Sunday, September 9, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)

Hey, guys! Sorry for the absence, but I've been mega busy with school and I had practice yesterday and didn't get any reviewing done, but I finished this today so here's my review. YAY! A review finally!

Masque of the Red Death

First in the Masque of the Red Death series

4 stars

Everything in Araby Worth’s world is dying or in ruins. Her world was destroyed by a plague that decimated the population. The people who survived are left in fear clutching masks to their faces and the upperclassmen take refuge in the comfort of the Akkadian Towers. Araby Worth’s father created masks to save the population from the plague. The first mask was meant for her brother Finn, but she took his mask not realizing that once you breathe into a mask no one else can use it. She has nothing to live for except for dazzling nights in the Debauchery Club. Where she is adorned in beautiful makeup and dresses and ways to forget everything, but in the club lays two boys that both carry secrets. Will, the proprietor of the club who elicits emotion that Araby hasn’t felt since her brother’s death and Elliot, a wicked smart aristocrat who has ties to the evil prince that could save their world or bring them down. I was expecting to be blown away by Masque of the Red Death. The book is based off of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, which I had gotten of glimpse of in Nevermore and was intrigued. I have still yet to fully read The Masque of the Red Death but look forward to reading it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the writing is flawless, but my biggest problem was the first part of the novel. I had trouble connecting to Araby. It’s hard to connect to a character that has disconnected herself from the world. I think that was Griffin’s intent when writing about Araby for the first part. We would receive glimpses of Araby’s feelings but they weren’t very noticeable. At least not until the last 50% of the novel where she starts to show the emotion she has been lacking. Araby is a disconnected from everything and even her friendship with April, another girl from the Akkadian Towers, felt fake and like they were only friends because they didn’t want to be all alone in a crumbling world. Once Araby starts spending time with Will though it becomes obvious that he and his family take part in helping Araby connect to herself again.

Yes I know this review is formatted differently from my usual way, but this book is unusual and my way just doesn’t seem right.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 7.5 After Transformation: 8

Will was, I admit, very dreamy and I looked forward to the times he was in the novel with Araby. I was a bit hurt by the ending though, but hopefully he will be able to redeem himself. I do understand why he did what he did though. I have mixed emotions to Elliot. I don’t like him, but when he was with Araby in the palace I found myself rooting for him. I don’t like that feeling of confliction. I like Will much more than Elliot, but at the same time I feel bad for Elliot and want him to be happy. It’s hard for me to believe that he is in love with Araby though since he seems to untrusting for love or friendship.

Swoon Worthy Scale: Will: 8.5 Elliot: 7.5

Prince Prospero holds everyone in the city with an iron fist. He says jump and they don’t even ask how high they just do it. Prince Prospero allegedly killed Elliot and April’s father, which is why Elliot is bent on overthrowing him and taking the town for away from his uncle in hopes of saving humanity. Reverend Malcontent is trying to get followers to believe that the plague was brought on by being sinners. He also poses as a threat and a force to be reckoned with. Even though there were multiple villains, they weren’t the type of villains to make me quiver in fear, but made me cringe in discomfort when described.

Villain Scale: 7
April, Elliot’s sister and Araby’s friend, as I mentioned above felt fake. In all towards the end it becomes obvious she is fake and parades her in a masquerade of beauty to hide her fear of dying. I didn’t really like April, but I didn’t dislike her either. Will’s brother and sister, Elise and Henry, are absolutely adorable and I just want to wrap them up in a tight secure blanket and take them away from the terrible world they forced to live in.

Character Scale: 7.5

My connection to the characters was my biggest problem with this book, but after Araby’s change I sped through the book hungrily. Gobbling up every word and wanting to know all about what happened in Araby’s world. I am looking forward to more of Araby’s world and finding out how this new disease and revolt plays out. I have high hopes for the next novel and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

Cover Thoughts: The cover is absolutely gorgeous and is just so beautiful. Every time I look at it I feel like I’m gasping for breath in the world that Araby breaths in. The cover is absolutely breath taking is perfect for this novel. 


  1. Great review! I'm sorry to hear you didn't feel connected to the characters. I need to feel connected to the characters so that might be a problem. Though I still love the premise, and the short story was awesome so I hope this doesn't pale in comparison. Hopefully, I will get to read this soon. :D

    1. Thank you and I hope you enjoy it Courtney!