Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date –  April 24, 2012
Publisher Website –  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 320 pages
**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. 
Everyone does. 
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.


  1. I am so Team Will as well. The descriptions of him had me swooning whereas I didn't care as much for Elliot. Great review, this book is amazing, and I absolutely love Bethany's writing!

  2. Thanks for the review! I haven't read it yet but based on the great feedback I've seen I'm sure I'll like it. Definitely going into my TBR list.

  3. I'm a little dismayed to hear that this one has such a triangle straight off the bat, but the landscape sounds evocative and amazing.

  4. Man, I can SO tell how much you love this book, it really shines through in your review (and of course, the awesome buzz you have been spread in the lead up until release. YOU are the person who has made me the most excited to read this!). The entire world sounds so FASCINATING and from what I can tell, Araby seems like an incredible protagonist. I love how you say she grows and challenges herself throughout the book.

    And oh damn. I'm Team Will already... there's something about a tortured guy with a good heart sporting some sexy tattoos that makes me MELT. But I love that both are just as captivating as one another.


  5. Great review <3 It made me want to read the book !

  6. I read an excerpt of the book and I totally agree with you on how the world building of this world is amazing!!! Wonderful review! I can't wait to read it!

  7. Fabulous review - which shouldn't really surprise me, your reviews are nothing short of wicked awesome, sweets! :D I love slower paced, gently weaved, atmospheric stories. And the creepier the better! I'm totally sold, I was sold the moment I saw the cover! :) Thanks for giving it so much love, I'm sure it's well deserved!

  8. Clearly I need this book because of it being based on Poe's tale. Great review!

  9. I'm a fan of dystopian novels, so this book has been on my radar for awhile. It has such a unique, amazing plot-line and intriguing setting, and I'm glad to hear that the world-building and characterization lives up to the plot! I absolutely can't wait to read this book!

  10. Great review! It sounds so intriguing! I love Poe's stories and I'm always on the look out for Poe inspired stories. I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR list!

  11. I completely agree with the last sentence in your second paragraph. That right there should entice readers.

    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

  12. This sounds really good! And I've gotta say I absolutley love flawed characters. They're so much better that perfectly happy one as they're actually realistic and INTERESTING. Despite being a little over love triangles, and having not really read anything by Poe, I'll definitely have to check this out.

  13. Great review! I have read loads of Poe's writings and I think I should really try out this Poe-inspired one.
    Plus, the way you described the characters makes me want to get to know them more. And there's only one way to make that happen--by reading the book. :D

  14. I can't wait to get my hands on this one after all the amazing things I've been hearing. Your review just convinces me I need it NOW even more :D

  15. I actually haven't read this book yet, but it sounds so interesting and even though I haven't read any Edgar Allen Poe, I still will love this book, I'm sure. :) Great review!

  16. Great review. I'm really anxious to read this one. I LOVE when an author can really draw me into a world and make me feel like I'm there. Your descriptions make it sound like this book really accomplishes that.

    I also love when a character actually grows and changes throughout a novel. It always kind of annoys me when characters stay exactly the same. Where's the fun in that?

    Can't wait to read this one!

  17. I've been going back and forth on whether or not to read this one, but I think you just convinced me that it's a must read. Thank you!


I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...