Beneath the Mask picks up after the events in Escape the Mask. Coriko, Pippa and their friends have found life after escaping the Spears to be not quite what they had imagined. They have spent their days working on a way to escape the Grassland. However, their nights are filled with trying to avoid falling into the grasps of the Strays-the escaped children who have become wild and feral in their freedom. The night they attempt to escape the grasslands once and for all, they find their plans thwarted. The Spears, whom they thought were all dead, are in fact not.
Once again captured, the four friends face the trial of Separation. Coriko, separated from his love Pippa, finds exactly who is underneath the masks of the Spears. The life he is forced into leaves Coriko cold. In order to protect Pippa and keep her alive, he must do unspeakable deeds. But by doing these things, he runs the risk of losing Pippa's love and trust. Coriko is faced with a challenge. He needs to find out what he truly values in his life, and find a way to make that happen-even if it means finally getting free of the Grassland.
I loved having the world we were introduced to in Escape the Mask expanded. Beneath the Mask shows us who the Spears are as a culture. The book delved deeper into the struggles that Pippa, Coriko, Bran, and Tia find themselves thrown into. Where the first book showed us the changes happening in the lives of the children, this book focuses on the struggles they have to make the correct choice for their continued happiness. In Beneath the Mask author David Ward has strengthened the story of Coriko, Pippa and their friends.
I look forward to the third book and seeing where their adventures lead them to, and if they will finally find a home of their own.
Beneath the Mask is an adventure-packed, action-filled journey of discovery that once again brings some very weighty topics to the reader's attention.
Armchair Interviews says: Well-done Young Adult read.