Reviews tagging Slavery

The Mask of Mirrors, by M.A. Carrick

6 reviews

ariel790's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.25

Decent read. 

The story had plenty of mystery and adventure to keep me reading. However, there were many places it fell short. Moments that were rushed through that if the author(s) had taken more time to describe, it would have elevated it to another level. As I read, I wanted it elevated to be able to immerse myself into the story without needing to guess and fill in the blanks, but that never really happened. Don't get me wrong, details are given, but more so on world building by describing location with emphasize given on the story's tarot card/astrology equivalent. Where I felt it lacked, was often during the action - how that made a character feel, or what they were motivated by in the moment. Other places, importance was given on the differences in the cultures or races, but this difference was never really explained, only glossed over. Some of the minor characters were not described at all beyond their name. Some things just existed without a how or why given. Often times, this left me with more questions than answers.

The main issues were resolved, with some mystery opened up for the sequel - and because there is sequel with further chance for the author to delve more into the world and explain the intricacies where I felt it lacked, I'd say at least worth a read, if you have the time. Wouldn't suggest it as a top priority though.

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valpuri's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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astroprojection's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I liked this a lot. I think the world-building and politicking were pretty interesting and I loved the focus on clothes and fashion, whether it was Tess’s outfits for Ren or Vargo’s peak Slutty Crime Boss Ensembles. I especially loves the magical girl-esque transformation scene at the same end lmao, it was unexpected but stuck to the aesthetic so I dug it. I also like that as a first novel in a series, it had a plot that was developed and resolved so, while we do have some lingering threads, it’s not like we have a whole cliffhanger or anything. I did think the accents were kind of all over the place in the audiobook (not the reader’s fault but more so how haphazardly the settings in the book were mapped to different English accents).

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rubyhosh's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25


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bookforthought's review

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adventurous slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

What a ride this book was! I mean, only by reading the blub I knew this was a book for me: a con artist, a vigilante and crime lord, plus magic? Count me in for the ride!

Ren was an absolute joy as a main character and I loved, loved, loved following her. She definitely has everything it takes to pull off such an elaborate con: she's incredibly smart and knows how to manipulate people, using her knowledge, beauty and talent for disguise to their full effect. She's also fiercely loyal, and I adored her relationship with her sister Tess. Multiple POVs alternate throughout the book, and I think that worked extremely well.

I ended up feeling really invested in all the key characters. Each of them had their share of dangerous secrets, and they were all extremely well-rounded and multilayered. Special shoutouts to Vargo, a crime lord trying to work his way into local nobility, and Serrado, the conflicted captain who wants to use the guards' resources to benefit the lower classes instead of the rich. I loved these two so much!

But this is just scratching the surface. In this book there are so. many. characters! The cast is extremely varied and diverse, and it got to the point where I really struggled to remember who everyone was (especially when some of the names look quite similar). I did find out that there was a character list at the end, which I hadn't realised up until I got there (joys of reading the e-arc version!), and I would have definitely consulted it frequently if I had! There was also a glossary, which again would have been very useful had I noticed its existence before getting to the end of the book, since I struggled with remembering a lot of this world's vocabulary. Definitely won't make that mistake again!

The world itself was beautifully built, with its complex society and history. I particularly liked that characters came from different backgrounds, and seeing the world through their eyes made it easier to understand the ethnic, religious and class conflict in the book. The local traditions were especially interesting, and so crucial to the plot, that it was a great pleasure to just learn more about them. The descriptions were quite detailed, which often was nice, but sometimes felt just a tad too long, and didn't really help the pace.

Now, the pace was where my biggest issue with this book was. I often have this problem with adult fantasy books, so it's most likely a case of "it's not you, it's me", but for a large part of the book it just felt as if I was stuck in a loop: it didn't matter how much I read in a sitting, I just wasn't moving forward. As I said, I loved the characters and I enjoyed spending time with them, and the plot was engaging, full of twists and turns and danger and revelations, but still... somehow the pace felt off. Again, this is most probably me rather than the book itself, but it took something away from the experience for me.

Overall, though, The Mask of Mirrors was a really great read. Filled with engaging characters, a complex world, lies, danger, magic and a gripping plot, it's the perfect companion in these long, cold winter days. I'll take the rest of this trilogy now, please and thank you, I need to know what Ren gets up to next!

For this and more reviews, visit Book for Thought.

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.


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erin_lovell's review

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challenging dark mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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