Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult // Steampunk
Source: Purchased (BN.com)
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 around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . 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 is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her (goodreads).
Masque of the Red Death is an imaginative read about a political power struggle and a sickness that is spreading across the lower class families. Oh, and what's a plague story without a love triangle?
Plot: Masque of the Red Death caught my attention immediately with it's glitzy lifestyle and obvious class division. Unfortunately, the charm wore off by the fourth chapter. I still enjoyed it, I just didn't love it. The ending was a total game changer that made me raise my eyebrow and I'm still not too sure if that is a good thing of bad thing. As I have not ventured more into the Edgar Allen Poe realm, I can say that Bethany Griffin really made this story her own and it takes a special skill to completely reimagine a work by one of history's most beloved novelists.
Characters: As I was reading this story, I decided to do some research on the author (as The Fall had just come out as well). She described herself as a character driven writer but I didn't get that while reading Masque of the Red Death. Araby was an interesting character, with her obvious flaws and drug addiction, but I never felt as though she was fully fleshed out. She discussed her past with other characters and why she does the things that she does, but I hardly feel as though she grows without being told to. I was really interested in her relationship with her family but the dialogue always felt forced and incredibly awkward. Like I said before, there is a love triangle in this novel and it's pretty central to the whole story. The terrible part is that I have no idea who she will choose and hat annoys me, I'm a control freak like that.
World Building: Bethany's world is beautiful and desolate. There are two parts of town and it's incredible to see the different descriptions and the different priorities of both "neighborhoods." I also loved the crazy fashion, it reminded me a lot of the Capital from The Hunger Games. Lots of color and pazazz!
Short N Sweet: Masque of the Red Death is an interesting take on a classic story, but I felt as if the characters did more "telling" than they did "showing."