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Posted April 29, 2012
The first time I saw this book popping up I knew I had to have a copy ASAP! Why? A few reasons: First – ummm the cover is stunning!! Second – Edgar Allan Poe and Third – Steampunk Dystopian. Put those altogether and you get Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. Have I read the original by Edgar Allan Poe? Nope, not at all. Have I read any of the other adaptations? Not even a peek! After having read Bethany Griffin’s tale, any others I read will have some big shoes to fill.
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.
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Posted April 24, 2012
A plague has wiped out most of the population, save a few who were lucky (rich) enough to procure masks that can only be used by one person. In the midst of all the death and destruction, a culture of debauchery has arisen to indulge in the pleasures that may be very soon in ending. Araby is the daughter of the inventor of the mask, and spends her nights taking away the pain of the loss of her brother at the Debauchery Club. When she meets two men that break through her apathy, she has to choose when and how she will make a stand.
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.
3 out of 4 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 November 16, 2012
Posted September 28, 2012
i was skeptical at first into reading it. i thought the cover was awesome and i do like the works of edger allen poe, so why not try it. it was dark but yet alluring. araby goes to the debauchery club to make herself fell numb to her feelings. this is where she meets will, he works the front checking to see if people have the plague before allowing them in. araby is attracted to him and why not he's eye candy with tattoos.
in comes in elliott (her friend alice's brother), he's arrogant and very puzzling. he uses her to get info for him. i was captivated by the book, i didn't want to stop. it had an interesting story line, a little romance, hope to defeat evil, trying to find ways to help saving people, and betrayal. what more could you ask for?
1 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 May 12, 2012
To me, this is a hard one to review. I liked it and I didn't like it. Sometimes the story went round and round and I felt like it was giving me whiplash. This book had a problem that it didn't know what genre it wanted to be. Was it steampunk, science fiction, horror, love story, historical fiction? But pretty much you get everything that I just named in this book and unfortunately, it's not done very well.
The first part of the book is just confusing. The prologue tells us about Araby and her family (brother and father) and her mom who has abandoned them. They seem to be in hiding in a basement and cannot go above ground. Okay, check. Something above is dangerous. But that was in the past about 3 or 4 years ago.
Araby and her friend April are heading to the Debauchery Club pretty much to do what the name of the club says. Both seem to be drug addicts. However because of the Red Lung, everyone who can must wear a special masque and they are checked over by the bouncer at the club. Who has taken a liking to Araby.
I enjoyed the relationship that was budding between Will and Araby. Will is a young man (18/19?) who has custody of his two younger siblings who immediate take to Miss Araby. All is well and good. Until April goes missing and her brother Elliott comes into the picture. Elliott is portrayed as a rake and a general villain. But you know what? Griffin doesn't know how to draw out suspense, so you pretty much know that Elliott is just a guy who is misunderstood. He's also the one who has been supplying Araby with her drugs.
The plot is confounded and is hard to follow. Elliott tries his damndest to get Araby to fall in love with him, but her heart is firmly with Will. Sweet wonderful Will.
But what we really need is a villain. And that would be Elliott's uncle who has killed his father, possibly kidnapped April and is controlling his people by allowing them to die. He is also the self-appointed Prince of the area.
The last quarter of the book is so jumbled and rushed and everything seems to pop up conveniently and possibly inconveniently. A new disease has sprung up. (?) Someone who we thought was dead, is not. The person we thought was evil is not and the person we thought was sweet is not, but for a reason. A reason that is overused and should pretty much be banned from young adult books especially when there is nothing leading up to this one thing happening.
I really tried to like this book and the characters, but I just couldn't.
1 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 May 18, 2013
This book...well..its hard to explain! I did really like this book, not one of my favorites but it was a pretty good read! Its really interesting and a really trippy idea. BUT this isn't the type of book you can just read. When reading this book you really have to focus and imagine it playing out in your mind like a movie, or else you will find it flat boring and kind of stupid! The book starts out really good and you expect it to stay that way but after a while it gets a little weird? Also at some points you are kind of like, 'okay, what is going on right now?? Did I miss something or..." because there are some parts you just feel like you totally missed something and get lost. If you are going to read this book really focus on developing the characters out and let it play out like a movie! It was the only way I could get into it! Ahha, the people I used to imagine the characters where- Lily Collins for Araby, for Elliot I kept going back and forth between Austin Butler and jamie campbell bower, I had a hard time picturing Will but I kind of pictured him as Joshua Brand when he had his hair long for his model pictures and then for April and Araby's dad I pictured candice accola and pierce brosnan! ohhh and for the prince I pictured tom hiddleston. ahha, thought this might help some people! I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I'm addicted to anything Poe, and I absolutely love the idea of creating a new story from his literary genius,
overall I found the book well written and lovable and, I will read the next one.
Posted March 24, 2013
The world Araby Worth lives in has been consumed by a devastating plague. Those who have not already gotten the plague live in fear of contracting it. Araby is looking for oblivion. A way to forget that her twin brother died and she still lives. Things start to change when she meets Will and Elliott. Suddenly, there might be something to live for.
I was impressed with this story. I really enjoyed how flawed Araby was as the main character. In the beginning of the story she is very self-centered. She only thinks about her own pain. As the story progresses, Araby begins to realize there is more to the world and that maybe she is not living her life in a way that honors her brother.
Along with Araby’s development there is the intriguing world of the plague and those who are still alive. Elliott and Will are both surrounded with mystery that make you want to keep reading to find out more about them. Araby’s dad also has a lot of intrigue to him and I really wanted to find out more about him.
I did find myself wanting to know more about how the Prince came to power and how he maintains control of the city. I am hoping there is a bit more backstory on him in the next book. Overall it is a great read and I can’t wait for the next book.
Posted March 17, 2013
I liked the concept of this book and it started off okay, unfortunately it got worse as it progressed. The pacing was way off and it's clear that the author has no idea how to draw out suspense. Any action sequences were so rushed that it was over before I was able to feel any concerns for the safety of the characters. They felt rushed and incomplete. She also needs to work on showing her character's emotions better. I never feelt Araby's fear or saddness or desire or any other emotion. It's not enough to simply tell the reader the character misses her brother, you need to make them feel it too.
I also thought there was a real lack of character development. I didn't feel like I knew or understood any of the characters, never got their relationships and never understood their attractions to one another.
I thought she did a good job with the dark seettong, but it's clear that she focused mainly on that part of the story. The plot was just okay. It could have been reaaly good if she'd given us just a little more back story and understanding of the world.
I would not recommend this and probably will not read the sequel.
I consider myself a Poe advocate so naturally I gravitated towards this book & it didn't let me down. The story is told from the daughter of a scientist, Araby, within the early days where plague has taken over the town and Araby's father has devised a mask that can keep the contagion from spreading to the wearer. This invention puts Araby and her family on a pedestal that comes with expectation and wealth but also comes with guilt and sorrow due to the loss of Araby's twin Finn. Through various events Araby finds her self in a love triangle between Elliot (her best friend April's brother:: who are also the nephew and niece of the Evil Prince) and Will a brother of two who is living in poverty and raising his siblings himself during these awful times. Araby also finds herself at the head of a revolt against the Prince! Ah it's amazing I can't tell more without creating a spoiler but its definitely a must read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 1, 2013
I absolutely adored this book! I read it in one day and then two days later I read it again. IT IS JUST THAT AWESOME. The story line kept
me entertained throughout the book and I can't wait for the sequel!
Posted December 15, 2012
<i>Masque of the Red Death</i>
is a delightfully dark gem. It is gorgeously composed, mysteriously twisted, overtly dramatic. In a world where modesty has given way to devastation, Araby loses herself in the glitzy makeup, the vivid dresses, searching for a way to forget it all. She is a lost girl, punishing herself with continued despair for reasons we will discover later, and come to understand.
The plague isn’t the only disease in this place. The people are too – full of dark lies, secrets and intrigue. No one is good, everyone has a dark side, there is no black and white. In a world where you can’t even seem to trust yourself, how is Araby to navigate the troubled waters between the two men whose lives she becomes ever-more involved with? It is one of the few novels I’ve read that can pull off a love triangle simply because you don’t know who to root for. You’re tossed from one side to the other as each becomes appealing and appalling in turn. At times, you’re not sure Araby can ever forgive them, but at the same time, you just don’t want her to end up alone.
The seeds of discontent are strewn throughout society. People need masks to survive. There are never enough, and only the wealthy can afford them. Death is an everyday occurrence. Rebellion simmers hotly in the underbelly of the city, ready to burst.
I was a huge fan of <i>Masque of the Red Death</i>
, and I highly suggest it. It was unapologetically gothic, dark, and full of well-timed twists. I can’t wait for the sequel, when we finally get to Prince Prospero’s ball!
Posted November 20, 2012
Masque of the Red Death is haunting and despairingly beautiful. From the first words, Griffin ensnared me in the waking dream that is Araby's life: nights in an exclusive club, a safe place to live, and a good friend. However, this lies in the midst of a decaying world. The first chapters are devoid of feeling. Araby loses herself in the debauchery that has overtaken the upperclass, as they seek to drown out the horrors of their dying civilization by clubbing every night. As the story progresses, Araby comes out of the coccoon where she has been silently grieving, and she grows into the role of the strong young woman that has been lying dormant within her.
The writing makes this novel the gem that it is. Without it, the characters wouldn't have as much personality, and the world building wouldn't have been as torn and beautiful as it is. Griffin's words capture the heartbreak that Araby goes through as she struggles with survivor's guilt over her twin brother's death and as Will and Elliott spin her around, shaking her heart, wondering who to trust. This is a love triangle without the, "I love this guy for this, but oh... that guy...." that a lot of girls go through in YA lit these days. It does not overtake the essence of the plot. Speaking of which, I would think that I had the plot figured out, but Griffin continued to surprise me with plot twists, leaving me as lost as Araby is at the end.
The world is broken, most notably with contrasting images of light and dark. Araby and Finn. Will and Elliott. Hope and despair. Debauchery and the slums. Masque of the Red Death is filled with grotesque images, but there is also beauty to be found in the dying world. The characters bewitched me with their scandalous actions that belie the purity and strength of their hearts. At the end, I couldn't believe that it was over already. Needless to say, I cannot wait for book two.
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 Orleans, and inspiration from Poe? A retelling of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, a spellbinding story presented with a gorgeous cover.
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
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!
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Posted August 24, 2012
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.
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