Book Review: Masque Of The Red Death

Masque Of The Red Death CoverBook: Masque Of The Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Published April 2012|Published by HarperCollins

E-book|Purchased from the Nook Store|336 pages

Series: Masque Of The Red Death #1

Genre: YA: Dystopic/Post-Apocalyptic/Steampunk

Goodreads|Bethany Griffin’s Website

Summary: 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.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Masque Of The Red Death.

So, I am intrigued by this devastating plague that has killed a lot of people, and how only the rich seem to be able to afford masks that keep them from getting the plague.  And the Red Death is also really intriguing.  For the poor, life goes on as it always does, while the rich are partying away.

I thought Araby’s vow was really interesting.  I totally get her feelings of guilt after the death of her brother, and I don’t blame her for trying to forget by going to the Debauchery Club.  However, I kind of feel like Araby is picking and choosing what is a part of her vow to not experience what her brother won’t experience.  She can’t fall in love, but she can wear beautiful dresses and go to a club with her friend April?  In some ways, she’s fully committed, but in other ways, she isn’t.

I thought the world was interesting, with Prince Prospero being in charge, and some opposition in his nephew, Elliott.  And we can’t forget Malcontent.  In some ways, I was surprised by who Malcontent was…but at the same time, it wasn’t too surprising.  We get snippets of what the world is like, and while I was intrigued, I also feel kind of meh.

I feel pretty ambivalent about the characters.  Will is sweet (sometimes) and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to deliver Araby to Malcontent.  Elliott…I just couldn’t care about him, and I also couldn’t care about his sister April.  Araby is the one character that intrigued me the most but there were times when I just couldn’t care about her either.  I thought the romance was just okay, which I think is because I didn’t really care for either guy.

I did like the gothic/steampunk-lite elements of it, and I loved how dark and somewhat chaotic it seemed at the beginning.  I kind of feel like the feel that we had in the beginning got lost as the novel went on.  It did get a little more interesting and action-packed at the end, but it wasn’t enough to get me super-interested in reading the next one.

Final Thoughts:

This one was just okay for me.  There were things I liked and found interesting, but overall, I found I didn’t really care about what was going on.  I know it;’s based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe, which I haven’t read, so I’m wondering if reading it would have made a difference in me liking it.  Masque Of The Red Death gets 2 stars.


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