AUTHOR Bethany Griffin
PUBLICATION April 24, 2012 by Greenwillow Books
READ June 28, 2012
Everything is in ruins.I'm not sure why I put reading this one off for so long, I did but it on release day and then it just stared at me from my shelf waiting to be picked up. I finally did, and I must say it was not nearly as good as I had hoped. Granted the world building was fantastic, the novel is definitely above par in that aspect but it was most definitely lacking in the characterizations. I do feel that I would have had more interest in the novel had it been written from April's (Araby's best friend) perspective, but more on that later.
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 I did love about Masque of the Red Death is the wonderful world that Bethany Griffin has fleshed out. There is death and destruction all around and there is a sense of desperation that is achieved on every single page. My favorite parts of this novel were when Araby was travelling around the city in one of the steam carriages and taking in her surroundings. I had no trouble envisioning a city in ruins with dark characters walking around in their porcelain masks and in my head that was a frightening sight. When a world is so descriptive that I can have a perfect vision of it in my head I know that the author is good.
What I didn't love about this novel were the characterizations, Araby was someone that I did not like at all. She was someone who had given up and essentially was ready to say goodbye to the world. Her dreary attitude of simply going through the motions of her life had me not caring whether she lived or died at all. This character did nothing of her own convictions she was always a puppet and someone else was pulling at her strings. Not only that, Elliot, the main person working those strings was a terrible person! He wasn't even a kind, caring person he was selfish and essentially treated her like a puppy dog. When she stole the book for him and he sat her down and said "Good girl" I couldn't help but cringe. Everyone around her was very vocal about their opinions on him and expressed openly to her that she need stay away yet she completely betrays her family and puts them in grave danger for this person.
There were some redeeming characters thrown into the mix, mainly April. She was witty and strong, she had free will and made up her own mind. The parts with her had my laughing at her sarcastic comments and I was rooting for her in the end for standing up for herself and doing what SHE thought was right, not what everyone TOLD her was right. Also, Will was a good character with many layers, while I didn't find him swoon worthy, I did find his story interesting and I wanted more.
Will I be picking up the second novel in this series? Yes because as I said I loved the world and the feeling of desperation that was perfectly conveyed. I do have hopes that in the second one Araby becomes a much stronger willed character because I think that would really propel the story into something amazing.