Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Posted 9 April, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 17 Comments

Masque of The Read Death by Bethany Griffin Cover 3DMasque of the Red Death

Book I in a series
Genre: YA Dystopian, Horror
publication: April 24th 2012 by Harper Collins
copy received from publisher
Get your own eBook, Hardcover: amazon | B&N | IndieBound 
synopsis from goodreads
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.

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.

Dark Dystopian world full of horror

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.

Araby – suicidal, tragic and naive

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!

Strong male characters – Will and Elliot, who will you fall for?

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

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

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!
Much Love,
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17 Responses to “Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin”

  1. LOL it’s okay, I’ve never read anything by Poe either — although I HAVE read something with Poe in it, if that counts. x) I’ve started reading the first chapter of this book but couldn’t get into it completely because of Araby either, so I definitely understand what you’re saying about her being really tragic! But I’m going to re-start it soon to review it, and I’m super excited to meet Will and Elliot! 😉

    Awesome honest review, Danny!
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    Danny 4/9/2012

    Hehe if this counts, then the only other Poe related book I read was “Nevermore” which was super freaking awesome. Did you read it?

    And ooO it’s hard to get into a book when the first pages aren’t that gripping I had the same here but I was reading it in the plane to the US so I had plenty of time and I just kept on reading!

    And.. I just saw you reviewed Of Poseidon today *gasps* LOVE this book! Going to check out your review now 🙂
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  2. This sounds pretty good but I’m still not sure if I’ll pick up a copy of this one .. Thanks for the great review Danny 🙂 !! Have fun in Vegas !!
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    Danny 4/9/2012

    Thanks Elodie! Vegas is awesome and I love spending some time here and when you refrain from spending to much time on gambling it’s even better hehe!!!

    I hope you are going to love it, it’s very dark but I ended up liking it at the end!
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  3. Thank you so much for your honesty. This is the next book on my tbr-pile and while I’ve heard many good things, I’ve also read quite a few mixed reviews. I’m definitely intrigued to find out whether I’ll like it or not, so I’m hoping to start it soon (maybe even today). 🙂

    Thanks for sharing,

    P.s.: Why didn’t I know that you’re from Germany, too?! (Wobei ich mich gerade frage, warum ich das dann überhaupt auf Englisch schreibe. 😀 Hoffe, dass du einen schönen Urlaub hast!)
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    Danny 4/9/2012

    I haven’t read so many reviews of this one to be honest. I try to stay away from too many review until I read it myself and had time to make up my mind. It really is a good read and once I was past the slow beginning I ended up being really sucked into this book…

    P.S.: Seriously? You are also German I didn’t know this either! Und, loool japp ich tendiere dann auch auf English zu antworten! Aber das ist wirklich nett dich kennenzulernen! Ich mag deinen Blog :)))
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    Carina @ Fictional Distraction 4/9/2012

    Ich habe es gerade angefangen zu lesen und finde es bis jetzt sehr interessant. Mal schauen, wie es sich weiter entwickelt. (In letzter Zeit habe ich irgendwie angefangen, häufiger Reviews von Büchern zu lesen, die ich selber bald lesen will… bis jetzt hat es ganz gut geklappt, aber habe Angst, irgendwann doch mal auf zu viele Spoiler zu treffen. 😀 )

    Dankeschön! Ich mag euren Blog auch sehr gerne. 🙂
    Finde das immer sehr lustig bzw. toll, deutsche Buch-Blogger zu “treffen”, die auf Englisch schreiben. So viele gibt es ja von uns nicht. 😀
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  4. Oh too bad you couldn’t connect with the characters and that the main character was unbelievable.
    That always puts me off when reading.

    Thanks for sharing your great review 🙂

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    Danny 4/9/2012

    Yep me too normally, but there was something about the book that made me stick to it. I loved Will for instances, her really was intriguing and I wanted to know more about him. Also the plot was great and picked up pace towards the end.
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  5. I really enjoyed this one, but I tend to gravitate toward darker stories, so it was right up my alley! I think you make some great points about Araby, she was definitely overwhelmingly tragic, but I kind of liked her. I like the idea of her starting out at rock bottom and slowly clawing her way up as the series progresses, but she’s definitely a lot to take in initially. LOVE both Elliot and Will though, I’m very curious to see how things play out with them:) Awesome review Danny!

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    Danny 4/9/2012

    Thanks hon!!!!! You are right, if you are in the mood for dark and gripping stories this one is definitely most awesome!! I have to make Pushy read it because I know she’d love it much more than I did! I agree with you on Arabry’s development which was great to follow. But her initial choices and trusting nature put me off because it felt not real for me. I liked her much better at the end!

    I was shocked to be honest to find out that there is going to be a sequel!!!! Oh noes… And yes I’m excited to see how these three will manage with the upcoming events!
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  6. KM

    I had a difficult time connecting with the characters, as well. I think the reason Araby was so difficult to sympathize with was because she’s so battered and broken – it’s difficult to want to be inside the head of a character who believes so many lies about herself.

    Great review! I posted one of this book today, too! 🙂
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  7. This book just really didn’t do it for me. The idea behind the book was a really great concept but it just lacked passion and emotion. I agree that the male characters shined brighter than the female leads and this might have been another reason why I didn’t care that much about the story. I felt there were some great quotes and good messages in the book but it was really slow and just didn’t work at pulling all of the elements together. If anything I wish the story would have been darker, have more of an edge, and have a touch more sexuality.

    Thanks for the great review. 🙂
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