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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.
8 out of 8 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 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?
2 out of 2 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 October 13, 2013
When I first read this book, it was for my ninth grade English class last year. My teacher assigned the assignment for us to read a book of our choice, and so I picked this one. I looked at the colour and was astonished. I looked at what it was about and checked it out from my school Library. Right when I started to read it, I couldn't put it down I read it three times in just two days! This is by far one of the greatest books that I've come across, and I read all the time!
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 November 9, 2013
Posted September 16, 2013
Posted July 19, 2013
It's been a while since I have read a book that I have LOVED this much. Dark. Sultry. Could not put this down! Has made its place into my top fav series, along with Hunger Games and Wicked Lovely. This will be a book that I will reread several times over. The plot. The characters. The setting. It captivates you and you only look up from the pages after you turn the last page.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2013
I guess it would be an understatement for me to say how much I love dystopian tales but I will say that I really loved this one because it also had touches of romance mixed in. I fell in love with this book from the very beginning when I was dropped into Araby's world. The world building the author created was so frighteningly real. I mean what would we really do if you couldn't go out with having to wear a mask and better yet what if you couldn't afford one. It was amazing to see the people moving through this world and living their lived behind a mask and having to depend on it taking care of them. I think the scariest part for me was that this is something that could really happen and we would probably have no way of stopping it. Araby was a really cool conflicted character. She was living with the memories of her twin brother being gone I think that was one of the reasons for her drug use. Yes I said it so be warned that there a few references to drug use in the book but it was really mild talk about it. She knew the world she was living in wasn't a good one but it was also all she knew. I loved when she finally decided to think more for herself and decide to help change things.
I have to say that the introductions of both Will and Elliot to this story was a welcome addition. I loved that the boys were so different but yet so unique and I liked that they weren't both pushing Araby for a relationship. I loved that Will was so family oriented and your normal everyday guy with a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. The love he had for his siblings had me close to tears at some points in the book because they were all so sweet together. On the other hand you have Elliott who is the opposite of Will but I still liked him. I loved that he was willing to try to bring about change and loved that rebellious streak that he had. I also loved that he was fighting for the good of all in the end. I am normally not ok with love triangles but in this case it really worked as I could see valid reasons why Araby could fall for either of them.
Overall I loved this book and can't wait to jump into the next book in the series. This book had a lot of action and was well paced and sucked me right in. I loved the characters and they were fleshed out really well and I really felt like I knew them personally. The author did such a great job of spinning such an awesome tale that had me invested in seeing how it would all play out. There is a little bit of everything in this book for all book lovers from the romance,action and the fantastic tale of trying to figure out how to deal with this mysterious virus. I am recommending this one to all book lovers especially dystopian lovers.
Posted June 6, 2013
It's been a long time since I've read Poe's version, but I enjoyed this retelling. It's every bit as gloomy and depressing as Poe's work.
The characters are great. There's so much more to them than meets the eye. Araby is full of grief, and refuses to allow herself any moments of happiness. Will is sweet despite his hard exterior as a bouncer. I wanted to dislike Elliott so bad. He comes off as a total d-bag, but he's a man of many layers.
Honestly, the first half of the book was lacking for me. Everything seems to be moving along very slowly, and there are parts that I felt are choppy. The world building is amazing. I felt as though I was in the plagued streets. The last quarter of the book was strong. There were moments of wtfery and shock.
I'm stoked for the sequel to come out. Thank goodness I don't have to wait long until the release date.
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.