Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date –  June 11, 2013
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death. 
In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city. 
Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero. 
With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.
Endings to a series are hard. Saying goodbye is never easy. Along with them comes hopes, and expectations. I started Dance of the Red Death with excitement, but cautious. I am happy to say that it shattered my expectations, and ended this tale with breathless beauty and sorrow.

A novel that is as dangerously dark as it's words are beautiful. Bethany's writing captivated me in her first novel, and doesn't disappoint in this one. The lush descriptions of Araby's world make it effortlessly come to life. Her characters are only helped by her wonderful talent of making even the most conflicted and flawed characters mesmerizing.

Araby’s world is just a bleak as in Masque. The disease is spreading, conditions are worsening, and the rebellion is just heating up. This side of the novel is taunt with action, and leaves some devastating casualties in it’s wake before the final bell tolls.

Araby Worth has changed from the shallow young woman from Masque of the Red Death. In her place is someone who makes her own decisions, doesn't sit by and let things happens to her, and shows she's much braver than she ever thought. Her growth is organic and not out of character. It's a natural, easy, progression to this more heroic figure. Araby's someone whose imperfections make her all the more real.

The big choice of Will or Elliott is answered in this installment. It's a choice between a lion and a tiger. Both dangerous, beautiful, and majestic. Elliott's fixation on salvaging the city, and being the saviour. Will's utter devotion to his siblings. Each of them has an agenda and Araby may not be the motivating factor in any of their plans. Elliott keeps you guessing and never let's Araby or the reader fully in. Will has a huge betrayal to make up for, and Araby's not so easily swayed.

The romance is as delicious as you would expect after reading Masque. It's tinged with a bit of desperation and darkness as the world crumbles. It's all the more intense when you're grabbing on to someone in the midst of chaos and ruin. Bethany captures this, and manages to weave in the guilt over indulging in some steamy make out sessions while everything is falling apart. In the end, this love 'triangle (for lack of a better term) ends the only way it could have. The chosen guy is who it's always been for Araby. He's the one who considers her in his actions. The one who always wanted to protect her.

The inclusion of the coloured rooms from the Edgar Allen Poe play is done seamlessly. It ties into the story rather brilliantly. It also give the reader a unique perspective on just how far Araby's character has come from the first novel.

Seductive and dark, Dance of the Red Death provides the most realistic ending to Araby's story. An ending that's murky, with just a hint of hope on the horizon. It's both heartbreaking, and affirming. I am sad to say goodbye, but cannot wait to see what Bethany has in store for us with future novels.

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