?" I asked Mr. Kent.
"I don't know. Do you find me handsome?" Mr. Kent returned.
"Yes," I replied, following it with a growl.
"Everything is clearly in order here," Mr. Kent said.

Thanks to the synopsis, we knew Mr. Braddock was going to be coming back eventually! I won't say too much more about him, but even though I fell more in love with Mr. Kent.. Mr. Braddock forever has my heart. He's less brooding in this book, and still so enjoyable!

"I have thought every day about you - your loss. And every day, I only saw how I would make things worse if I were here."

I have to admit that this love triangle works for this series because I just love ALL of them and don't mind it at all. . . ;)

Okay, enough swooning over these three.. There were lots of new characters too! With the Society of Aberrations came fun people with amazing powers, and I loved it all. I felt the X-Men parallels still, but I have to say that These Ruthless Deeds became more of its own outside of that inspiration and even Jane Austen.
The plot was intriguing and I loved it. There were plenty of twists, and the action still blended well with the drama of family/society. Tarun and Kelly are one brilliant team and their writing has only grown since the last book. I just want to read everything from these two forever!
Are you tired of me telling you about how much I just love everything about this book? No? Okay, continue!

"Those words did strange and horrible things to my heart. It was like it broke into two pieces and then tried to leap for joy at once."

There isn't too much more that I can say without spoiling the book for you.. And this is a book you must read in order to fall just in love with it as I did! IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.
The final act of the book !!!!!! - I wish I could use emojis because I'd probably be able to express my feelings better that way! IT WAS JUST AMAZING AND I AM DEAD BUT I NEED MORE SO I MUST CONTINUE TO LIVE.

If you loved the first book then you'll love the second one! If you're a fan of fantasy or historical fiction or X-Men or Jane Austen then pick this series up!! You won't regret it!

* Quotes listed above are subject to change.

- - -


Ahhhhhhhh - Okay, I'll write a review tomorrow? Hopefully my thoughts and feelings will be sorted by then?? BUT PROBABLY NOT BECAUSE I AM DEAD INSIDE.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
January 13, 2017
Soooooooooooo.......this is even better than These Vicious Masks....?

More action, more superpowers, a more diverse cast (very nice to see), lots of blood (I felt like there was so SO much blood and also a ton of broken bones :D), and more kissing, kind of? Shirtsleeves! More shirtsleeves! And tempting swathes of Victorian man-skin!

Longer review over the weekend!
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,220 reviews1,651 followers
December 20, 2018

As I’ve been doing with most books lately, I reread These Vicious Masks before embarking on the sequel. I was again impressed with the humor, the characterization, and the fast-paced sheer fun of the plot. All of those wonderful elements appear in spades in These Ruthless Deeds too, only, you know, turned up to ELEVEN, with an even more intense and shocking conclusion that left me in shock.

One of my other favorite current series, Lady Helen, has a similar-ish set up; both are historical fantasies about people with powers, centering on fabulous young ladies. The differences are myriad, and I’m not here to compare the too (though I will a bit), but where Lady Helen is Austen-esque in the wit and detail, These Vicious Masks takes more of a Tessa Dare approach (only much darker) with constant overt humor. Both are amazing and highly recommended, but pick wisely for your mood.

Evelyn’s such a queen. I just could not love her more than I do. Her observations are consistently hilarious, and I was laughing out loud through a good portion of this book. I sent endless quotes to a friendas I read. Shanker and Zekas are so good at keeping the humor going consistently, only to suddenly slam you with sad or shippy feels in a way you were totally not prepared for, and then to make you laugh again.

The plot of the book totally worked for me, though the characters are definitely the shining light. The blurb essentially gives away the “twist,” but it happens about a third of the way through and is well handled so I don’t mind in the least. And, basically from the moment that happens through to the end, the book is fast and furious with constant painful surprises but the ever-present beat of amazing humor.

In These Ruthless Deeds, you get to know everyone better, and the cast expands to include a bunch of new characters. It’s a super painful book for, well, everyone, and oh my god I don’t know how Shanker and Zekas are going to resolve everything emotionally because MY POOR BRUISED DARLINGS.

Evelyn and Sebastian continue to be the cutest ship, and I absolutely love that Evelyn continues to see him as this handsome broody guy, and everyone else is doing the Victorian version of OMG WUT HE IS SUCH A GOOBER GIRL. And he really is just such a goober. There’s an absolutely fantastic chase scene and a shirtless scene and basically Shanker and Zekas know exactly how to play my shipstrings and oh how they do.

This series has maybe my favorite love triangle ever (though don’t quote me on it, since I don’t actually have a list). Mr. Kent’s amazing, and he becomes ever more so. He’s a bit much in book one sometimes, but the more you get to know him the more lovable he is. He wears his negative qualities openly, and I’ve come to admire that (and him) so much. Also, lbr, if I had his powers I would totally fuck with people by asking sensitive questions and watching them deal with it. He lightens every single scene he’s in, even when he’s hurting.

The reason I love this love triangle so much is that Mr. Kent doesn’t end up having his character assassinated. And, I like that he’s an actual good option. He’s a great guy and they get along so well, and, were Evelyn’s heart not already engaged, they totally could have been a thing. Unfortunately for Mr. Kent…

Given the fact that the cast has like a million people in it, it’s fucking impressive that I care about basically all of them a lot. I got serious feels from a beautiful scene between Emily and Evelyn. (And Emily and Laura should so totally be a thing.) Oliver’s a precious moppet, despite my general feelings on moppets. Evelyn’s kinda forgotten bestie (who was on a grand tour in book one) Catherine shows up and she’s fabulous and bookish and the trust between her and Evelyn deserves a million stars tbh. Lord Atherton, though awful, is the perfect straight man to the rest of the cast. I really can’t list everyone because there are so many but this cast is FABULOUS.

Because it’s a sequel, I don’t want to get into details about plots or anything. I DO want to talk about how much I love the way the powers work in this world. Shanker and Zekas make such clever use of everyone’s various powers. Mr. Kent has an obvious power on the surface, but he comes up with some creative applications I’d not anticipated. Miss Chen pulls out a hilarious application of her power in the midst of a battle. It’s another example of how good Shanker and Zekas are at humor of absolutely all sorts. Battle scenes often are a bit like in those fantastic old kung fu movies where Jackie Chan would get creative and use whatever comes to hand as a weapon.

These Ruthless Deeds lulls you into this false sense of security. It’s this flufftastic bantersplosion of all the best shiptrashy tropes, and it’s so completely unapologetic about every single bit of that. As it should be. But this book is also intense, dark, and heartbreaking, and you really don’t see that gut punch coming because five seconds before you were laughing at a hilarious joke. Even though I knew something was coming, Shanker and Zekas totally shocked and horrified me (in the good way). This series is surprisingly brutal, and that’s why I love the fuck out of it. But also, HOW COULD YOU?!?!?! That last battle scene was so intense that I actually couldn’t always tell quite what was happening, and that’s basically the only qualm I have with this book at all.

This series is fucking fantastic. If you enjoy laughing a lot and getting gut punched, you absolutely must buy these because they are the best. (Even if they are the reason that I will never ever be able to quit Swoon Reads.)

Profile Image for Nouf *LostinFantasy*.
145 reviews126 followers
March 27, 2017
Actual rating: 4.5/5 stars. (Rounded down to 4 Goodreads stars - which means I still love it a lot! ;) )

“I would do terrible things for the ones I love, Miss Wyndham.”

I think I wrote my first Goodreads review for the first book in this trilogy, These Vicious Masks (yay for me completing a year of writing reviews!). That book got me out of a reading slump, and was just all around a fun ride with its charm, humor, surprises, and wonderful characters.

A year later now, and I can say I enjoyed the sequel just as much - or more - for the same reasons!

A trilogy about characters with strange and unique abilities in a Victorian setting - it was described as X-Men meets Jane Austen in the first book's blurb. But what makes the story stand out? It's so wonderfully witty and charming in narration and characters, but then also so unpredictably intense and heart-wrenching.
One minute it feels like a light and fun read with fast paced action, and then it takes a turn to shock you with an emotional punch!

*Plot: This sequel starts with Evelyn still dealing with the aftermath of losing her sister, Rose, and wishing for Sebastian's return - who blames himself for her death. But then she reluctantly joins an organization - along with Mr. Kent and a few of her friends - called the Society of Aberrations that recruits people with abilities like Evelyn. She doesn't trust them but they promise to guide them to do good, and they help her find Sebastian with a way to control his deadly power!
But of course, Evelyn goes on another investigation trying to uncover the society's secrets while struggling to keep her friends safe. There's some mystery, dangerous adventures, and serious twists and shockers that come up!

*Characters: While the plot does not disappoint, the characters are what make this series so irresistible!

I thought Evelyn was a great narrator in the first book, unique because of her dry humor I enjoyed so much, and her strong determination. All that is still present in this book, but i think there is a change in her after losing her sister. She's stronger and softer in different ways - she's protective of her friends (especially over Mr. Braddock) and people like her - but she's also even more desperate and rash than she was before. Mostly, it's the challenges in this book that push all the characters farther than before.
But yeah, Evelyn makes it as one of my favorite female protagonists in YA.

And of course, besides a great heroine, we have two dashing heroes here - the charming Nicholas Kent and the brooding Sebastian Braddock. How often do you have a triangle in a series and end up adoring all the characters? But forget the triangle part (it's barely even that any more) -- both characters are just so wonderful and likable.

But I have to say that for me, Mr. Kent is my favorite in this book!
Mr. Kent never hid his worse qualities.
He wore them like badges.

I didn't know what to make of him exactly in the first book (but definitely enjoyed his nonstop wit), but he has so much more room to shine in this book. He still has the best lines, with so much humor and a clever edge, but he also really proves to be a loyal and protective ally to Evelyn. And I like that while he's definitely one of the good guys, he's also not so totally morally set. But still so endearing!
“Why, Miss Wyndham,” Mr. Kent replied, looking as chaste and good as a debutante at her presentation to the Queen. “I think we can all agree it’s fair to punish these guilty people feigning innocence every day of their lives, all while helping a wrongfully accused innocent. I would certainly never ask you, but I suspect you agree.”

“You cannot simply blackmail people into liking me!”

It makes his power to force out the truth every time he asks any question even more interesting - or just fun:
Another portal crackled open. “Good God, where are we, the sun?” Mr. Kent shouted.
"No,” our whole group answered in unison.
He shot me an apologetic look. “That one was meant to be rhetorical.”

(I could keep adding quotes and I'm stopping myself, because I think mostly all my highlights are Mr. Kent lines!)
And he's still in love with Evelyn and doesn't hide it. There's a couple of swoon-worthy scenes, but they were actually funny too with his inappropriate timing and declarations. He's adorable. But what I liked most was that his role here isn't just as a love interest - he is just as involved and part of the plot as Evelyn this time.

Now *drum roll* onto Sebastian Braddock!
There was a distinct difference to Sebastian’s kindness. It wasn’t a selfish sort, like mine or Mr. Kent’s, which favored the people we liked. His was all-encompassing, without reservation, a kindness that made me want to be better and find a way to make the Society the place he believed it was and wanted it to be.

All the goodness and guilt and pain in this one beautiful tragic haracter - and he just breaks my heart. With the worst power imaginable (he's like a literal walking plague), of course he's always described as brooding. He still blames himself for Rose's death, even though Evelyn doesn't. And even when she finds him a "cure", she knows he's engaged to a good friend of hers. But still Evelyn wants so badly to protect him, and the angst between them reaches fever pitches in this book - and it just makes me want then together even more. As much as I love Mr. Kent, you know it's Sebastian for Evelyn!

What bothered me, though, is that there isn't enough of Sebastian in this book. He's still a huge part of the book and Evelyn's story but he's just not there as much as he was in the first book. I think plot-wise it makes sense for now, but whenever he's back on the page, it's always intense and you want more! But it seems like he'll have a much bigger presence in the third book - or so I hope!

Okay, now this hidden in the "spoiler" brackets is a huge spoiler, so please don't peek at it if you haven't read the book yet!

All the characters were great. There are more fun powers revealed (and some terrifying ones) with the new characters, both allies and enemies! And we have a mysterious villain, and a shady organization with morally dubious characters.

*This isn't really a complaint, since it doesn't really bring the plot or anything down, but if I had to pick one thing I wasn't impressed with, it would be the Society of Aberrations. They just didn't feel like the 'big league' government branch they claimed to be. (Again major spoilers in there if you haven't read the book -->) Maybe it's because they were supposed to remain slightly mysterious in this book? I hope that the third book will focus and expand more on the Society, who they all are, and their plans for people with powers. I mean there's a lot of potential there.

*Overall , this sequel has everything the first book did and more. It has all the elements in a story that I would love, and it's not too dense or thick in pages. And yet, it still doesn't fail to make you invest emotionally in the characters and plot.
**More twists, fast paced suspense, swoon-worthy and angsty romance, awesome characters -- all things to love.

And that ending just made the third book one of the most awaited releases next year for me! I just cannot imagine I have to wait a whole year now!
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,125 reviews458 followers
May 2, 2017
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

These Ruthless Deeds is the second installment in the These Vicious Masks series by the dynamic duo Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas. The story picks up shortly after the end of These Vicious Masks. Protagonist Evelyn Wyndham has thrown herself into trying to help others after a heart breaking loss. Others who have the power of telekinesis, and a variety of other powers that would make the X-Men sit up and take notice.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews 05/02/2017

Profile Image for Hailee (haibooklovers).
489 reviews88 followers
March 8, 2017
Actual Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Full review up on the blog!

Let me tell you how much I loved this book: SO MUCH. Like its predecessor, These Ruthless Deeds is more plot-driven than character-driven. Not usually my jam, but these books make it work! The series had been pitched to me as a sort of cross between X-Men and Jane Austen, and it’s wildly accurate. Except I've never seen an X-Men movie or read any of the comic books...so, I'm not an expert. No judging me.

Superpowers, academies for said superpowers, and so much snark. Like, laugh out loud funny. A pair of young gentlemen are referred to as “asinine stallions” at one point. How can that not make you chuckle? But don't let the chuckling blind you to the fact that there's some serious gore and heartbreak in here also! So if in fact the X-Men comparison is on point, I'll need to go ahead and watch X-Men. Somebody help me out here.

The plot was never slow, but gracious that ending! Likely even more pulse-pounding than the last one. I wouldn’t call it a light read, because there are some downright disturbing scenes, but gosh is it fun. Not the disturbing bits…but the rest of it. I promise I’m not a weirdo.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Tricia Levenseller.
Author 16 books12.3k followers
April 3, 2017
These books are so fantastic. The dialogue is so enjoyable, and I love the X-Men feeling this whole series possesses. Historical fantasy is my favorite genre, and Shanker and Zekas do it so well!
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,131 reviews437 followers
April 14, 2017
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

These Vicious Masks was one of my favourite debuts from 2016, and I was overjoyed when I both won a copy of the sequel, and was approved for an advance copy via NetGalley. In These Ruthless Deeds, Evelyn is coming to terms with the death of her sister Rose, and also her new tangled powers of healing people. She has joined forces with The Society, a group of other gifted people, and she now has people to turn to when she is struggling with her abilities. Her old friends Mr Kent and Mr Braddock are still around, and she's instrumental in finding, and helping, other people just like her. However, she's also struggling to balance her life in The Society, and life in Society, for the Season, when she starts to consider that just what she's doing, might not be the best thing for everyone, and she might be being used to helps others gain.

I love anything to do with the Regency era, and adding fantasy elements to that time is always a good thing. This book was so well researched, and well written, that it felt as if it was reality, and I was more watching a film, than reading a book. Evelyn is such a good narrator, and her growth as a person, growing into her abilities, is awe inspiring. Understandable, she's apprehensive around The Society, but she does warm to them, and begins to develop friendships, and a kind of new family, with them. Her own family isn't the best, especially as her mother is pushing her into an engagement and marriage with the most boring person ever, just because he's titled, and his mother is influential in the Ton, and her father has nothing about him, other than gambling away their fortune and reputation.

The plot is ridiculously good. It's fast paced, and exciting, and there was never a moment that I felt like something was unnecessary or boring. Everything was just right, and I'm beside myself with excitement for the next book in the series, because with each one, the story is getting better and better.

There's romance in this book - obviously, when it's published by Swoon Reads - and I much prefer Mr Kent to Mr Braddock, but that's not to say that I don't like Braddock, just that Kent has something more about him. These two characters, and the other characters were all interesting, even the ones that you hate, or grow to dislike throughout the course of the book. I think all lovers of historical YA or fantasy need to have this series on their radar, and I look forward to the next instalment because I love Evelyn and this series so much!
Profile Image for Rê .
455 reviews56 followers
March 15, 2017

3.5 “I’ll take a Mr. Kent, please” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Swoon Reads.

After enjoying These Vicious Masks, I jumped right into These Ruthless Deeds to follow Evelyn, Mr. Kent and Mr. Braddock to their next adventure. At first, I had to keep myself entertained with only Evelyn—not that this was a problem because Evelyn is strong and funny enough to keep the story interesting—but as soon as Mr. Kent came back into scene I remembered why I liked this story so much.

Sure, the whole X-Men abilities in Victorian era is what makes the story unique, but Mr. Kent was what made it truly engaging and interesting to me.

The story starts with Evelyn mourning the loss of her sister. I was right with her, since I couldn’t believe after everything she had gone through Rose was dead! I wanted to keep my review of book 1 spoiler free, so I didn’t rant about this, but here I can: Dude, that was totally heartbreaking and unfair. Rose and Evelyn deserved better. Even Mr. Braddock deserved better. Poor guy had to live with knowing he had killed Rose! No wonder he went M.I.A.

To try to keep herself from falling apart, Evelyn focuses on finding people with powers and helping them. That’s how she finds the Society—the same one who funded the crazy doctor that abducted Rose and caused all the chaos in book 1. She’s reluctant to join them at first, but once Mr. Kent (WELCOME BACK, BABY!) and the rest of her friends decide they want in, Evelyn finally relents. They also make tons of promises that they’re only looking to help people like her.

This was totally me:


I didn’t believe that for a second, and I was kind of surprised Mr. Kent and Evelyn fell for it. Sure they were reluctant, but they actually joined in. I thought their reaction would be a bit different given everything that had happened in book 1, but I was willing to go with it. Especially because it meant Evelyn and Mr. Kent would be spending more time together. With Mr. Braddock temporarily out of the way, I was hoping Evelyn would finally realize she had feelings for her friend.

It didn’t exactly go as I planned in the romance department, but it went as predicted in the “the Society will screw you” one. After going into some missions with the excuse of helping others, Evelyn discovers the Society was more into imprisoning people with powers than anything else. Once they challenged them, people Mr. Kent and Evelyn loved the most got hurt. So it was time they started another mess to try to get out from the one they were already living in. Meaning: it was time for action.

Things moved fast in this book. Maybe faster than the last time, but there was still time to introduce new characters. We got to see a little bit me of the guy we met in the epilogue who could cross walls, then we met a girl who could explode things just by staring at it (0ne of my favorite new characters) and a girl who could control the weather (another kickass female character I want to see more of). We’re also finally introduced to Catherine, Evelyn’s best friend. Although she has no super powers, she’s smart and loving and interesting. Yay for girl power here!

Now, about the boys… I’m officially, irrevocably on Team Mr. Kent. For some reason, Mr. Braddock has lost its appeal completely. I can’t ship him with Evelyn anymore. Maybe that’s because while we got to spend more and more time with Mr. Kent, we spent less and less with Mr. Braddock and I’m at a point where I can’t even understand why Evelyn thinks she likes him.

No matter who Evelyn chooses, I can’t see myself moving teams. Not when Mr. Kent continues to use his powers in the cleverest ways. Not while he keeps making me laugh.

"Now sir, I don't want to force you. Only if you wouldn't mind sharing--what are your cards?""A king and a five," the man said, red-faced and very frustrated with his slip."How generous of you to say. I will take another card, please," Mr. Kent said to the croupier.He smiled upon receiving his third card and when all the cards were overturned, he was declared the winner again. His winnings doubled.

It’ll always be Mr. Kent for me.


Enough about Mr. Kent... For now.

Something else I liked about this book was how it continued the theme from the last one: the importance of family and how loving someone can lead to so much happiness, but also a lot of destruction if you’re not careful.

These Ruthless Deeds moved a lot faster than the first book, but it was always moving by the same thing: Evelyn’s love for her dead sister. She got involved in this superpower stuff because of Rose and she continued down that path also because of Rose. She was often thinking about what Rose would want her to do if she was alive. And towards the end, Evelyn’s love created a lot of chaos. I mean, when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.

That ending?? I’m not even sure what to think about it yet. On one hand, I understand why she chose what she did and find it hard to judge her. On the other hand, I’m judging the heck out of her.


Even though I suspect there was some powerful influence there clouding her decision-making abilities. I guess we’ll see if I’m right or not. I’m afraid the authors will have to work hard here to make me like Evelyn the way I did before.

Overall, this was a good sequel and it ended with a bomb that will leave readers anxious for the next book. There will be a next book, right? Because I can’t go too long without my Mr. Kent fix. Gimme more, please!
Profile Image for Monique V.
548 reviews67 followers
May 10, 2017
What is this pain inside my chest!??? WELL THAT IS WHAT IS LEFT OF MY HEART AFTER THIS BOOK

I liked the first book but I LOVED This one. We get all our favorite characters from the first book back for new adventures, plus a lot of new characters. Some you will hate others you will love, but they all add to the plot and they made this world feel so large.

So many things happen in this book! After this book I feel like the authors can write a lot of books in this series. They set up a lot plot lines that I feel cannot be solved in three books. I am so excited to see where this goes.
Now that ending!!! I have read so many cruel endings but this one.... oh this ending was just savage! I really want the next book now! give it to me!!

If you like pride and prejudice and X-men then you need to pick up this series soon!!
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,229 followers
March 6, 2017
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I absolutely adored the first book in this series, so I was beyond excited to start reading These Ruthless Deeds. And it was a pretty great sequel, if not but a little predictable.

Here's the thing: the prologue made things so obvious to me. I like when a prologue teases things to come, but I still want to be relatively surprised when it comes to fruition. So, maybe skip that? Also, it was ridiculously easy for me to guess who the mysterious villain was, despite the red herrings. I almost wanted to be wrong because of how sure I was.

Still, there's never a dull moment for these 19th century would-be superheroes. Evelyn is being forced back into her role as debutante, but she still flouts decorum at every turn, especially in her duties for the Society. I love that this girl questions everything, even when everyone else is basically telling her to let it be. Evelyn is a true heroine, even if things don't always rarely go accordingly to plan.

There weren't nearly enough swoons for me in this sequel, though there are all manner of declarations of love. But, seriously, one kiss? Ugh, and the love triangle...don't get me started on it. Because I legitimately like both guys. I think I'm probably pulling for the one who won't make the cut, but that's my cross to bear.

Oy, and then that ending! It basically took everything awful that happened in book one and multiplied it by 100 to leave us with the most maddening ending ever. I kind of wanted to throw the book while simultaneously wanting to re-read it ten more times while I wait for the next book. So, while I didn't like this sequel quite as much as the first book, I maintain that any book that can make me want to cause bodily harm after reading it has effectively done its job. ;0)

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Cassie-la.
523 reviews63 followers
April 10, 2017
ORIGINALLY POSTED: https://bibliomantics.com/2017/04/09/...

The follow up to last year’s X-Men/Jane Austen novel These Vicious Masks suffers slightly from second book syndrome, with totally expected twists, obnoxious new characters and the heroine choosing the wrong boy in her love triangle. Despite these problems however, These Ruthless Deeds more than makes up for them with that shocking ending.
Profile Image for Erin.
477 reviews4 followers
January 26, 2017
I love these books!! While still a lot of fun, this one was also much darker, loved that. I also hope it's safe to assume we can expect a third book ...
Profile Image for loise✨.
141 reviews
April 25, 2017
I absolutely enjoyed These Vicious Masks and it baffles me that I wasn't as emotionally invested in this one as I was in the first book. I mean, the plot is actually good, predictable but still good. And there's Mr. Kent, which I ADORED in this book. He's my sunshine, I love him. Although, I'm officially Team Braddock, I really appreciate the authors doing Mr. Kent the right kind of justice his role deserves. See, you don't have to throw someone under the bus or murder his character just because the main girl character didn't choose him as her love interest. It's a universal fact that Evelyn and Sebastian belong to each other. There's no argument in that. But I find Sebastian too brooding and too little in the story. Well, given the events of his life, I know he has a lot too brood about but sometimes I can't help raising an eyebrow.

Seriously though, this sequel has all the right ingredients I want in a story but there's obviously something wrong with me when I was reading it because I didn't feel deeply connected with it as I should've been. I was in one of those inexplicable moods, you know -- still am, actually. And I regret reading it while I am on this unfeeling state. BUT I STILL RECOMMEND THIS.
Profile Image for Sara.
263 reviews365 followers
February 22, 2018
Ovviamente avendo letto il primo libro, dovevo assolutamente fiondarmi sul secondo! (soprattutto dopo quel finale.)
Devo dire di averlo apprezzato anche più del primo grazie all'aggiunta di altri personaggi che sono entrati nel mio cuore e poi l'hanno distrutto. Apprezzo di questa serie il fatto che non nasconda la morte che finisce inevitabilmente per seguire i nostri personaggi, d'altronde stiamo pur parlando di "guerra" tra personaggi con poteri strabilianti. Nonostante tutto ha i suoi bei momenti allegri che mi hanno strappato diverse risate inaspettate.
Consigliatissimo anche questo!
Non vedo l'ora di poter leggere la conclusione della trilogia tra una settimana.
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