Mask of Shadows ★★☆☆☆

2 stars

I was really excited to read this book and I was sadly disappointed. Even though I loved certain aspects of the novel, I just found it a little flat. It was just lacking. This book is going to be released in September of this year but I don’t think that I will be recommending this book to anyone.

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that fact in no way affected my review in any way*

Goodreads summary:

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

My Review:

So this book has a gender fluid main character, which would be really cool if the character had any substance. I ended up getting bored with the character, Sal, and found the quest for revenge tiresome. I feel like the character should have been further developed and because they weren’t, the book just fell short of anything above 3 stars.

That being said, there were some interesting parts in the book that kept me interested in reading, even though I already knew what was going to happen. That’s another thing, this book is incredibly predictable and that kind of made me want to consider it a DNF book. But I kept reading. Can’t say that it would have made a difference, though. I basically figured out the end within the first hundred pages.

Throughout this book, there is a seemingly forced and unrealistic romance between the main character and a young noble. To me, this seemed like an attempt from the author to get the reader to feel more connected to the character. It really didn’t work. I found both characters to be boring and 2-dimensional. Neither was particularly interesting and I found myself skimming their dialog.

Then there’s the plot about the kingdoms and revenge and all this stuff that isn’t talked about enough or made important enough for the reader to care about. It was such a yawn to read about the politics of the kingdom because I just didn’t care. I could see in some areas that the author would try and get the reader interested in the politics and the corruptness of the government but it fell short. It never kept me interested. I never felt the anger that Sal feels, I never felt his need for revenge. That is the biggest flaw with this book I think, the inability for the reader to connect with the main character.

I really doubt that I will be reading any other books in this duology because I could really care less about the characters or the plot of the story for that matter. While I hate talking bad about a book, I just found this one to be boring and forgettable. For this reason, among others, I will do not recommend this to anyone unless they don’t mind boring characters and a predictable and boring plot.

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4 comments

  1. Even though this one didn’t work for you, thank you for posting a review of it. Lots of bloggers are nervous posting negative/critical reviews, and we shouldn’t be. Sounds like you got a lot further in this book than I would have, boring characters with no development and shoddy worldbuilding, i don’t think I would have lasted 50 pages!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a little hesitant about the review but I thought it was worth getting my thoughts out! I had such high hopes for the book and I think that was the main reason I actually got through it all! I just kept hoping it would get better and that sadly wasn’t the case.

      Like

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