Publication Date: April 24, 2012Review: After reading many raving reviews for Masque of the Red Death, I had really high expectations for it. I can definitely say that I've never read anything quite like this book. I didn't love it as much as other bloggers, unfortunately. It's very strange and confusing at times.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 206
Synopsis: 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.
Masque of the Red Death is dark and terrifying. The world that the book is set in is ridden with disease and hopelessness. The prince doesn't care for his people. The air is toxic. Everything is depressing. Bethany Griffin's world building is wonderful. However, Araby's narration was just so emotionless. I had an extremely difficult time connecting with Araby because of her dull voice. I felt like although there were emotional words on the page, I (Araby, really) didn't feel anything.
The love triangle is a distinct one. There is a large dose of insta-love between the protagonist and both male leads, but in the end, as a reader, I did genuinely care for both boys. Elliot does throw around the word "love," and although I do not believe that any of the characters are in love, I can definitely see it in the future. Will is the sweet boy who takes care of his siblings. I went back and forth between Will and Elliot, but after a huge plot twist, I think I'm definitely more fond of Elliot and his revolutionary ways.
Speaking of plot twists, HOLY. CRAP. Bethany Griffin definitely knows how to throw in twists. I felt like the first three quarters of the book were slow and pretty boring, which nothing extremely major happening. And then in the last quarter, Bethany Griffin puts the amp on high and starts throwing in twists and turns, betrayals and revelations. I wish the whole book was as great as the last quarter. Oh, and for a lot of the book, I was confused. It was like there were chunks of book just missing, which disrupted my reading.
Haunting, unique, and wonderfully dark, Masque of the Red Death is a surprising debut that many readers will enjoy. It fell short of my expectations, but I still thought it was enjoyable.