Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Mask

Hooray for me!
That's right, I got an advance (SIGNED!) copy of The Mask from one of my favorite authors, Taylor Stevens.  You may remember that I got an ARC to review her last novel, The Catch (because I am Just. That. Cool.) Go ahead and take a peep - we'll wait.

Two words: LOVED. IT.

It was subtly different than the others - each book we get a little glimpse closer to the heart of Vanessa Michael Munroe. The Mask let us see a bit of a softer side, at least for awhile. I always hope she's able to find some inner peace if not outright happiness...
Then the action ramps up again.

She's ruthless and deadly, and if you're a fan of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D, you'll know what I mean when I say she's even more badass than Melinda May. She's feral and sometimes conscienceless when it comes to the bad guys, but she does her best to aid those who really need help, even though it's often begrudgingly.
Her heart and soul may often be in jeopardy of being completely consumed by the Dark, but it's a testament to her sheer strength of will that she can (mostly) control the primal urge to kill when attacked.
She endures.

Munroe is a person of intensity and extremes - extreme reactions, extreme control, extreme response. However, although there was still plenty of excitement and fighting, I liked the fact that The Mask had a more cerebral/mind game center...and the author managed to create a continuous thread of anxiety that made me keep turning pages well into the wee hours, because I had to know what was coming, what was happening next.

Where there IS action and fighting and, let's say it, KILLIN', it is well described so that the images form easily in my imagination. That's one of my favorite things about Taylor's writing style, because some authors just don't have that knack and I hate having to struggle to visualize the scene, or actually stop reading in order to try to picture it in my mind. That spoils the flow for me.

Without any spoilers, I just want to say that I'd hoped for a little different ending...but that's not the author's fault. I know that the author has to go where the characters take her. I wasn't disappointed in the ending at all...just hoped for something else. BUT THAT IS OKAY BECAUSE ANOTHER BOOK SOON, YES, TAYLOR STEVENS???? :)

I know, I know, I didn't tell you what the book was about. I don't like to write book reports - you can read the blurbs and excerpts on amazon and goodreads and other review sites. I'm telling you what I liked about The Mask. It should be obvious that I liked the plot.
So let me say this: if you are not familiar with Taylor Stevens and her Vanessa Michael Munroe (and if that's the case, why not? were you not paying attention the last time I reviewed on of her books??), then the beginning of The Mask might be a little confusing because you won't know any of the backstory of Vanessa and Miles.
SO HERE IS WHAT YOU DO: Pre-order The Mask, and while you wait for its release date on June 30th, go ahead and buy (or check out at the library) book #1 in the series, The Informationist. Then book #2, and so on.
And as I mentioned in the last review (still true): Sometimes the good guys wear the black hats, not the halos.

That is all.
Have a day.

**oh right, I forgot the Crap I Have To Say: Yes, I was given an advance copy of this book - as a prize in a giveaway drawing by the author. There was no agreement to review, but had there been such an agreement, AS ALWAYS MY OPINIONS ARE MY OWN and nobody is the boss of me or tells me what to write.

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