Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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.

You know those books that you're 100% positive are going to be a big deal, but for some reason they end up not getting the credit they deserve? This is one of them.

Once I read the synopsis and got a look at its cover, Masque of the Red Death was pretty high on my radar. Maybe it was just me not being particularly in tune to book/blog news at the time, but I feel like the little attention this debut received completely flew over my head because I hardly noticed any of it.

I'm not too familiar with Poe's work, so I can't compare the two, but that aside, this whole alternate destructive world Griffin created was a unique concept that had me feeling equally disturbed and fascinated.

Araby, our main character, was also a different girl than I'm used to; instead of another cookie-cutter persona, we find ourselves rooting for a damaged girl who, at the beginning, has nothing to live for, and whose only consolation in this horrible world is her ability to numb out everything with drugs.

By the end however, things change due to a few twists and turns that pop up in the story, and we learn that everyone isn't who or what they seem, including all who Araby is close to.

The only complaint I have is, of course, the inevitable love triangle. Though, I applaud Griffin for having me quite stumped between the two prospects early on - they were both equally appealing, I couldn't choose. That is, until the last fourth of the book. One of the boys' actions is understandable but no less infuriating to me, and in the end, caused me to change my view of him entirely. Somehow, I know he isn't ruled out for Araby just yet, and I can see him redeeming himself in the future, so I will be looking forward to that.

Dark and enigmatic, Masque of the Red Death embodied everything one hopes a debut can deliver.

I seriously cannot wait for book two!


  1. Oh I'm soooo glad you enjoyed this one like I did! It was unusual and such a good ode to Poe! (He's the only short story author I'll read and love on my own!) I had a hard time connecting with Araby but I liked her. And the BOYS!! GAH! I was totally stumped, exactly like you, until the end, exactly like you, when that one character made that choice...and now...I prefer the mysterious brooding bad boy!! WHICH NEVER HAPPENS FOR ME!! lol ;) (At least, I think we're thinking about the same boy...haha)

    Anywho... Great review Bree! I'm quite looking forward to book 2! :D

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  2. This sounds amazing! I just recently realized it was based on the Poe poem :) I'm so excited to read it, great review!

  3. I love Poe's stories. This book was immediately on my radar and I knew I had to have it. The cover is amazing too! That always helps! And I loved it. Can't wait for book 2!

  4. Nice review! I haven't read this one yet, but I definitely want to check it out! Araby sounds like a great protagonist. Ugh, I'm with you on love triangles!

    Thanks for the review! (:


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