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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...
“This was a terrible plan.”
“Evelyn, it’s your plan.”
“Yes, but you’ve escaped from far more asylums than I have. Why wouldn’t we choose your plan?”
“Because yours was better. There’s no need to worry yet. He hasn’t even been inside for more than five minutes.”
Miss Grey was right. But her reassurances didn’t make me feel any less responsible for Oliver, our slippery new friend. Since he was the only one with a useful power for a secretive rescue, we’d saddled him with every difficult task. He had to memorize Miss Grey’s complicated map of the asylum (which was somewhat vague, being from memory), steal the keys off of a nurse, find Emily Kane’s quarters and sneak her out a side door, where we’d be waiting, doing absolutely nothing to help. If his powers failed him, he could easily get caught by a guard, stuck in a locked room, or fall down through the floor towards the center of the Earth and we wouldn’t be the wiser.
I hated feeling this useless.
"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. ... 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." —Pooled Ink
"I have to admit that I’m truly becoming obsessed with this series. The writing is humorous and brilliant. The characters are all perfection. ... Utter brilliance." —BookCrushin
"Intrigue, action, magic, swords (lots of swords), and fantastic characters await the reader in this newest installment to These Vicious Masks! ... I can't wait for the next one and the ending of this one will have you screaming for more." —Crossroad Reviews
"These Ruthless Deeds is everything the title suggests: it is ruthless, but the synergy between Shanker and Zekas allows the novel to be so much more. It is a romance, a suspense, a comedy, a fantasy, an adventure… it is everything I love in YA books and more and I cannot wait for the third and final book in this amazing series." —thebookcorps
These Vicious Masks:
"Striking a strong balance between romance and mystery, this novel captures society’s rules just as well as it does the unbelievable powers of the main characters. Readers will easily be swept up in its fast pace and sympathetic narrator, who is filled with both self-doubt and resolve to do anything to protect those she loves. This is a perfect pick for someone who wants a little magic in their Victorian novels, and its combination of historical fiction and mysticism will remind readers of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy." —Booklist
"This tale has brisk pacing, plenty of action, and a heroine with more than her fair share of girl-power confidence." —School Library Journal
"These Vicious Masks was every bit as good as I hoped! Intriguing and gorgeous from start to finish! I highly, HIGHLY recommend this engaging tale of a 19th century England society, complicated by mysterious abilities, kidnapping and a swoony, Darcy-like love interest." —The Forest of Words and Pages
Hello Swooners,When we first envisioned These Vicious Masks as a trilogy, we didn’t give it too much thought beyond the fact that it had a world and characters we knew couldn’t be contained to one book. Since then, we’ve had a lot more Thoughts–from the exciting highs of getting to stay with our characters and ...read morewriting, editing, revisions, trilogy, Tarun Shanker, Editing Update, Swoon Reads, Kelly Zekas, These Vicious Masks, authors, These Ruthless Deeds, These Vengeful Souls
Dearest Swooners, We can hardly believe it’s already been six months since These Ruthless Deeds came out, we’re rather skeptical of the fact that it’s been a year and a half since These Vicious Masks and we’re just flat-out in denial that our third book is already bringing this trilogy to an end. But we aren ...read moretrilogy, news, Tarun Shanker, new book, Kelly Zekas, These Vicious Masks, These Ruthless Deeds, These Vengeful Souls
One of the best part of writing historical fantasy and setting your stories somewhere real is that you can actually go to the locations in person. Knowing the history and the way it fits into my own story always gives me a newfound appreciation for places and details I might never notice otherwise as a tourist. And in return, those ...read moreVictorian, author, teen, historical, England, location, These Ruthless Deeds, setting, paranormal, locale, London, Tarun Shanker, young adult, Swoon Reads, Kelly Zekas, These Vicious Masks, superheroes, YA, fiction
Hello Swooners!A long long time ago, we wrote a blog post about killing off all our darlings. We tried to sound ruthless and professional and writerly and efficient. But well, we have something to tell you. To confess, rather. We, uh… We don’t actually kill our darlings. It’s more like we put-our-darlings-on-a-remote-desert-island-where-no-one-can-find-them-but-we-memorize-the-coordinates-just-in-case. And we’ve found that ...read morehistorical, novel, Swoon Reads, Kelly Zekas, These Vicious Masks, authors, superheroes, Victorian, These Ruthless Deeds, fiction, London, Tarun Shanker, scenes, YA, paranormal, powers, deleted scenes, outtakes, romance, adventure, action, young adult, sequel, teen
Oh, happy day! These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas and Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde are finally hitting the shelves!!! For those of you These Vicious Masks fanpersons out there who are dying to know what happens next to Evelyn and Co., the pulse-pounding sequel won't disappoint. And speaking of fanpersons, Jen's fun, feminist ...read moreJen Wilde, contemporary, news, pub, Pub Day, story, Swoon Reads, Kelly Zekas, funny, These Vicious Masks, fandom, humor, release, superheroes, Victorian, These Ruthless Deeds, new, day, geek, autism, Tarun Shanker, comedy, Queens of Geek, anxiety, love, fantasy, YA, paranormal, convention, romance, adventure, trilogy, young adult, book, announcement, sequel, author, teen, LGBTQIA+