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City of Masks (Bone Mask Trilogy #1)

Write on: Tue, 01 Aug 2017 by  in SPFBO - ROUND 1 5368 comments Read 105224

City of Masks is the first book in the Bone Masks trilogy by Ashley Capes.

Told from three different third-person POVs, everyone started separately with seemingly different backgrounds and stories. Notch, who’s trying to clear his name, after being accused of killing a girl, Sofia, who’s been tasked to be the first female Protector of the Monarchy in a hundred years and has to learn how to use the legendary sentient Greatmasks named Argeon, and, finally, Ain, who is on a quest of revenge against Anaskar, the city Sofia is trying to protect. The plot started and ended strongly, fast paced, lots of actions, and there’s always something going on within each page, plus the last sequences also turned out to be quite a culmination of every plot thread prepared since the beginning. 

However, this is also where one of the main problem I had with the book existed. The middle sections of this book ended up being quite boring for me to go through because there isn’t enough character development that should made me care about them and their fate. Oh believe me these characters always ended up in trouble, especially Sofia, but like I said, I can’t feel the tensions that were supposed to be there because I just can't connect myself with the characters. This is especially true for the side characters, there are so many side characters appearing without a stop at the beginning, but aside from two or three characters, they all sounded the same because they don’t have the proper background and necessary personality given to them so they will have their own voices.

Notch’s and Sofia’s story began and ended strong, no doubt about it, but for Ain, I can’t help but feel his story can be cut down almost completely and it won’t matter. Throughout the entire book, Ain’s story felt completely disjointed from Notch and Sofia. Yes they all do meet up and intertwined eventually but by that point, it was too late for Ain to fully implement his presence into the story of the other protagonists. It made me feel like I was reading two different books within one.

The world-building is quite praiseworthy. Filled with history and great description of city of Anaskar, I never had any trouble imagining the settings and background of the world. Also, part of the reason why the beginning and ending of this book were really strong is because it truly revolves around Agreon, the sentient, bizarre Greatmask that could grant powers and knowledge to the user. Maybe Capes is saving it for future sequels, but I wish there were more of it because it’s definitely the strongest part of the book.

The prose is simple and easy to read but there are some phrases that sounds a bit awkward that made me lose my immersion. One thing to note, there's only one typo I found throughout the entire book, which is something quite rare to find from my experience in reading Indie books.

Overall, as an installment, City of Masks is an okay book, it could be better, but as a trilogy, it’s a good start because although the main plot started and ended within one book, we can feel that there’s still a lot of mystery and intrigues that the author saved for the sequels.

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 August 2017 18:26

Petrik has been a gamer and reader since he was 5 years old. Not once did he thought back then that these two passion of his will last a lifetime, turns out they will. His favorite genres are Adult Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark and Sci-Fi.