Published: April 12, 2016
Received: Copy from publisher
Rating: DNF page 79 (26%)
Call this one a case of reader/book incompatibility, because I could not get into Masks and Shadows at all. The setting had a vague "Eastern European" feel to it where I can't help picturing everyone walking around with fake Dracula accents. The characters ranged from irritating to bland, but all cardboardy, and I couldn't connect with any of them.
The dastardly mystery felt hokey and forced, which was super disappointing because with features like murder, secret mystical groups of shady intent, hidden alliances, and magic, I figured I was going to love this. But, no, it all felt very paint-by-numbers with no heart.
And, speaking of heart, the romance was...icky. I'm sorry, I just couldn't wrap my head around a romance between dull, main-ish character Charlotte and jerky Carlo Morelli, a castrato.
Maybe if one of these things worked for me, if I clicked with Charlotte or if the mystery was more engaging or if the setting sucked me in or if Carlo was a likable person or if the romance was swoony, ONE thing and maybe I could have made it work.
As it was, I had to force myself to read this because I SO wanted to love it (I adore Stephanie Burgis's Kat books), but, no, Masks and Shadows is not the book for me.
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