Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What is Hidden

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of What Is Hidden.

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

This is my first read by Lauren Skidmore, and I believe her debut novel, so Congratulations!

This reads as a clean romance with an element of suspense, genre wise, so keep that in mind.

It is easy to engage with the characters. Evie is strong, talented, smart, resilient, and independent. All the things I like in a heroine. The hero's a good catch too! But, I won't spoil Aiden for you. The romance stems from a solid friendship and it's easy to see when the lines get blurry.

I was thrilled with the setting - an old version of Venice. Not surprising, given my love of all things Italian. I found the concept of the masks and the aversion to having one's face seen intriguing. The masks worn by the people in this society reveal loads about what they do and who they are. The cover is gorgeous!

The writing, pacing, and character development are all up to snuff. The descriptions really add to the beauty of the book.

I have just a few questions regarding the ending. And these aren't true spoilers, but you can skip them if you're concerned. What happened to the Chameleon? And, who was the girl with him? Where is the girl he searched for and why did he blame the prince for her disappearance? Who did he work for? Will someone else take his place? I don't like lose ends, especially in mysteries. They bug me. So, now I'm wondering if there will be a sequel to answer my questions. Sigh.

I hope to read more from Ms. Skidmore. She's totally made me a fan.

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