ARC Review—Mask by Andrea Fink

I snagged an ARC of Andrea Fink’s upcoming release, Mask (A Four Regions Story). From the blurb:

Emily thought magic only existed in the books she read as a child. When a handsome stranger enlists her help to uncover who tried to kill the princess of another world, she learns those books were more than just stories. She discovers the Four Regions – a realm where magical creatures fled to escape human persecution. It is there Emily finds the power, passion, and friendships she had always secretly craved.
The determined demon who guides her.
The irresistible vampire who entices her.
The excitable demoness who supports her.
The quiet elf who understands her.
Now Emily must unmask a murderer while wearing a mask herself, resisting a growing temptation that could ruin her newfound family.

The premise includes some well-loved tropes, which we’ve been talking about on Instagram this week thanks to #CampNaNoOrNot20. Secret Princess, In Love With the Monster, Trapped in Another World, Masquerade (a fave of mine), Powers in the First Episode, and Interspecies Romance/Hybrid Offspring to name a few. Fink has a solid grasp of these tropes, and puts them all to good use with a spin of her own.

In telling Emily’s story, Fink has pulled off some plot elements that impressed and entertained me in a richly layered world, with intricate rules and politics. I had many questions by the end, which is good since Fink plans to continue this into a series.

Mask uses a little too much tell vs. show for my taste, the plot lingered in places that did not work for me, and some ends were tied up in a way that was too convenient to satisfy me, which is why I gave it only three stars. In the end, Fink has hooked me enough that I’m likely to go on into her series and see where she grows as an author, and where the story goes, including if some of the consequences I was hoping for come into play.

You can find a preorder of Mask through the links at its Goodreads page. It debuts August 11th, 2020.

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