Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

 Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
Author: Bethany Griffin
Published: 24 April 2014
Source: Library
Reviewed: Sapphireddragon
SapphiredDragon Rating: ****

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
 by Bethany Griffin

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 around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . 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 is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.


Masque of the Red Death was an intriguing novel to read.  Part steampunk, part dystopian, Masque of the Red Death  takes place in a city,  cut off from pretty much anywhere else and with the majority of its population dead or dying of a plague known as the weeping sickness.  Time in a sense has frozen as life has become all about survival with those wealthy enough to afford masks to keep out the sickness either hide away from society or spend their time partying night after night and the poor doing what they can to survive.  The only thing they have in common is  unhappiness and unrest at their lot and this is about to blow up.

Enter Araby, daughter of the scientist that invented the masks and best friend April, the niece of the prince.  She has had losses of her own and no longer cares for her life spending every night partying and taking substances that leave her numb or insensible.  Without meaning to, Araby somehow finds herself in the middle of the unrest and being forced to make a choice between, her family, love and life.

I felt the numbness and apathy of Araby and the beginning of this novel and this was reflected in the way I at first felt about the story.  I didn't seem to think I cared but found myself moving onwards anyhow and somehow without even realising it, became involved in the story following it to the end.  Full of action, and fraught tension and intrigue, Ms Griffin's writing had me feeling almost everything Araby felt and caught up in the action from the palpable fear to the distrust of anyone and everyone, questioning everyone's motives.

I went in to this novel reasonably blind and I think that helped because I had absolutely no idea where the story would take me and could thus enjoy all aspects of the novel rather than waiting impatiently as it got to where I knew it was going to go.

I got a little lost towards the end when a lot of action all happens at once.  I eventually found my way and enjoyed how it finished but this did take away just a little bit from my overall enjoyment.

I am now off to read book 2, Dance of the Red Death. :-)

I give this novel 4 stars

Sapphired Dragon xx

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