Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany GriffinMasque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)
Series: Masque of the Red Death
Release Date
: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: Hardcover
: 319
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Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
This book is a sort of apocalyptic, steampunk meets dystopian. It is an adaption of some sorts to the Edgar Allen Poe work of the same name. The beginning of the book starts off on a very dark note. Showing you how bad the lower city really is and how people look upon the main character, Araby, and her friend April, in their steam carriage. In this world everyone must wear a mask specifically made for them to protect themselves from the plague. This of course means that not everyone can afford one and people are dying all the time. Or they take drastic measures to stay alive as along as they can.

Araby is our main character. She is a very sad and somewhat lonely girl since the death of her brother. Her father doesn’t really interact with her much and her mother just worries about her all the time. They are able to live in the upper city in a nice apartment because her father is a very well-known scientist, who created the masks that everyone has to wear. Her father works for Prince Prospero, a very evil man who is content on ruling with fear. He doesn’t care how many people die as long as he is rich and in charge.

Araby’s goal is to just forget everything. She goes to the Debauchery district regularly with her friend. They drink and do drugs so because there is nothing better to do and nothing to look forward to. Araby has made a promise to herself and her brother, and because of this she thinks she can never be happy.

Araby’s best friend is April. She is the niece of Prince Prospero and is therefore one of the richest people in the upper city. She has a very nice carriage and many dresses and makeup to play around with. She stumbled upon Araby one day after she moved into the same apartment complex and they had been friends ever since. They are pretty much all they have.

The love interests are Will (my personal favorite), and Elliot. You learn quite a bit about Will’s personal life but there are still some questions hanging about him and I am not sure whose side he is really on. Elliot on the other hand, you learn a lot about whose side he is on and not too much about his personal life. There are some questions about his relationship with Araby also.

The settings in the book are all very bleak. People who have the plague usually drop dead or are taken away. They develop puss oozing bruises all over their body. It is pretty disturbing when it is described. The Red Death part of the book is pretty gross too. The entire city is in shambles, people are starting fires and blowing things up. There is not really any nice place to go without worry of catching the plague or being attacked by someone.

The one thing that I thought was a little weird was the fact that I don’t know where or technically when this book takes place. I don’t know if I missed it or if it is actually never mentioned but I kept wondering that throughout the book.

I really enjoyed the writing in this book, the love triangle was really good, and I usually don’t like those, and I really can’t wait to pick up the 2nd book. There is also a novella after this series that follows are April and a boy named Kent. I definitely recommend picking up this book if enjoy this type of book.  Oh and for the record I have never read "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe so I don't know how well it actually compares to it.
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