Overall Score: 8/10
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Yes, Book 2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Book 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…
After reading These Vicious Masks, I was totally hooked on this series. These Ruthless Deeds, the second installment, did not disappoint any of my expectations. All of my favorite characters were back and I loved this fast-paced, fun read.
While the first book was more focused on an investigation, These Ruthless Deeds was about Evelyn and her friends finding their place in their world. The middle of the book floundered somewhat due to the introduction to the Society. Between Evelyn’s introduction to them and her unearthing of a secret, not a whole lot happens. Some of the tensions present in the first book had disappeared, potentially due to the lack of semi-illicit activities and adventures that marked Evelyn’s search for her sister in the first book.
One of the things I loved about this book was the development of the romance. It was full of delicious miscommunications, misunderstandings, and pride. While I am still very much rooting for Sebastian, I did gain a greater appreciation for Mr. Kent. The darker side of all of the character’s powers were explored, which allowed for the relationships for the characters to deepen and develop further.
The world-building in this series continued to be good (although not great). Some questions were answered in this installment and additional questions were raised, hopefully to be answered in the future. Additionally, it was very interesting to see the new powers that were introduced. This book had a wonderful exploration of morality, I continually questioned whether certain characters were heroes or villains. As the book progressed, it became steadily darker. It addressed the question of “what happens if you do the right thing for the wrong reasons?”
Overall, this was a very action-driven, fast-paced, fun read. I cannot wait for the third installment in this series (particularly after that ending). I would recommend this book, and series, for fans of young adult historical fantasy.