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Most Helpful Favorable Review
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
Chapter by Chapter's review of Masque of the Red Death
This dark, dystopian tale set in a dark steampunk world is mesmerizing and addicting. From the very opening scene to the climactic ending, Masque of the Red Death is everything I had hoped it would be. I completely devoured this book and fell in love with the characters and the world created by Bethany Griffin. Her writing style is captivating. The world building that was done all throughout the book was entrancing, and her character building was spellbinding.
There wasn’t anything that I didn’t love about this book. We are thrust into a dying world where only the wealthy are able to afford the luxury of a mask that aids in surviving the plague. How do you get away from your problems and forget the past and the death? Alcohol, drugs, and a life of debauchery. And where else would one go to entertain this lifestyle? Why, the Debauchery Club, of course. And it is in this club that we get to meet the so very sexy Will. Let me tell you, he sent my heart a flutter! Good boy? Bad boy? Does it matter? He is the whole package.
Not only do we get to meet Will thanks to this club, but we also get to feast our eyes on Elliot. I was on the fence about him for a while, but if you put aside his façade, and you really see him, he is so swoon worthy, it’s not even funny. I can see where main protagonist, Araby Worth, has a difficult time deciding whom to trust and with whom she can give her heart to. Yes, yes there is a love triangle, but it’s such a perfect triangle! So many twists and turns, and secrets revealed it will keep your head spinning.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the strength Araby has even after having to live with the guilt of her twin brother’s death, watching her parent’s struggle with Araby living and not their son, having to survive in a world where death and danger lurk around any corner, and trying to accept love in a world where deception is a close friend.
I could easily picture this book as a movie. The images were already playing out in my mind as I flew through the pages. The characters jumped out of the pages for me, and I felt as though I were right in the book. Seeing the death and decay, smelling the foulness of the disease, feeling the pain of loss and the fear of every shadow. I could hear the music of the club, the shots of the muskets, and the wheels of the carts that carried the bodies claimed by the disease.
One of the big lessons learned in the book was this: TRUST NO ON. Totally true. Masque of the Red Death had so many remarkable plot twists and turns that some of the scenes will break your heart. Simply put, this book is amazing! Fans of dark tales, dystopian reads, and steampunk will fall in love with Masque of the Red Death, and will find a new favorite author with Bethany Griffin.
posted by chapterxchapter on April 29, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
Great atmosphere, flat characters
Masque of the Red Death is based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe. It is a story that I haven't read, though I have read others of Poe's work. And this is perhaps why I just didn't feel engaged in the story.
The atmosphere in Masque of the Red Death is chilling. It seeps through the pages and is very rich. The world that is created is one of total chaos. Death and sickness run rampant through the streets, but the privileged spend their evenings living in pleasure and indulgence. The two world elements play beautifully off each other. The Prince, as he is known, is terrifying in his power and his demeanor. For the rich, the masks become a fashion item, some of them owning several different masks. The poor have to save everything they have for one, and often have to choose between children, since a mask can only be used by one wearer. All of these elements blend together beautifully.
However mesmerizing the world, I did not care for any of the characters. Araby uses drugs to medicate her sorrow, and that's really all I knew about her character. Elliot and Will were unsatisfying as well. Similarly, I found that characters disappeared and reappeared throughout the plot, seemingly at random, and I found myself losing interest at parts. There just wasn't enough in the characters to really hook me and want to see it through to the end. I even admit to skimming a few sections in the last 75 pages.
Do I feel like I really missed something with Masque of the Red Death? Yes. I've read reviews from many people who really loved the book. Perhaps if I didn't put so much stock in a likeable character I would have been able to really embrace it.
There is a fair amount of drug usage and sexual content in Masque of the Red Death, which would probably be suitable for teens 16 or older.
posted by Ems_Reading_Room on April 24, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 28, 2012
Posted September 23, 2012
Posted September 4, 2012
What do you get when you cross the 1300s, the 1920s, Paris, New
What do you get when you cross the 1300s, the 1920s, Paris, New Orleans, and inspiration from Poe? A retelling of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, a spellbinding story presented with a gorgeous cover.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Araby lives a fairly comfortable life - at least compared to others in the city. Her friend April, the niece of the city's rule Prince Prospero, has decided that Araby should accompany her on all sorts of excursions to the Debauchery Club in her steam carriage, privileges which others can only dream of. Araby looks forward to these only for the relief that they bring from her misery. But at the club, she finds more than she bargains for. There is Will, who works at the club and who Araby finds herself thinking about, and there is Elliott, who seems to be harboring secrets behind his smooth appearance. Soon Araby finds herself facing challenges she never imagined and forced to make seemingly impossible decisions. But will she be able to keep her promises, her friends, and most importantly...her life?
The writing in Masque of the Red Death truly takes you to another time and place. Even if it is hard to visualize a specific city, the world presented is bleak and chilling, one in which corpses litter the street and the rich tower above the poor - literally - in an effort to breathe clean air. And yet the nightlife of debauchery is just as vivid, full of glittery, fanciful designs, making the contrast between fantasy and reality that much more striking. This setting lends itself to intrigue and secrets, and indeed there is an air of mystery that pervades this novel. Both Will and Elliott are especially enigmatic, and though pieces of their character are revealed as the story progresses - and they both have qualities that make me really care for them - there are still unanswered questions. Is Elliott truly Machiavellian? And is there more to Prince Prospero than simply being an evil overlord? I am looking forward to learning these answers as the story progresses.
Despite the allure of Will and Elliott, I found the heroine Araby difficult to connect to. In a way she seemed completely distant from the world, and while I could sympathize, this also made her seem aloof, especially in the beginning. Gradually, however, Araby became more human as we learned about her loss of her brother and the sacrifice she made for him. By the end of the book she has grown into a stronger character, one who understands more about the harsh realities of life and the necessity of making the most of the time you have.
Masque of the Red Death may be based on Poe's work, but the writing and characters make this story new and captivating in its own right. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment!
Posted August 27, 2012
Very good read
Im an avid reader so i read alot of books, but i have to say this is one of the best ones ive read. Its full of danger and suduction,betrayle, lust. Its fantastically written and it make you wonder when will the sequel come out!
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2012
Review: The Masque of the Red Death
This book has a really dark feel to it, which it should considering it's inspiration comes from a similarly names story by Mr Edgar Allen Poe. I was intrigued by the world that the author has created. The population has been decimated to a small portion and those who survive leave in fear. They fear the plague because it's not gone. They fear the violence that is threatening to overcome the city. But, a few of them even fear the leader because he's not everything he seems.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Araby first seems oblivious to all of this. Despite the times, she's feel cared for and has a mask of her own. Her father is respected and even idolized. But, somehow she gets pulled into an underground society that so close to ripping open everything she knows. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Because, even her parents are holding secrets. And she slowly unravels all of them she begins to regret that past decisions that she's made. I think she took for granted what she had and begins to see that life isn't guaranteed. She's been wasting moments.
I liked our male characters a lot. Will really pulled at me. He's so close to that life of privilege and has to go home everyday and watch his brother and sister live without. I like that he sees something in Araby that she doesn't even see in herself. I'm curious as to what the end of the story means because it wasn't what I was expecting. As for Elliott...well at first I disliked him. I thought he was careless and selfish. But, he grew on me. I'm still not sure were his true motives lie, but I can see something in him that makes me doubt my original thought on him.
And interesting story that was a little slow at times and a little confusing. But, in the end I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next in the series!
Posted August 16, 2012
Posted August 15, 2012
If you are a reader who loves dystopians, this is the ultimate.
If you are a reader who loves dystopians, this is the ultimate. AuthorWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Bethany Griffin has created a world where you have to where a mask for
fear of contracting a horrible disease that results in death. A world
where your next-door neighbor or sister could disappear randomly without
you knowing what actually happened is both terrifying and oddly
exhilarating when you think of what it would be like to be one of the
survivors. The main character, Araby, had lost her brother early on
in life and blames herself. She pledges never to experience anything
that her brother never had a chance to. Although she may come off as a
pleasure-seeker, Araby hides her loss behind a devil-may-care attitude.
The reader will certainly want to shake her at times, but she is also a
sympathetic character. There is a bit of a love triangle in this book.
There is Araby's best friend, Alice's, brother and a boy who saves Araby
from her drugged revelry. Both have been deeply affected by the Plague,
but the two are very different. Elliot, Alice's brother, is ruthless,
but he shows some weakness when it comes to Araby. Will is more of a
white knight, the reader will have a hard time choosing who to root for.
The plot was fast-paced. The reader follows Araby through a
Plague-stricken world, a world she could possibly affect for the better.
Araby meets the "Prince" Prospero, Alice and Elliot's uncle,
she realizes that things must change. The time she spends in his castle
will introduce the reader to a whole new Araby; she matures throughout
the book. The ending is both surprising and will leave the reader
wondering about what happens next. Author Bethany Griffin manages to
effortlessly combine both the steampunk and dystopian genres, mix the
two with romance, intrigue, mystery, and action and produce an amazing
book. This book is recommended to young adult/teen/adult readers.
Posted August 14, 2012
I Also Recommend:
Masque of the Red Death is one of my books that is out of 'my co
Masque of the Red Death is one of my books that is out of 'my comfort zone', as far as I have a zone like that. It was horror-like, and I usually don't read horror. Not that I don't like it, because I really do, but just because there are other genres that appeal to me more than YA horror. Griffin made me question myself, should I read more YA horror? Because I simply loved this book! It was not really horror-y, and had just the right amout of everything a good book needs. I will definitely read future books by her, and I will also try the Edgar Allen Poe story this book was based on.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Araby, a girl who lives in a world of terror, disease and death, is the daughter of the inventor that invented the masque that prevents you from contagion of the all-destroying plague. This makes her one of the most important girls in town, and protects her from the plague. All the time she is looking for oblivion. She doesn't want to remember her brother, doesn't want to feel responsible for his death. Her raw emotions make her a very unique character. Then she meets Will, the beautiful boy working at the club. Once she starts to really get to know him, she wants to help him, although this seems impossible.
The plot twisted in every way possible, it was madness! And I mean that in a positive way :) I don't believe I have read many other YA books as suspenseful as this one. And the romance was just perfect. Will is one of those cute but broken boys you just want to give hugs, while Elliot is his exact opposite. So yes, love triangle. I know the idea sounds retarted and simply stupid, but this one was just so perfect! I mean, love triangles usually are one of the most annoying phenomena in YA lit, but it improved this novel.
The writing style of Griffin is not really special, but easy to read. The dialogue was great, the characters had 'depth' and the entire story was told at a high pace to keep it all interesting.
Griffin portrayed a horrible scenario that appears quite realistic. I absolutely loved everything about 'Masque of the Red Death' and I give this book 4.5 stars. My favorite YA horror novel!
Posted August 10, 2012
Definetly must read!!
Its such a refreshing book compared to whats been out there lately. A wonderful story that keeps you guessing all the way through. I felt like I could relate to the characters, especially Araby. I can't wait for the sequal!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 14, 2012
Posted July 7, 2012
Posted June 17, 2012
Wow... This book was nothing like I expected. There's something about it, something oddly seductive that I can't quite explain. It's horrific and heart breaking yet somehow beautiful. Certain books, I believe, have the power to change the reader in some fashion. For me, this is one of those books. I've lost myself in so many different books but very few have made such a strong impression on me. In truth, this is probably only the second time that a book has ever left me altered in any way. We all take different things away from the stories that we read and I can see how this kind of book may not be for everyone but it certainly resonated with me. I still can't stop thinking about this tragic little world, all the lost and broken people, most devoid of humanity. The sad truth that no one can ever really be trusted in a world where everyone is desperate or dying. Where anyone, even the people closest to you, can betray you. Where nothing is ever easy, where your choices are impossible, and where you never truly know anyone. I can't even begin to express how much I Loved it all. Books are and have always been my personal "oblivion" and this one has provided the most exquisite escape. Masque of the Red Death is completely unique and easily one of the best books that I've read. I personally thought it was stunning and believe everyone should at least give it a chance because it might surprise you, like it surprised me... It's absolutely perfect.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When I was in the store this cover was the first thing i noticed
When I was in the store this cover was the first thing i noticed, i just love the way it looks. It is a amazing book to read, i'm hoping there will be a part to this book cause I felt the ending left me hanging, made me wonder what will happen next.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2012
Posted May 29, 2012
Araby has lived the last couple of years of her life in a drug i
Araby has lived the last couple of years of her life in a drug induced stupor, spending her evenings with her friend, April, at the Debauchery Club, a private club where you go to forget the outside world. And what's wrong with the outside world? First off is the plague called the Weeping Sickness, a silent killer that seems to eat away at a body until death. Secondly, Araby is trying to forget the death of her twin brother, Finn, whose death she feels responsible for due to an innocent mistake, and as a result, she has set herself with a promise to him, that she won't enjoy anything in life that he won't now be able to enjoy, which includes falling in love.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Araby's father invented a mask that can keep the wearer safe from the Weeping Sickness, but instead of making the mask available to all, Prince Prospero has turned the manufacture of the masks into a profitable venture, thereby preventing the lower classes from being able to afford masks and being at the mercy of the plague. Because of his invention, however, Araby's father and his family has been able to live in relative opulence, something else Araby carries guilt over. Quite frankly, felt there was a little too much guilt-ridden Araby going on in this book. Don't get me wrong, she's a fine MC, but I'll admit, I found April a sometimes more compelling character than Araby - I'd really like to see a story from April's POV sometime.
Araby eventually catches the eye of both Will, a bouncer at the Debauchery Club, and Elliott, April's older brother, each of whom are interested in Araby for far different reasons. Will sees her as a lost soul, someone that he would like to see rise above her self-imposed vow and begin to enjoy life again. Elliott wants to use her for far more seemly nefarious reasons, and while she doesn't entirely trust Elliott, she decides to help him. Enter the love triangle and most of the emotional impetus that is used on Araby for the majority of the second half of the book.
I've read in several places that Bethany Griffin's <i>Masque of the Red Death</i>
is a retelling of Poe's classic tale of the same name, but I can't help but keep thinking of it as a prequel of sorts to Poe's story. Maybe it's just me, but Griffin's story seemed to be leading up to the events of Poe's, putting all the key elements of her story in place to get the key characters in Poe's story into their necessary places for his story. However you want to interpret Griffin's <i>Masque</i>
, I recommend reading it. Griffin has created a very unique world, that somehow feels eerily familiar at the same time. The book is not really uplifting; the Weeping Sickness is very real in this world, and people die, frequently, from it. The book carries, quite obviously, a lot of the tropes of current YA books, but still manages to tell a story that is unique unto itself. I just wish those tropes weren't always so obvious.
Posted May 29, 2012
Terrific and unique dystopian
Griffin has created a horrifying world that draws you in and won't let you go. Masque of the Red Death is a dystopian/steam punk cross between V for Vendetta and the movie Contagion, with a little bit of romance added in. It's full of twists, turns, and surprises. The characters are well-developed and the plot is suspenseful. My only problem with the novel is that I couldn't figure out what time period it was set in.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
As a historian, the lack of a known time period drove me insane at times. They had steam carriages and there was mention of former travel on horses before the plague decimated the entire equine population. However, the building Araby lived in had elevators, they sold florescent necklaces at a celebration, and the masks themselves seemed fairly high tech. Finally, I just told myself that the book was set in a different world all together (which I could convince myself of since there was no city name mentioned) and tried to let it go at that. For the most part it worked, and I was able to enjoy the story.
Araby is a very depressed girl. She has survivor's guilt from losing her twin brother. For the majority of the novel, I could not figure out what she felt so freaking guilty for, but at the end, it was cleared up for me some. Whether I understood her intense guilt or not, I did have sympathy for her and I cared what happened to her. I wanted her to find her happiness very much, even though it seemed impossible to find any semblance of happiness in a world that's so destroyed. I also absolutely loved Will and Elliot, though I am team Elliot all the way. Up until the last 20% or so, I was all about Will, but I changed my mind at the last minute. April was also a fantastic, multi-dimensional character. None of these characters were stock characters. They were all extremely flawed, but it was clear that they still had good hearts. I cared about what happened to all of them. The villains were obvious, but also they were all kinds of crazy. I was not expecting one villain to be who he actually was, so that was a surprise. It's not very often that a book surprises me, but this one did a few times.
The plot is suspenseful, and it will keep you guessing. It is depressing at times, but it's also inspiring because Araby and company are fighting to make a place better when it seems like the only thing left to do is give up. The rest of the world has given up, but they keep fighting. People like that are the ones who really make a difference. All of the characters grew over the course of the novel as well. They were able to rise above all of their obstacles to become better people. The ending wrapped a few things up, but all in all, it raised more questions that it supplied answers. I wouldn't go so far to say that it was a cliffhanger, though. I felt like the first part of the characters' journey had come to an end in this novel. Additionally, the pacing is spot-on. The book only lagged a little bit at the beginning, and other than that, it flew by.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dystopian romance. I personally love the political/revolutionary aspect of it (hence the V for Vendetta reference) and I cannot wait to read the second book in this series.
Posted May 26, 2012
Being a fan of Edgar Allan Poe I was eager to get my hands on th
Being a fan of Edgar Allan Poe I was eager to get my hands on this one. And needless to say I was drawn by this gorgeous cover that was creepy and beautiful at the same time. Furthermore after reading the novel, I think the cover fits perfectly with this novel. I really enjoyed reading this novel yet I should mention that I did have some issues with it. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable and peculiar (in a good way!) read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The plot itself was amazing. I was captivated by the story, trying to find out what would happen next. The love triangle was built in inextricably that I would have read this one just because of the romance and its amazing twists and turns. Yet I was rather lost when it came to the time frame of the novel - I never really knew if it takes place in the past, in a different present or even in the future. And the flow from a scene to another was sometimes rather sloppily written.
But what I surely enjoyed the most in Masque of the Red Death were the characters. They were all so mysterious which doesn't come as a surprise in such a mysterious and Gothic novel. But I was certainly positively surprised. Griffin's characters had such realistic personalities which provided the novel with many of its twists and turns because they would never react as I thought they would.
Over all Masque of the Red Death was a great read. It certainly entertained me and even though it wasn't as good as I thought it would be, it was still great. If you like novels full of mystery, Gothic aspects, with love triangles and many, many surprises, this book should certainly be on your to-be-read pile.
Posted May 22, 2012
First, I want to mention how much I love this cover! I think the
First, I want to mention how much I love this cover! I think the Gothic feel of the girl's dress, umbrella, as well as the dark fog perfectly fit the book. I love the colors that were used too - they solidified the Gothic feel for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Being a huge Poe fan, I was eager to read this book. It was a dark novel based in a dystopian world where infection ran rampant. People were forced to wear masks at all time to avoid being infected and most couldn't even afford to buy a mask. Araby seems to be a thoughtful character amid her shallow friends and shows concern for the people who have been infected. This is largely due to her past, which is elaborated upon in the book and is very well written into the rest of the novel.
The book speaks of many topics including love, friendship, fear, revolution, family, and sense of self. Through it's dark narrative, Griffin weaves a story unlike any other I have read in the dystopian genre. The only thing that kept my mind wandering from the heart of the story was the setting. It's purely dystopian with no clue as to whether it is past or future or a different planet altogether. I believe that because I haven't read much dystopian literature before, that this minor detail kept me curious as to when this book was happening.
Once I was able to set aside the timing of the novel, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The ending had me a bit disappointed, as there didn't seem to be any real closure to the book. It seemed a bit wide open - perhaps like there should be another book after it (which I'm not completely sure about). I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially fans of Young Adult, dystopian, and Poe.
Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 21, 2012
Loved it! Get lost in Bethany's Sinister World!
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany GriffinWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
ARC received from Harper Collins via Edelweiss
Release Date: 4-24-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn on the YA Sisterhood
The Sister’s Say: Macabre, Mind-blowing, and Masterful
From the first page of this novel, I was gripped, and I refused to put it down. I had been staring at the cover for weeks in awe (you have to admit, it's breathtaking). And, I was fortunate enough to get an ARC through Edelweiss Above the Treeline!!!!
This is one of the first books in a while where I found myself completely stunned with all the twists and turns--I didn't see a single one of them coming! It's so great to read a book that is anything but predictable.
The setting is absolutely amazing. There were times when the action was slow, but I didn't mind at all because I got swept away in Bethany Griffin's description of the dilapidated city filled with the gorgeously dressed rich people and then the grotesquely vile plague victims. Her imagery melts onto the page, and I felt like I was plucked from my recliner and thrown right into the middle of Bethany's world. If only more people could write the way she does!
Her characters are so rich with personality, even the characters with smaller roles. I felt connected to each and every one of them, but especially to Araby. She has experienced great tragedy, and as a result, she sinks into herself, trying anything and everything to escape the harsh reality into which she is thrust. I felt her pain as if it were my own-- a feat very difficult to accomplish for most writers. And then when she meets Elliott and Will--I felt her hope and guilt and indecision. I can't explain it other than I was captivated.
I love Will and Elliott. Will is the mysterious tattooed proprietor of the club who Araby is instantly attracted to, and his secrets (which I won't reveal) make him even more...irresistible. And then there's Elliott--the wealthy aristocrat who is hiding his own secrets. I love these two guys because they are completely genuine, even when they are hiding things. I instantly felt like I could trust them both...but boy, did they both surprise me! READ IT!!! You won't be disappointed.
Bethany builds a world where the macabre and sinister is ordinary. There is no black or white, good or evil, healthy or sick--her story is rife with everything in between. It was so good, I immediately went straight to Twitter and asked Bethany if a sequel is in the works (Yes! 2013!)--I can't wait.
Finally, I will give a warning that this story is for older YA readers. I would rate it PG-13 for drug use, violence, and brief references to rape.
Posted May 16, 2012