Title: Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
Author: Bethany Griffin
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Read: August 17th 2012
- Masque of the Red Death
- Dance of the Red Death
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 I thought:
The world has been attacked by a plague, and the survivors are having trouble living daily. Men with carts go around and collect the dead from the houses daily (I thought of the ‘Bring out your Dead!” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail for this part!). Most people wear protective masks to keep themselves free of the disease, but most can’t even afford it let alone for their kids.
The Prince that rules the area is ruthless, keeping the patent for himself and his scientists under a tight leash. Araby’s father is the one that invented the mask, but was too late in saving one of his own children. They moved from the streets in hiding to an expensive apartment where he continues to work, and Araby just kind of coasts through life. April and her dress up, with lots of makeup and shorter skirts (now fashionable so they can see if the plague has attacked your legs) and go to clubs to pass their time and lose themselves in this new world.
Along with groups that want to overthrow the Prince, those trying to gain religious power, and those who follow you in the shadows, there are so many threats and a lot going on in this book. Araby gets involved through Elliot and what he plans, and then it seems that everyone has their eyes on her, even the prince.
I had some issues with the main character. I found it hard to connect with Araby through most of the book. Yes, she went through a lot when she was younger and her brother’s death was traumatic, but I just didn’t expect her to be like that, so numb and seeming like she didn’t care about anything. She blames herself for everything including her brother’s death, and believes that her parents don’t love her. When she finally does start to change a bit, it’s late into the book. I think I just had different expectations of what was going to happen with this story, it was a bit boring at parts too.
For me the characters are an important part of making me enjoy it, and it was ok but some issues kept me from loving it. Will and his sibling were probably my favourite out of everyone.
Recommended for young adult fans who like a mix of steampunk and post-apocalyptic.