Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date – April 24, 2012Publisher Website – Harper Collins
My Rating- ALL THE STARS!
**obtained from the awesome Kristina @ Ladybug Storytime**
Here is the Goodreads 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.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.What if the air you breathe could kill you? Masque of the Red Death asks exactly that. A world where having access to a mask may just save your life and oblivion can be found at the Debauchery Club. Bethany Griffin has created something that captured me from the first page.
The writing is simply amazing. Bethany is able to weave a slower paced, and intricate tale while providing some amazing imagery. There are so many quotes I love from this book. I could list a whole bunch. I fell for the writing with this simple, but effective sentence “I am beautiful, fake, shallow, incognito” (ARC, chapter 1, page 7). It sums up the allure of Debauchery Club with the grittiness underneath that exists in the city. I also love the line “The Debauchery District. The very name makes me shiver” (ARC, chapter 1, page 2). Simply put Bethany’s Poe inspired novel will satisfy fans of Poe’s writing while appealing to people who have never read him before.
Bethany has created a world so vivid and intriguing that I easily got lost in it. From the crumbling city, to the delectable Debauchery Club, and the apartment Araby lives, you will feel transported. The world is a mix of old Victorian and bleak futuristic that blends into a chillingly possible reality.
The characters are all wonderfully developed. Flawed, damaged and real. Each character will pull you in and push you away at the same time. Araby is selfish, haunted, and yet so completely fascinating. Her desire to escape by searching out oblivion in the decadence of the Debauchery Club is not only understandable, but relatable. This is a young woman who has had a lot of truly horrible things happen in her life, is facing a horrific plague, and is trying to keep people at arms length as self-punishment. I loved that she grew, changed, and challenged herself throughout the novel. The Araby we meet in the beginning is quite different from the one we leave at the end of the novel.
The triangle between Araby, Will and Elliott is well executed. Both Will and Elliott are captivating, intriguing young men and neither is perfect. They both have their faults, but that makes each of them more compelling. I am firmly Team Will! He’s sexy, tortured, subdued, and has a good heart (as well as some sexy tattoos). Elliott is more headstrong, reckless, and vibrant.It's easy to see how Araby drawn to both of them, and for different reasons. What makes this triangle unique is everyone is in desperate situations, and the characters often have to put more personal needs ahead of others. It rings true to the situation. I think both guys are on pretty equal footing and that is also a little unusual in this type of setting.
The ending of the novel kicks in with a quicker pace. While not a cliffhanger per say, there is enough unresolved to make you anxiously await the Masquerade that is sure to be in the sequel. I am looking forward to learning more about Prince Prospero as while I felt scared of him in this instalment, I don't think we've seen the full extent of how cruel he can be.
Bethany Griffin has created a world where the air you breathe could kill you, oblivion is something people strive for, and the unrest is growing. It will leave you with your breathe held and heart pounding. Desire is contagious says the tagline, so is anticipating what is sure to be an electric sequel once you’ve read this stellar novel.