Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 24th, 2012)
Hardcover: 319 pages
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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

Inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe classic, Masque of the Red Death is a story about Araby Worth living in a world devastated by a plague and the only way to survive is to have a coveted porcelain mask. Crushed by her twin brother’s death, Araby lives her life not fully living, spending her nights at the Debauchery Club trying to forgot the real world. Than she meets Elliott and Will, two different boys in two entirely different lives and slowly she is pulled into both of their worlds and things being to change.

This was actually a lot darker than I expected. The prose is very gothic creating a very dreary and despairing world, where death is everywhere. But it’s not just the writing style that’s dark, but what they’re doing, like recreational drug use and what’s happening to the world. There’s the villanous Prince that rules, a secret uprising in the make, and Araby may hold the key to saving society. Definitely intense and dramatic. The characters are all a mix of good and evil which fits the tone of the book well. There is a love triangle, and I’m not a huge fan however it remains fairly ambiguous with enough twist and turns that it doesn’t always end up where you think it would.

This was my first “steampunk” and what a way to get into the genre. It’s a dark yet colourful and moody story. My main complaint is that it only scratches the surface of the fundamental plot line (which seems to be a downfall for many first books in a series). Overall, the book is well written with intriguing characters. I loved the use of a deadly plague for the dystopian feel because it so easily could be reality which is all the more terrifying.


Find Bethany Griffin:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

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