19 April 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Release Date: 24 April 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N

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 Thoughts...
Araby Worth drowns her sorrows and worries in the delirium offered by drugs and alcohol in the Debauchery Club. Things get interesting, however, when two very different boys enter her life with different motives.  One will offer her love and a feeling of security while the other brings excitement and the chance to be a part of a revolution.  One of them will betray her and one of them offers feelings that aren't quite real.  How can Araby maintain her promise to honor her dead twin brother while embracing her own future and destiny?
I enter the club through a curtain of silver beads. I imagine sometimes that they make a beautiful sound when I move through them, but I have never heard even the tiniest clink. It's like the secrecy of this place has seeped into the furnishings.
-p16, eARC
Masque of the Red Death was one of my most anticipated books of 2012 and I was surprised and excited to find it on Edelweiss.  For me, this novel didn't disappoint! The writing is superb and I felt like Ms. Griffin pulled me in to her world and made me feel like I was walking through the streets right with Araby.  The atmosphere that she creates is absolutely incredible and exactly what I was hoping to find with this novel.  The combination of steampunk elements with the dystopian/plague setting created a world worth exploring from the first pages.
Maybe it doesn't matter. She's made herself so artificial; it's okay to wear next to nothing because we aren't real people any longer.

-p31, eARC
The story is told from Araby's point of view in an almost stream of consciousness way that I thought was appropriate to the story. I liked being pulled into her thoughts and feelings and often confusion.  It made her a more real character for me than any other style would have. However, that connection wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to be. I found her naivete a bit grating at times and I wished she would let go of somethings and truly think for herself. However, the somewhat lacking connection was not enough to pull me from me overall engagement with this story.
Just because you don't want to see something doesn't mean that it will go away. Do you think inhumanity doesn't exist if you pretend not to see it? Or maybe get too drunk to understand? We've forgotten the things that make life worthwhile.

-p116, eARC
The dark world that Bethany Griffin has crafted is sure to have to entangled in its plague-ridden clutches from the first pages.  While Masque of the Red Death is not the type of action-packed thriller than has you flying through its pages, its slower pacing lets you explore the dark, grimy world of this bleak future. The atmosphere, love triangle, the kisses, the unexpected twists--all these things kept me turning the pages and left me craving the sequel. While the end seemed a bit anti-climatic, the book overall worked its magic and cast a spell over my whole reading experience.  I will definitely be first in line for the sequel next April.


ReadingPenguin said...

I've definitely been looking forward to this book. The cover alone is so intriguing! The stream of consciousness POV...now that's interesting. Not sure how I feel about that as a stylistic choice, but I'll find out when I get around to reading this. Great review!

Danny Bookworm said...

So happy to see you enjoyed it.and although I liked it I had a hard time getting into it and fully fall in love with the story. Araby was just too overhelmingly tragic for me, it was just a nodge too much! but, I am interested to see how the story goes on especially between the boys:) 

Adriana Ryan said...

Wow, sounds really dark and gothic. Going on my list.

Giselleco said...

Great review Jessie this one was one of my most anticipated of the year too! Actually probably THE most. I really enjoyed the world building especially it was all so vivid. And Araby is a great protagonist! Glad you enjoyed it so much! :)

Patricia said...

So far this is the only review that made me realize that this novel wouldn't be for me. O.รด

However, that connection wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to be. I found her naivete a bit grating at times and I wished she would let go of somethings and truly think for herself. 

Doesn't work with me. :/ So thank you a lot for reviewing this title! <3

Mel @thedailyprophecy said...

I have read a couple of reviews about this one and everytime I'm excited about it. What a shame that the ending wasn't so good.

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