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Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
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.

Goodreads Summary

If you are a reader who loves dystopians, this is the ultimate.  Author Bethany Griffin has created a world where you have to where a mask for fear of contracting a horrible disease that results in death.  A world where your next-door neighbor or sister could disappear randomly without you knowing what actually happened is both terrifying and oddly exhilarating when you think of what it would be like to be one of the survivors. 

The main character, Araby, had lost her brother early on in life and blames herself.  She pledges never to experience anything that her brother never had a chance to.  Although she may come off as a pleasure-seeker, Araby hides her loss behind a devil-may-care attitude.  The reader will certainly want to shake her at times, but she is also a sympathetic character.  There is a bit of a love triangle in this book.  There is Araby's best friend, Alice's, brother and a boy who saves Araby from her drugged revelry.  Both have been deeply affected by the Plague, but the two are very different.  Elliot, Alice's brother, is ruthless, but he shows some weakness when it comes to Araby.  Will is more of a white knight, the reader will have a hard time choosing who to root for. 

The plot was fast-paced.  The reader follows Araby through a Plague-stricken world, a world she could possibly affect for the better.  Araby meets the "Prince" Prospero, Alice and Elliot's uncle, she realizes that things must change.  The time she spends in his castle will introduce the reader to a whole new Araby; she matures throughout the book.  The ending is both surprising and will leave the reader wondering about what happens next.  Author Bethany Griffin manages to effortlessly combine both the steampunk and dystopian genres, mix the two with romance, intrigue, mystery, and action and produce an amazing book.  This book is recommended to young adult/teen/adult readers.

5 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. This is a book that's caught my interest for a while. Good review.

  1. Lalaine said...:

    I loved this book, glad you loved it too Krystal,eep such a great review. <3


  1. Unknown said...:

    I loved this book toow. The story sure lived up to its cover.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I loved this book too. Great review!

  1. Italia said...:

    There is some interesting world building in this novel: the city, the sickness, the steampunk elements. For some reason, turn-of-the-century girls have become bright-haired goths, and the young men are tattooed rakes. No one is chaperoned, and despite the terrible sickness killing people daily (publicly), parents don't seem to take much care of their children. Young people do what they please, where they please, mostly at clubs, and stagger home drunk at dawn. This doesn't seem like realistic behavior, but hey, it's alternate history. It takes time for the city to come alive for the reader - the author slowly builds atmosphere and effect throughout the 336 pages, finally creating a vivid world by the end of the first installment. The action sequences are entertaining, and the dystopia/Poe mashup is an intriguing concept.

    The characterization, however, falls short of the novel's promise. Araby is a zombie for much of the novel, she's a drug addict, and she's very naive. Dangerously naive. She has to be rescued several times by other characters with more common sense. Araby allows herself to become a pawn in Eliott's rebellion, with little benefit. And for someone who spends her nights in Debauchery, she's remarkably bland. She is neither fun-loving nor exciting. She's more cautious than her friend April, but both do remarkably stupid things. While some of her motivation is provided (the dead brother), the rest of Araby is a void.

  1. Amy S. said...:

    I really liked this book. It was dark, and when I finished I was definitely ready for a light and fluffy book. That said, I will definitely read the next in the series. I liked how neither love interest was all that great, nor was Araby herself.

  1. Steph said...:

    I recently read this one too. I really liked it, except the ending didn't really have closure and the dystopian setting (not knowing if it was supposed to be past or future) threw me a bit. Great review!

  1. Lezean said...:

    I read its Arc and I like the last half of the story. The first half,'s boring for me and also I got confused with the characters. Anyway, I love the love triangle! But i like Elliot more than Will! ;)I'm really looking forward to its sequel!