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 to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . 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 boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
Book I in a series
Genre: YA Dystopian, Horror
publication: April 24th 2012 by Harper Collins
copy received from publisher
synopsis from goodreads
What drew me into this story most definitely was the dark premise and the cover – the cover looks absolutely awesome! Also, I have to admit that I never read something from Allen Poe, growing up in Germany means we had different kind of classic literatures in class, so I will refrain from comparing this story to the original one.
The world Araby lives is cannot be any more cruel. Due to the plaque most people (and animals) are dead and those who survived have to wear a masque at any times to avoid getting infected. But, people are still dying every day and the world really is on edge and humanity might be die out if this plaque goes on like this. Those shift in humanity also brings out the worst in people and the town Araby lives in is ruled by a cruel prince who has nothing but himself in mind. Araby’s father is a scientist who discovered the Masque that everyone has to wears and he’s seen as the savior of humankind.
Our protagonist Arabry couldn’t be any more tragic. Due to the loss of her twin brother she lost her wish of survival and it goes even further she vowed to never enjoy anything in her life that her brother would never able to experience anymore . She hangs out with April her rich best friend and together the visit the Debauchery Club where Arabry can lose herself in alcohol and drugs to forget about the cruelty of her life. My problem with her was that it was just too much, I do understand that the loss of her brother changed her and together with constant self-loathing crushed her spirit. However, it was just a notch too much for me to be believable. I wish to see her a little stronger even in the beginning, at least something that made me hope for me. It was hard to keep track with her tragedy. While I do understand that the upcoming developments made her change and see herself in the right light for the first time, I just found her character unbelievable in the beginning. Her naivety also didn’t help my feelings for her, she was way to trusting and didn’t think for herself. I was shaking my head at her actions too many times!
We have two major male characters that play important roles for Arabry’s life and change. Will, who is best described as the dark brooding mysterious boy with tattoos that make you swoon and an attitude that makes you fall in love with him. When Arabry learns that there is more to this mysterious boy who works at this club, she cannot help herself but fall for him, even though she is repulsed by these feelings at first. I really loved this boy, he was the perfect male lead for me – he was incredible and one of the highlights of this story for me.
Elliot is the complete opposite, light in nature and light in appearance but underneath there is a serious bad boy image that Will only holds from the outside, yet Elliot is the real bad boy. He’s the one that wants to change the rules of the City and he would risk anything to get what he wants, also Arabry. Conflicting as it seems, he also falls slowly for our tragic girl and there is so much more to him we still need to discover. Just like Will, Elliot’s character and the striking differences in his attitude and agenda makes him so very much intriguing
Masque of the Red Death is a very dark edgy and disturbing tale about humanity. Strong male leads who shine so much brighter than the tragic female protagonist Arabry, saved the story for me. Despite the lack of connection with the characters in the first parts of the book, the story paced up nicely later on and the story got more fascinating. I believe fans of very dark dystopian stories, mixed with some Victorian Steampunk elements will definitely enjoy this story!
Additional (personal) Notes: I am right now on a short vacation in the US and after spending some time in LA I am right now in Las Vegas.. Woooho!!! I will check in to respond to your comment though, but I wanted to give you a heads up why you haven’t seen me on your blog for the last few days!