Book – Masks
Author – Amara Lynn
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 72
Cover – Pretty
POV – 1st person
Would I read it again – Yes
Genre – LGBT, Short, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Superhero/Supervillain
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
This was a really lovely story. The writing was on point, with a great balance between description and characterisation. The characters were relatable, loveable and straddled that boundary between good and bad, in a way that was nice to see. The POV, for a change, was of the so-called villain, which I loved.
Avari is a bit o fa loner loser and I love him. He's snarky, pessimistic, sarcastic, serious and completely unsuited to a campus lifestyle. He's a bookish, poor orphan with a secret – black wings – with no idea what he is or what he can do, other than harbour a secret pyromania tendency. He's jaded, lonely and secretly wants to be invited to join in the frivolities, but makes himself unapproachable so that he won't be disappointed or rejected. Chayton is intriguing right from the first day he meets Avari; more carefree, he doesn't let Avari's standoffish nature get to him. Together, they're something amazingly sweet and awkward. As college kids, you'd expect a lot of heat, but these guys are a little more tame, because they've been unloved and unwanted most of their lives, both have trouble trusting others and making friends. So the heat level is really low; their relationship is limited to some sweetly intense kisses and teeenage-level attraction/intimacy. But, it's perfect for the characters and who they are. The story doesn't need more than what is provided.
It was interesting to have a main character that was basically villain material; Avari is a total fire starter, with his own magic, obsessed with fire and how it functions. He begins to use that power indiscriminately, burning cars and billboards until he's almost caught and decides to adopt a disguise. It's a true superhero/supervillain story, but with an original twist that I loved.
Overall, this was a really sweet, loveable story that I'll be coming back to again in the future. Very enjoyable and the perfect length to do the story justice.
“Eventually, it would sink into Chayton's head that I wasn't interested in any of the dull socialization in which most people engaged. A couple more failed attempts and he would stop trying. It really was nothing personal towards Chayton. I didn't trust anyone. Especially not someone so nice.”