Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Book One of Two
Published By: Harper Collins  (April 24, 2012)
Source: ARC from the Publisher
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 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.

My Review:
Steampunk meets dystopian.

That statement up there, is the very best way I can describe my firsts thoughts as I started reading this dark gothic book.

There is an ominous vibe in the air and immediately you are transported into another time, another place. A place where a plague runs rampant and nightmares are an everyday part of life and death is a welcome sight.

Here is where we get to meet Araby and like any good Poe story, here is where her dark tale unfolds.

I loved Poe in high school, I went through this stage of devouring most of his stories and poetry and just loving it, I think there for awhile, my mom was nervous.

So it was with a smile on my face that I remembered those times and once again immersed myself into a world full of darkness. A world without much hope. Where things were bleak and many would die. And you know what? I loved every minute of it.

This story was just so captivating, yet horrifying at the same time that you couldn't help but be drawn into the beautiful writing, the hints of romance and into the harsh world that Griffin created.

It was sort of like driving by an accident, you don't want to look, you don't want to see the horrors that may be there but yet, you just can't help yourself and you find your head turning towards the scene without your consent.

Griffin did a masterful job with the description. She made the atmosphere seem completely realistic. I saw what the characters saw and felt what they felt. I wanted to reach up several times and make sure my mask was in place so that I too would be protected from the plaque.

All of the characters were complex and mysterious

Araby's story and Elliot and Will's secrets will stay with you long after you have finished the story. Their haunting world will remain a part of you and you will be left wanting more. 


  1. I have this one on my blog tomorrow. You enjoyed it more than I did. I liked the atmosphere but the book had such a slow pace and it took forever to get going and the lack of detail in the world building bothered me, still I enjoyed it. My company left today so I am back:)

  2. Sorry you didn't like it more Heidi. I really loved it. It could be a little slow I guess but it never bothered me or seemed too lacking.
    I think the second one will be even better.

    Glad you are back!!

  3. I loved it and its darkness as well. I think I did the same thing as you with Poe in high school! :) My only issue was the was so abrupt!

  4. I agree Ange! I do wish it wouldn't have been left so much in the air at the ending but hopefully that means there will be great things happening in the sequel!

  5. Wow, I have been on the fence about this one and I have read one review today that is not so favorable and yours, which makes it sound like a don't miss. I guess I will have to read it and find out. The genre is certainly one of my favorites. Thanks for the great review.
    - FABR Steph

  6. @Steph, it definitely seems to be one of those that some love and some not so much LOL!

    I hope you enjoy it if you try it!

  7. I don't want to sound creepy, but I LOVE it when books are darker than the usual fluffy YA that floods the stores. I think that's why demons are my favorite fantasy creature in books, because they usually add that element of darkness. At first I was thinking I might not read this one, but after seeing you give it a 5 star rating and say you loved every minute of its darkness, I know I'm going to have to check this one out. ;) Thanks for the review!

  8. That doesn't sound creepy at all Linny, I know exactly what you mean!

    I think you would like this one, it definitely has that creepy darkness to it that I think you would enjoy!