Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Hardcover, 320 pgs.
Published April 24th, 2012 by Harper Collins
Source:  Amazon Vine
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 to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . 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 boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this one but I was quite surprised how much I did like it. The first half was only okay but I really liked the second half a lot.

To me this was first and foremost a dystopian. People keep pointing out the steampunk and gothic (which I really didn’t get) and to me it was light on the steampunk elements but it added a bit of a different feel to the story which was kind of nice.

There’s a love triangle in this book but I actually kind of liked it.  Each boy had good and bad things about them (though one was almost all good) and the twists thrown in made me unsure about which one she should be with. 

I didn’t love Araby. I didn’t dislike her but I didn’t feel a real connection to her either. And so much of the story felt that way as well. Like I wasn’t real connected to what was happening and quite often felt like things moved a bit abruptly.  But in the last half or so I started to get in the groove of things or something. I wasn’t able to look away and I loved the way the story went. I found I was really loving what was happening. I mean yes, its horrific and scary but I was enthralled. The last quarter would be 5 stars for me just for the story but because of the issues I had before that I’m giving this one 3.5 stars. Its hard though cause I feel so happy with the book, I just have to remind myself of the struggles I had before that point.

I recommend this one mainly to fans of dystopia.  It had a distinct dystopic feel to me and if you go in knowing that then I think you would really enjoy it.  It’s definitely a darker kind of read with lots of death and destruction but that’s what dystopians are all about, right?  
 Disclosure:  I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
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  1. Sadly, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters… Specially Araby was too tragic for my taste! The world however was something very intruiging and I’m interested to see where the story goes!

  2. Hmmmmm. I really want to get my hands on this one, since I have always loved Edgar Allan Poe. If I can’t connect with the characters though, that may ruin it for me. And the love triangle. I rarely like those. But I’m definitely going to try it out, especially since you liked the last part of the book so much. And I do like the darker stuff, provided it’s done well. So I guess we’ll see!

  3. I didn’t love Araby either, she was definitely hard to connect to since she refused to live due to her brother, but at the same time I kind of like how down she was – it means we’ll get to slowly see her rise up as the books continue. At least I hope that’s the case! Glad the second half of the book one you over Candace:)

  4. Very, very light on the steampunk–it could have actually used more, IMO. But I agree. The second half really kept me going, while the first, I didn’t really like the characters, esp. Araby. But can you imagine a world without much hope? So I guess, I can see where she’s coming from.

  5. Hmmm… I’m not sure this one is for me then. Without character connection I lose focus and interest. But I get what you mean about being enthralled towards the end. That’s happened to me too, and it always make me happy that I stuck with the book.

  6. My biggest problem with this one was the fact that it just wasn’t enough of a little bit of everything for me. It didn’t seem to fit one category or the other and to me it should have been an adult book.

    The club was suppose to be dark and sexual and because it was YA, nothing happened there! It would have been so much better if we actually got to see the wicked acts that were going on.

    Plus I didn’t really care for any of the characters and idk this just wasn’t really my taste. The ending was the most interesting thing and a few of the deeper messages were great as well but there was just so much that I wasn’t in love with on this one.

    Thanks for the great review, glad this one surprised you in the end. :)

  7. Interesting how you didn’t get the “Gothic” vibe and thought it leaned towards more dystopian. I don’t think I ran across that in a review before. Have this one on my tbr and am curious to see how I react to the book. I really liked Poe’s original story.

  8. Nice review! 😀 I’m glad you liked this one–it’s been one of my most anticipated reads of the year. While it doesn’t sound AMAZING, it still sounds entertaining, which is good enough for now. Honestly, I’d buy this just for the cover. >_>

  9. I wasn’t planning on reading this but the more reviews I see the more I want to read it! It sounds really unique. Maybe it will be in Vine again today! :)

  10. Great review! I’m so glad you liked it. I just read & reviewed it myself and I didn’t like it as much as I thought (or hoped), but it was far from bad. I also liked the second part more and the love triangle–it was something that just kind of… happened. If it makes sense. LOL. I think the sequel will be even better–it feels like it based on the ending! Can’t wait. :)

  11. I’m glad you liked this one in the end, Candace! I was surprised by how much I liked this, too. I agree that Araby has to prove herself in the second book and there are still a lot of unresolved questions…fingers crossed we’ll get what we’re looking for!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  12. I had the opposite feelings as you. I started out liking this and being cautiously optimistic about how it would turn out but as the book progressed, I found the bleak atmosphere overwhelming and ended the book distinctly displeased. Not sure if I’m up for reading the second book.

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