The Masked Maiden by HD Gordon

Official blurb:

No good deed goes unpunished, and no one understands this better than 17-year-old Aria Fae.

Recently cast out of a secret supernatural organization where she’d spent her entire existence, Halfling Aria Fae is just getting used to her new life in Grant City… Until ghosts from her past start showing up.

A rogue supernatural known as The Scarecrow has escaped his prison, and his history with Aria makes her the crazed Warlock’s obvious target.

With the children of Grant City at stake, Aria knows she must face her past and defeat The Scarecrow once and for all, or die trying.

When things reach their worst, will the citizens of Grant City turn against their newfound young hero, or will the media and city leaders make The Masked Maiden out into a villain, and send Aria running back to her own kind?

Cover of H D Gordon's Masked Maiden

Review by Katy Haye:

Another energetic comic-book-style caper with Aria Fae and her friends.

The second in the Aria Fae series has a slower, more intriguing start than The Halfling, but the bang comes soon after and Aria is soon back on the trail of bad guys – and the baddest of them all comes from Aria’s own world.

We met old friends (I particularly liked the relationship development between Aria and Caleb. I like him more than I did in the first book), and new enemies.

I would have liked more scenes with Sam and Matt. I understood why Aria felt she had to go-it-alone and face her nemesis without them, but I would have liked a solution that meant the friends worked together more.

There’s more here about Aria’s previous life as a halfling and as a recruit to the Brokers, so expect a few flashbacks (I know some people have strong feelings on flashbacks!), but they did add good insight into Aria and the world she was forced to leave.

There was a slightly off-key moment for me when Aria’s relationship with Nick became physical. For a start, I thought she was making a mistake in choosing Nick, and then there’s the fact that Caleb is described as her boyfriend, while her relationship with Reid remains pretty ambiguous. Furthermore, from a story point of view I’m not convinced it was necessary for either the plot or character development. She’s been in love with Nick since she was eight and I think it would have been a stronger thread if that hankering had remained unfulfilled.

H.D. Gordon is particularly strong at creating cliffhanger chapter endings that mean you just have to keep on reading. There was a bit of a change of pace when Aria had to decide where her future lay, but I really enjoyed that because I didn’t guess how it was going to work out at all.

And once more, the finish provided a brilliant twist.

4 Piranhas for this sequel.

piranha stars turquoise 4

Disclosure: I received a copy of The Masked Maiden free in exchange for an honest review. That’s what I’ve given it.

Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. Check out The Last Gatekeeper and The Last Dreamseer.

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