Masque of the Red Death

Masque of the Red Death

by Bethany Griffin


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Desire is contagious

A devastating plague has decimated thepopulation, 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, Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062107800
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Series: Red Death Series , #1
Pages: 319
Sales rank: 1,245,472
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Bethany Griffin is the author of Masque of the Red Death. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She lives with her family in Kentucky.

What People are Saying About This

Melissa Marr

“Haunting and beautiful, disturbing and thoughtful, this is a book you’ll be thinking about well after the last page is turned.”

Suzanne Young

“Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death is gorgeous, compelling, and achingly romantic.”

Lauren Destefano

“Luscious, sultry and lingeringly tragic, this story has my heart. I can’t stop thinking about this tale of a broken world held together by corsets and clock gears. Araby’s voice stays with me even now, making me wary of the air I breathe.”

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Masque of the Red Death 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
The first time I saw this book popping up I knew I had to have a copy ASAP! Why? A few reasons: First – ummm the cover is stunning!! Second – Edgar Allan Poe and Third – Steampunk Dystopian. Put those altogether and you get Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. Have I read the original by Edgar Allan Poe? Nope, not at all. Have I read any of the other adaptations? Not even a peek! After having read Bethany Griffin’s tale, any others I read will have some big shoes to fill. This dark, dystopian tale set in a dark steampunk world is mesmerizing and addicting. From the very opening scene to the climactic ending, Masque of the Red Death is everything I had hoped it would be. I completely devoured this book and fell in love with the characters and the world created by Bethany Griffin. Her writing style is captivating. The world building that was done all throughout the book was entrancing, and her character building was spellbinding. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t love about this book. We are thrust into a dying world where only the wealthy are able to afford the luxury of a mask that aids in surviving the plague. How do you get away from your problems and forget the past and the death? Alcohol, drugs, and a life of debauchery. And where else would one go to entertain this lifestyle? Why, the Debauchery Club, of course. And it is in this club that we get to meet the so very sexy Will. Let me tell you, he sent my heart a flutter! Good boy? Bad boy? Does it matter? He is the whole package. Not only do we get to meet Will thanks to this club, but we also get to feast our eyes on Elliot. I was on the fence about him for a while, but if you put aside his façade, and you really see him, he is so swoon worthy, it’s not even funny. I can see where main protagonist, Araby Worth, has a difficult time deciding whom to trust and with whom she can give her heart to. Yes, yes there is a love triangle, but it’s such a perfect triangle! So many twists and turns, and secrets revealed it will keep your head spinning. What I really enjoyed about this book was the strength Araby has even after having to live with the guilt of her twin brother’s death, watching her parent’s struggle with Araby living and not their son, having to survive in a world where death and danger lurk around any corner, and trying to accept love in a world where deception is a close friend. I could easily picture this book as a movie. The images were already playing out in my mind as I flew through the pages. The characters jumped out of the pages for me, and I felt as though I were right in the book. Seeing the death and decay, smelling the foulness of the disease, feeling the pain of loss and the fear of every shadow. I could hear the music of the club, the shots of the muskets, and the wheels of the carts that carried the bodies claimed by the disease. One of the big lessons learned in the book was this: TRUST NO ON. Totally true. Masque of the Red Death had so many remarkable plot twists and turns that some of the scenes will break your heart. Simply put, this book is amazing! Fans of dark tales, dystopian reads, and steampunk will fall in love with Masque of the Red Death, and will find a new favorite author with Bethany Griffin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. The plotline was interesting with a few twists that were not too predictable. Great read.
terferj More than 1 year ago
i was skeptical at first into reading it. i thought the cover was awesome and i do like the works of edger allen poe, so why not try it. it was dark but yet alluring. araby goes to the debauchery club to make herself fell numb to her feelings. this is where she meets will, he works the front checking to see if people have the plague before allowing them in. araby is attracted to him and why not he's eye candy with tattoos. in comes in elliott (her friend alice's brother), he's arrogant and very puzzling. he uses her to get info for him. i was captivated by the book, i didn't want to stop. it had an interesting story line, a little romance, hope to defeat evil, trying to find ways to help saving people, and betrayal. what more could you ask for?
SuperBookish More than 1 year ago
Great book with great characters. Kept me entertained
Ems_Reading_Room More than 1 year ago
A plague has wiped out most of the population, save a few who were lucky (rich) enough to procure masks that can only be used by one person. In the midst of all the death and destruction, a culture of debauchery has arisen to indulge in the pleasures that may be very soon in ending. Araby is the daughter of the inventor of the mask, and spends her nights taking away the pain of the loss of her brother at the Debauchery Club. When she meets two men that break through her apathy, she has to choose when and how she will make a stand. Masque of the Red Death is based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe. It is a story that I haven't read, though I have read others of Poe's work. And this is perhaps why I just didn't feel engaged in the story. The atmosphere in Masque of the Red Death is chilling. It seeps through the pages and is very rich. The world that is created is one of total chaos. Death and sickness run rampant through the streets, but the privileged spend their evenings living in pleasure and indulgence. The two world elements play beautifully off each other. The Prince, as he is known, is terrifying in his power and his demeanor. For the rich, the masks become a fashion item, some of them owning several different masks. The poor have to save everything they have for one, and often have to choose between children, since a mask can only be used by one wearer. All of these elements blend together beautifully. However mesmerizing the world, I did not care for any of the characters. Araby uses drugs to medicate her sorrow, and that's really all I knew about her character. Elliot and Will were unsatisfying as well. Similarly, I found that characters disappeared and reappeared throughout the plot, seemingly at random, and I found myself losing interest at parts. There just wasn't enough in the characters to really hook me and want to see it through to the end. I even admit to skimming a few sections in the last 75 pages. Do I feel like I really missed something with Masque of the Red Death? Yes. I've read reviews from many people who really loved the book. Perhaps if I didn't put so much stock in a likeable character I would have been able to really embrace it. There is a fair amount of drug usage and sexual content in Masque of the Red Death, which would probably be suitable for teens 16 or older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first read this book, it was for my ninth grade English class last year. My teacher assigned the assignment for us to read a book of our choice, and so I picked this one. I looked at the colour and was astonished. I looked at what it was about and checked it out from my school Library. Right when I started to read it, I couldn't put it down I read it three times in just two days! This is by far one of the greatest books that I've come across, and I read all the time!
Laurab68 More than 1 year ago
To me, this is a hard one to review. I liked it and I didn't like it. Sometimes the story went round and round and I felt like it was giving me whiplash. This book had a problem that it didn't know what genre it wanted to be. Was it steampunk, science fiction, horror, love story, historical fiction? But pretty much you get everything that I just named in this book and unfortunately, it's not done very well. The first part of the book is just confusing. The prologue tells us about Araby and her family (brother and father) and her mom who has abandoned them. They seem to be in hiding in a basement and cannot go above ground. Okay, check. Something above is dangerous. But that was in the past about 3 or 4 years ago. Araby and her friend April are heading to the Debauchery Club pretty much to do what the name of the club says. Both seem to be drug addicts. However because of the Red Lung, everyone who can must wear a special masque and they are checked over by the bouncer at the club. Who has taken a liking to Araby. I enjoyed the relationship that was budding between Will and Araby. Will is a young man (18/19?) who has custody of his two younger siblings who immediate take to Miss Araby. All is well and good. Until April goes missing and her brother Elliott comes into the picture. Elliott is portrayed as a rake and a general villain. But you know what? Griffin doesn't know how to draw out suspense, so you pretty much know that Elliott is just a guy who is misunderstood. He's also the one who has been supplying Araby with her drugs. The plot is confounded and is hard to follow. Elliott tries his damndest to get Araby to fall in love with him, but her heart is firmly with Will. Sweet wonderful Will. But what we really need is a villain. And that would be Elliott's uncle who has killed his father, possibly kidnapped April and is controlling his people by allowing them to die. He is also the self-appointed Prince of the area. The last quarter of the book is so jumbled and rushed and everything seems to pop up conveniently and possibly inconveniently. A new disease has sprung up. (?) Someone who we thought was dead, is not. The person we thought was evil is not and the person we thought was sweet is not, but for a reason. A reason that is overused and should pretty much be banned from young adult books especially when there is nothing leading up to this one thing happening. I really tried to like this book and the characters, but I just couldn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok so I thought this story was a little confusing at first, but it's COMPLETELY worth it. Also, i cant be the only one who noticed that this was a bit of a takeoff on that edgar allan poe poem?!!! EVEN. MORE. AWESOME.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't concentrate on the book found it quite bland but on the good side it seemed as if it was full of potential immagination. Its best if I thoroughly read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun and well written, an excellent version of this classic tale.
dizzyweasel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The world in Masque of the Red Death is being destroyed by a plague called the Weeping Sickness. Because the air is foul and contaminated, everyone who can afford one wears a mask that covers half his/her face to keep out the sickness. Araby Worth lives in a pastiche of New Orleans and Paris in the fin de siecle. There are carriages and corsets, but this is no Gilded Age. The sickness killed the horses, so everyone relies on steam to power their carriages and machines (yes, this is a steampunk novel). In order to prove a person doesn't have the sickness, tattered clothing exposing as much skin as possible is worn. Inexplicably, dramatic glittery makeup and tattoos abound, despite the pseudo-historical premise. Young women of the upper classes go clubbing and inject drugs to pass the time and forget the horror and death all around them.Araby, the daughter of the scientist who created the masks, goes where she wants whenever she wishes. She spends her evenings at the Debauchery Club with her friend April, niece of Prince Prospero (the villain in this tale). Though the people suffer, the Prince does nothing but send out his soldiers, killing any infected persons. Prospero feasts in his castle, safely behind his walls (this is where the Poe influence comes in). One night, the bouncer at the club finds Araby in a drugged stupor, and decides to help her. The two grow close over the story, as Araby finally finds something to goad her out of her sadness and self-hatred. Since Araby's brother died of the sickness, she has had nothing to live for, preferring to wander through existence in a drug-induced haze. The bouncer, Will, has two younger siblings for whom Araby begins to care, and she tries to help the family, who live in the lower city, the disease-ridden, dangerous part of the city.But what Young Adult novel is complete without a love triangle? Will pursues Araby, but so does Eliott, the nephew of the Prince (April's brother). Eliott wants to use Araby to get to her father's inventions and medicines, as Eliott is planning a rebellion against the Prince. Araby is just bored and gullible enough to fall in with Eliott's plans. I should probably mention that Eliott is also Araby's drug dealer, so they have some prior acquaintance. Helping Eliott endangers Araby, who now becomes a target of the Prince and of the rival rebel faction gaining power in the city. And to make things worse, a new plague is hitting the city, the Red Death (more Poe!). Araby will have to decide whether to become a part of the world and accept her place in it, or die screaming.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 de
jennrenae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the first page of this novel, I was gripped, and I refused to put it down. I had been staring at the cover for weeks in awe (you have to admit, it's breathtaking). And, I was fortunate enough to get an ARC through Edelweiss Above the Treeline!!!! This is one of the first books in a while where I found myself completely stunned with all the twists and turns--I didn't see a single one of them coming! It's so great to read a book that is anything but predictable. The setting is absolutely amazing. There were times when the action was slow, but I didn't mind at all because I got swept away in Bethany Griffin's description of the delapidated city filled with the gorgeously dressed rich people and then the grotesquely vile plague victims. Her imagery melts onto the page, and I felt like I was plucked from my recliner and thrown right into the middle of Bethany's world. If only more people could write the way she does! Her characters are so rich with personality, even the characters with smaller roles. I felt connected to each and every one of them, but especially to Araby. She has experienced great tragedy, and as a result, she sinks into herself, trying anything and everything to escape the harsh reality into which she is thrust. I felt her pain as if it were my own-- a feat very difficult to accomplish for most writers. And then when she meets Elliott and Will--I felt her hope and guilt and indecision. I can't explain it other than I was captivated. I love Will and Elliott. Will is the mysterious tatooed proprietor of the club who Araby is instantly attracted to, and his secrets (which I won't reveal) make him even more...irresistable. And then there's Elliott--the wealthy aristocrat who is hiding his own secrets. I love these two guys because they are completely genuine, even when they are hiding things. I instantly felt like I could trust them both...but boy, did they both surprise me! READ IT!!! You won't be disappointed. Bethany builds a world where the macabre and sinister is ordinary. There is no black or white, good or evil, healthy or sick--her story is rife with everything in between. It was so good, I immediately went straight to Twitter and asked Bethany if a sequel is in the works (Yes! 2013!)--I can't wait. Finally, I will give a warning that this story is for older YA readers. I would rate it PG-13 for drug use, violence, and brief references to rape.
AmberFIB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Griffin has created a horrifying world that draws you in and won't let you go. Masque of the Red Death is a dystopian/steam punk cross between V for Vendetta and the movie Contagion, with a little bit of romance added in. It's full of twists, turns, and surprises. The characters are well-developed and the plot is suspenseful. My only problem with the novel is that I couldn't figure out what time period it was set in. As a historian, the lack of a known time period drove me insane at times. They had steam carriages and there was mention of former travel on horses before the plague decimated the entire equine population. However, the building Araby lived in had elevators, they sold florescent necklaces at a celebration, and the masks themselves seemed fairly high tech. Finally, I just told myself that the book was set in a different world all together (which I could convince myself of since there was no city name mentioned) and tried to let it go at that. For the most part it worked, and I was able to enjoy the story. Araby is a very depressed girl. She has survivor's guilt from losing her twin brother. For the majority of the novel, I could not figure out what she felt so freaking guilty for, but at the end, it was cleared up for me some. Whether I understood her intense guilt or not, I did have sympathy for her and I cared what happened to her. I wanted her to find her happiness very much, even though it seemed impossible to find any semblance of happiness in a world that's so destroyed. I also absolutely loved Will and Elliot, though I am team Elliot all the way. Up until the last 20% or so, I was all about Will, but I changed my mind at the last minute. April was also a fantastic, multi-dimensional character. None of these characters were stock characters. They were all extremely flawed, but it was clear that they still had good hearts. I cared about what happened to all of them. The villains were obvious, but also they were all kinds of crazy. I was not expecting one villain to be who he actually was, so that was a surprise. It's not very often that a book surprises me, but this one did a few times. The plot is suspenseful, and it will keep you guessing. It is depressing at times, but it's also inspiring because Araby and company are fighting to make a place better when it seems like the only thing left to do is give up. The rest of the world has given up, but they keep fighting. People like that are the ones who really make a difference. All of the characters grew over the course of the novel as well. They were able to rise above all of their obstacles to become better people. The ending wrapped a few things up, but all in all, it raised more questions that it supplied answers. I wouldn't go so far to say that it was a cliffhanger, though. I felt like the first part of the characters' journey had come to an end in this novel. Additionally, the pacing is spot-on. The book only lagged a little bit at the beginning, and other than that, it flew by. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves a good dystopian romance. I personally love the political/revolutionary aspect of it (hence the V for Vendetta reference) and I cannot wait to read the second book in this series.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I had been wanting to read this book forever, it just sounded so good. Griffin creates an awesome world in this book and all in all I really enjoyed reading about it. This seems like the first in a series but I haven't heard any news on upcoming installments. I know this is based on Poe's short story The Mask of the Red Death, which I have not read yet.After a deadly plague decimates the population humanity is hanging on by a thread. Araby Worth is one of the lucky ones; she has food, shelter, and protection from the plague. When Araby's twin brother was killed by the plague Araby made a vow never to experience anything that he wouldn't be able to. Instead Araby and her friend April haunt the Debaucery club. It's the one place you are safe without a mask. While April looses herself in scandalous behavior, Araby looses herself in drug induced dreams. Araby is jerked out of her dream state when Will, one of the club's security guards comes to her rescue. Araby is drawn deep into political secrets when April's brother, Elliot takes an interest in her. Now Araby finds that everyone has secrets, maybe in the maze of everyone's secrets she will find the will to live.There are a lot of very interesting aspects to this story. It definitely has a post-apocalyptic feel to it but also a steampunk or Victorian overtone. It's kind of Victorian turned on its head. Everyone exposes as much skin as possible to prove that they aren't infected. Everyone wears masks with filters to protect them from the plague. Carriages run on steam since no horses survived the plague and gasoline is pretty much non-existent. This is humanity on the edge; people living like they aren't sure if they will survive another day.Araby drifts through the first part of the book; she goes from one drug-induced dream to another...she obviously doesn't care if she lives or dies. She has a unique place in society; her dad (as the scientist who invented the masks) is lauded as a hero. But mad Prince Prospero controls her father and the city. Initially Araby seems to make some decisions out of a need for excitement, but as the story continues she seems to slip out of her apathy and really starts to care.Elliot, Will, and April are more interesting characters. There lives are full of secrets upon secrets and it takes a while to begin to uncover the complicated political maneuvering behind these characters. What starts out as a story featuring debauchery ends up as a revolution against a power hungry monarch.The world in this book is what really steals the show. The world is extravagant with tattered velvets, glittery makeup, putrid streets, and glossy ceramic masks. Its full of things that are almost sickeningly beautiful balanced by scenes of stark despair. I loved the contrast throughout the book and loved this world torn apart by human illness and death. So, uh, yeah this is a pretty dark book but sometimes in a beautiful way. I enjoyed how a post-apocalyptic setting is blended with steampunk elements, Victorian sensibilities, mystery, and revolution.The plot is also well done; it was unpredictable but never contrived. There is a lot of intrigue, politics, and mystery to be solved. The book is very easy to read and well-written and stopped at a good stopping point with more issues to be resolved in future books.Overall I thought this was a fascinating read. I love the blend of genres and really enjoyed the world created here. While I was a bit underwhelmed by our heroine in the beginning of the book, she started to grow on me towards the end. The plot is intricate, hard to guess, and easy to follow...all in all very well done. I recommend this to those who are interested in reading a post-apocalyptic book with steampunk sensibilities; it is targeted to a YA audience but I think older readers would definitely enjoy it. Not for younger readers though; there is a l
elissajanine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
action, romance, great characters, tension from start to finish...and oh, the longing for the sequel! I adored this book!
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one got me with the cover and the title. First off: how can I say no to something that references classic Poe stories? Then, the cover: gorgeous -just gorgeous. Okay, a little gothy, but still beautiful. And with such a gritty blurb to match, Masque of the Red Death was quickly shaping up to be one of my most anticipated novels of 2012.Set in a dark world of plague and death, the world is quickly crumbling to pieces. And young Araby Worth, one of the few people who has the means for one of the coveted masks that protects her from the plague, has little to live for. She spends her nights in a frivolous night club, dressed up in glitter and glam, dancing the night away. Araby is left with little but despair in such a depressing world, until she finds herself in the web of two very different boys, and a missing friend who may have known too much.For nearly every page of this book, I was torn. Torn between enjoyment and dislike. For much of the novel I was incredibly disappointing that there weren't more references to the Poe work of the same name -the two seemed to share little other than their titles and a few mildly similar themes. I also had a lot of trouble growing into Araby, who spent much of the first half of the novel in a depressed and goth-like funk that made her incredibly unlikable. The tone of the novel, however, was well-constructed and helped to paint the world well, but at times it became so drab and dark that it was all most too much.Then, there's the plot. Again, I found myself torn. Certain elements of the plot and characters, especially in the later half of the novel, were entertaining and compelling, but the first part of the novel just didn't work for me. It felt undirected, confused, and like it didn't connect well with the second half of the novel, like the author was just writing for fun and then finally decided to get serious and find a direction later on.Overall, it just didn't hold up for me. I really wanted to like this book, so much that I may have even been forcing myself to enjoy it more than I actually did. There are some rays of interest in Masque of the Red Death, and the tone is incredible, but the other elements just didn't work for me. It was just too weak overall to keep my interest and to hold up to the name and the classic author that it evokes.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another beautiful adaption of Edgar Allen Poe's work that gives you a whole new world to sink your teeth into! What I loved most about this book is the world building. This element is so real it's like your actually in this world. I liked how the use of face mask are used. I never read anything like that before. Once you start reading this book, your never coming out.The characters of the book are awesome! I love that each character in the story an important part in each other lives. There driven to survive and to do whatever it takes. I really adored Will. I think his back story really gave his character much more emotion! Will is that guy that always does the right things even in the toughest times. Araby is a different girl. I really loved her fresh outlook on things and most of all her thoughts.The love interest in this book is great! Once you get to knows both guys, it's easy to fall in love with them. Though, I am leaning to one that I LOVE! What I like about this love interest is how uniquely different both guys are. They are like literally two different types of guys. I love that each of them of strong in who they are and determined to save those they love.Masque of Red Death is an engaging story from the very first page. Quick to capture you with a world that has been ravish by disease, you will fall in a quick fever reading it. Masque of Red Death is a stirring, plot driven book that delivers the fear of an apocalyptic world.
usagijihen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. Lauren DeStefano wasn¿t kidding when this book should have a glowing chorus of angels holding sparklers when it comes to reviewing this book. ¿Masque of the Red Death¿ is one of the most darkly luminous books I¿ve read in years, and I¿m so glad that it¿s being published for the YA genre. Usually, a book this dark and dealing with such subject matter would be sadly confined to the adult arena alone, but Griffin artfully arranges her words so that it makes it palatable for the YA audience. There may be no easily seen redemption in ¿Masque¿, and that¿s what I love the most about it ¿ Griffin isn¿t afraid to torture her characters or revel in tragedy. This isn¿t the feel good book of the year, but it is one that will definitely make you think. In a world where everything¿s been destroyed, what would you do? What could you do? ¿Masque¿ explores all of this through Araby¿s exploits throughout the novel.We¿re not given a solid time or place for the setting of ¿Masque¿, but all signs point to a probable alternate history either New Orleans or Paris (if you take the physical descriptions of the actual places into consideration). All we know is that we don¿t have any plastic masks, but we do have those made of porcelain, and those keep out the plague. We know that society has fallen, but it looks like it fell somewhere between Victorian through Edwardian times (possibly into post-WWI but pre-WWII) because of the plague. Usually I¿d be pretty annoyed with the lack of a stable, explained setting, but Griffin¿s outstanding use of sensory language plunks us down in a place with just enough backstory to get us through the book and takes care of the rest by making us feel the fabrics that Araby and April wear, feel the porcelain masks on our faces, and feel Oblivion coursing through our veins and making us remember our best and worst days.The technical details concerning the rest are fantastically done, which really impressed me considering that this is a debut novel. The characters are overflowingly full and well-rounded, the arcs are slow-burning but well-executed, and the cliffhanger is gentle enough to make us wonder if there will be a second book, but also okay with the fact that if there isn¿t another book, this is enough to solve questions in our head about what will happen to Araby, April, Will, and the rest. It¿s very difficult to write a series book that looks like a standalone and vice-versa, so I really have to applaud Griffin here with doing such a good job.One issue I know parents are going to raise will be about the activities in the Debauchery Club. I was actually pretty surprised about the sex ¿ it¿s only implied, and I honestly thought that it would be far more explicitly stated than it was. Then again, in a society with plague everywhere, having sex at all with having to touch someone with both hands and mouth could easily be a death sentence. What¿s most described explicitly in this book is the drug use (¿Oblivion¿, treated like heroin by ihjecting it straight into your arm) and the self-harm/suicidal idiations that the characters go through. But think about it ¿ in a place where everything¿s broken and in order not to get infected you literally have to wear a porcelain mask 24/7 (if you can even afford one)¿well, wouldn¿t you also be drawn to doing the same? Not to justify the drug use, of course, but Griffin asks you to consider that if you were to be plunked down in such a broken world. However, like with everything else, she makes it palatable and easy (more or less) to swallow because quite frankly, the question of survival is a much more important one ¿ especially when the new plague, the Red Death, comes into play.What¿s also made clear here are class lines: Araby and April are of the elite, Will is of the servant/working class (kind of reminded me a bit of Downton Abbey to be quite honest ¿ and that¿s a good thing!). Will and Araby struggle with that quite a lot, but it¿s not as much as the whole having money
yabotd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin is based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe. There have been several reimaginings of stories lately, mostly focused on ancient Greek myths, but this reimagining is quite different. It is very true to the original story, with the same character names, description of the illness, etc. It's almost as if Griffin plopped her novel into Poe's short story, found a new protagonist and expended it to novel length. Yes, it is in Griffin's own style and yes, there are some differences, but it's the most true-to-original reimagining I've read. That said, it's also highly original because Griffin came up with a novel length story based off a 20 page short story. As anyone who has read dystopians can tell you, living in a bleak world has varying and drastic impact on the people still alive. It brings out the best in some and the worst in others. At the beginning of the story, Araby is as bleak as the world around her. She doesn't much care for life, but can't bring herself to death least, not intentionally. She certainly takes risks that may kill her and does so without batting an eye. The transition from her state of numbness to one that has energy and a will to live is very gradual. The circumstances in the story lead to small changes that grow naturally. This aspect of the book was very well handled.Personally, I loved reading about the different characters and learning their secrets. Everybody has secrets and those secrets define key moments in the story. I adored Will pretty much from the very beginning. He was a wonderful counterpart to Araby, the very antithesis of her careless nature. Elliot was intriguing as well. I didn't know what to make of him at first and honestly, I still don't, though I've grown to like him much more. The secrets these two hold are key for the climax of the story. Every other notable person in the story has a secret as well. As we discover these secrets, it makes the characters more human and more sympathetic. I think of Araby's parents in particular when I say this. They may not be the best parents in the world, but they live in the same debilitating world as Araby with the same struggles.I'll warn you that Masque of the Red Death will have a sequel, so the ending is not 100 percent complete. I found it satisfying enough, though I'm eager to read more. Final thoughts: Borrow or buy, just make sure you read it.
AyleeArgh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In short: Though I really wanted to like Masque of the Red Death by Bethanny Griffin, I couldn't get past the seriously TSTL protagonist.Though I have not read The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe - and so cannot speak to the specifics of how well this book was adapted - I think Bethany Griffin manages to replicate the dark and creepy atmosphere present in all of his stories quite well in her own adaptation. Death and horror are present in abundance in Masque of the Red Death, as is inevitable in a story where a horrific plague has decimated the population. There were also some elements of steampunk, which combined with the dystopian-horror genre, created these sort of strangely and darkly beautiful images of ladies in corsets and porcelain masques and steam carriages and hot air balloons.Unfortunately, and though I really, really wanted to like Masque of the Red Death because it very much seemed like my kind of book, I found much more fault with it than I liked it. The plot was a bit too reminiscent of The Chemical Garden Trilogy (Wither, Fever) by Lauren DeStefano. A dystopian world with a population decimated by illness, a girl with a twin brother and a scientist parent trying to find a cure, ways of avoiding the reality of life for the rich and complete hopelessness for the poor, and an overall dark and dismal atmosphere. I read so many dystopians that admittedly, many of them start to blend together, but I was still looking for more originality in Masque of the Red Death to really make it a great read.The worst offense of Masque of the Red Death though is protagonist, Araby, who is Too Stupid To Live in the biggest and baddest way. Some of her TSTL moments include - but are not limited to - blindly following and betraying her family for a guy she just met without questioning who he is or what his motivations are, accepting a drink from the seriously evil Prince Prospero without thought and ending up poisoned, and falling for a guy who in one moment is holding her suspended over croc-infested waters, threatening her life, and in the very next second is confessing his love for her. I wanted a heroine to root for, to take control of the situation and to independently think on her own, and though I got a few glimpses of that girl, she was sorely lacking throughout the majority of the novel.I really dislike writing negative reviews for books where the popular opinion is overwhelmingly positive; it makes me feel like maybe I am missing something, maybe I got this wrong. Still, I stand strong in my dislike of Araby, who pretty much ruined the novel for me. If I had to recommend Masque of the Red Death to anyone, I would say it may be liked by fans of Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden Trilogy. And of course, I recommend reading other reviews because even though Masque of the Red Death wasn't the book for me, it clearly was for most reviewers.
squirrelsohno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For me, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH was one of my most anticipated books of spring 2012. As a fan of Poe and gothic culture, I knew from the moment I heard about this book that I needed to acquire it at all costs. I think I probably set my expectations for this one too high, though, because when I reached the end, I felt myself conflicted between only 3 and 4 stars. It was a wonderful book that I know most people, particularly fans of dark, literary YA, will love. I fancy myself the occasional fan, but something about this one fell short of the mark.MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (book one in a new trilogy by sophomore author Bethany Griffin) is the story of Araby, a young girl in a bleak post-apocalyptic city hit by a devastating plague that is slowly killing off humanity. The Prince has sealed off the city and now controls everything, including the porcelain masks that stave off the Red Lung. Araby, the daughter of the mask¿s inventor, is deeply depressed and addicted to drugs to stave off her feelings of worthlessness and guilt for watching her twin brother die. When rebellion begins to brew and Araby is drawn in because of her father¿s connections ¿ and the disappearance of her friend ¿ Araby will be in for a lot more excitement than she anticipated.I should start by saying that if you are a fan of WITHER by Lauren DeStefano, you¿re in for a treat ¿ this is very much up that same alley. Very literary and stylized, with a heavy focus on Araby¿s emotions as she traverses the bleak landscape, this is not a book for people who want a breakneck action thriller. The pacing is subdued and built with rich description and exotic, unique world building. Action happens, but it isn¿t the main focus, or at least it wasn¿t in my opinion. This is more of an emotional story against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic dystopian world with elements of intrigue and action mixed in. I think my mail problem with this story lies in the love interests and their relationship with Araby. Elliot is a bold, outgoing society gentleman who comes from a wealthy family ¿ and he¿s also the nephew of the Prince. He also supplies Araby with opium in exchange for her accompanying him on various trips and missions. The other love interest is Will, a staff member at the club Araby frequents, and a down-on-his-luck guy taking care of his two siblings in the ruins of the city¿s slums. I know the majority of people will disagree with me, but I couldn¿t find a connection for either one. It wasn¿t about Araby to them, it was about themselves and their own interests, and they both show it. But yes, if you have to ask, I am Team Will. You can read the book and find out why, but I am more for the strong quiet types if that makes any sense.Araby herself is a difficult character to explain. She¿s very depressed and naïve about the world, wrapped up in a little bubble of despair brought on by death, being ignored, and some pre-existing psychiatric reasons I would think. She uses drugs to dull her mind, going to clubs with her friend April to forget the world outside, but when she steps out of this bubble, you really begin to see the world for what it is, and all of its faults, along with her. This is the strength of the novel ¿ the world building from the eyes of a girl who has little left to live for, and proof to show this. She is not tough, she is not a fighter, but when she realizes she does have something to live for, that spark of life is back.MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is an enthralling, fascinating take on life in the face of death and every manner of steampunk, post-apocalyptic excitement you could think of. With the exception of the love interests and some pacing issues, seeing as how the story is a slow burn that starts off exceptionally slow (oh, I didn¿t mention that ¿ the first fifty pages almost lost me with a plodding narrative, but Griffin stole me back by page 100 and the story refused to let me go), this book will appeal to fans of literary YA with a definite specul
thebookwormsorg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jumping into Masque of the Red Death was really exciting! It was a whole new world and concept and I couldn¿t wait to learn more about it. I had never read this story from Edgar Allan Poe, so its impossible for me to align the two. However, I do believe Griffin wove her own magic throughout the concept of the original story.Araby is trying to ward off the ever impending disease by spending nights at the Debauchery Club, a way for the elite to stay off of the streets. She ends up finding herself in more trouble -emotionally- when she meets Will and Elliot. But when the Prince notices Elliots interest in Araby, she¿s thrown into a web of secrets that has been kept from her and she struggles to do the right thing.Araby was a unique character and I really loved her right from the start. She¿s strong, but also very emotional and I was able to build a connection to her. She¿s torn between doing the right thing and keeping herself alive and well, which is totally understandable if anyone lived in a world such as hers.The romance was bittersweet, because there¿s Elliot and then there¿s Will. Elliot is kind of a tough nut to crack and he knows how to rub Araby the wrong way. And Will is more of a caring person and Araby has a soft spot for his situation and his charming nature. I have to admit, it¿s hard to side with just one of them. They each had qualities and little quirks that I adored!Griffin creates a grim world that will seep under your skin. A world where disease obliterated a large portion of the population. Reading about the side effects of the disease and the way people get around it was fascinating and so gross, yet, I never wanted to put it down. It was THAT good! Griffin paints a detailed picture of the fashions and architecture that still remain in the cities and towns Araby crosses and I was left in awe.I would highly recommend Masque of the Red Death to anyone interested in dystopian or steampunk, however keep in mind that its a very dark world. It was truly an amazing read that stands out among the rest and left me crossing my fingers that there may be more!!For those who like: Dark and creepy reads, romance, dystopian, steampunkSource: Publisher (ARC)
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have always been obsessed with Poe, so when I saw this book, I immediately knew I had to have it. I was eager to see how someone would reimagine the tale of Prince Prospero who has taken refuge in a castle along thousand of others to avoid contracting the ¿Red Death¿ plague. I was not disappointed.While the aforementioned tale is a short story, Ms. Griffin has taken it and fleshed it out into a full-length novel, placing a broken, yet likable Araby Worth at the center of her story. Araby¿s father has invented a mask to protect people from the plague and is one of the greedy and ruthless Prince Prospero¿s most coveted employees. Araby and her family live apart from the rest of the ruined city, tucked away in a tower at the edge of town, protected from those who may want to kill her father. But Araby is restless, so she spends many a night at the Debauchery Club with her best friend, doing her best to escape the pain she still feels after the loss of her twin brother to the plague.I really liked Araby¿s character. There are so many layers to her. You can actually feel her sorrow, and while she does make some questionable decisions, you can¿t help but support them. I also felt the love triangle was believable. While I preferred Will, I could see why she was drawn to the mysterious Elliot and his cause.I also loved the world Ms. Griffin has built. Her writing makes it so vivid you can¿t help but feel the despair leaking through the city. The addition of Steampunk kind of threw me when I read a few of the reviews, and I wondered if it was really necessary before I read the book. I was afraid it would throw everything off ¿ I was wrong. It fit perfectly and I can¿t imagine the book without it.I will admit that I was a little confused when I first started the book. I really had no idea what was going on because it was so different from what I was expecting, but about fifty pages in everything started clicking into place and the story really took off. The writing is fluid and perfectly fits the tone of the book, and Araby is one of my favorite characters this year. I highly recommend this one.
Kaydence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: This is a cross between a steampunk and dystopian novel. Araby is the daughter of a scientist who "saved humanity" by creating a mask that could save someone from catching the plague. We follow her through several bumps in her otherwise numb existence. At the beginning, Araby goes to The Debauchery Club with her friend April. The first love interest, Will, is a bouncer of sorts who checks every patron one at a time to ensure they are not sick before they enter the club. It is a very exclusive club owned by the prince, who is April's uncle. The two girls drink and Araby finds her way to a drug dealer who sticks her with a syringe that leads her into oblivion. She ends up waking up at Will's home. He didn't think it would be good for the club if there was a dead girl found inside, but as the story progresses we find out that he was intrigued with her long before he took her home. The city that the club and Will's home is in is called the lower city. It is filled with crime, disease, and danger. Will walks Araby back to the upper city where she lives in the prince's old penthouse at the top of the Akkadian Towers. She believes that she is in love with Will and wants to help him. She does this by sending him food and attempting to get a mask for the younger brother that he cares for. However, there is a rebel group that is terrorizing the city. They have destroyed churches, and just when Araby wants to order a mask, they blow up the mask factory as well. This brings the second love interest, Elliot, out of the woodwork. Elliot is April's older brother. He meets with Araby in a secret location and talk her into his version of a rebellion to take the city back from the prince and make everything better. From her, Araby is led into several dangerous encounters with people she wouldn't have ended up around without the help from the two boys. Will she survive the death of the plague, the new sickness (the Red Death has to show up somewhere you know), the betrayal from those she trusts, and the general chaos of the city, or will she finally succumb to her need to feel numb and give in to the temptation of death and not dealing with anything?My thoughts: I'm always drawn in by pretty covers, and this one is gorgeous! It caught my eye months ago as bloggers began talking about it. I was lucky to snatch myself a copy because it was in such high demand. At the beginning, I did not like the story. April is annoying and Araby is not much better. It was like having Gossip Girl in a pretty cool setting. Griffin does an amazing job at world building, and that is what kept me reading. The setting and the ancillary city came alive to me. I could picture everything. It was this that haunted me throughout the day when I wasn't reading. I found myself wanting to pick the book up more and more because I wanted to see where Griffin would take me, and the characters became a means to get there. It took about 100 pages for me to start liking Araby. I believe that is when she stops being so numb and starts thinking about the world around her. From that point on, I couldn't put the book down. I know it shouldn't take 100 pages for someone to get into a young adult novel, but it felt worth it to me. The fact that Griffin gave me so much background on the place and people that surround the main characters made me feel like I knew them better as the action began to unravel. It has also made me feel like the second book will grab me faster. My suggestion, if you are not immediately sucked in, is to lose yourself in the setting as I did and let yourself be intrigued by it as you would for a science fiction novel. My hope is that you will end up liking the book as much as I did.
TValeros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin is an elegantly crafted story giving homage and an arcane twist to Edgar Allan Poe's short story!Some people say that it is considered steampunk, but it doesn't really feel that way but more historical-dystopian. Being that the story involves the plague it was quite saddening and depressing at times. Although, I enjoyed the bits of romantic scenes and drama that were here and there.Masque of the Red Death to me felt like a double edged sword. It cut deep within your heart emotionally as you read the strife, struggle, and losses caused by the plague, and when you stop reading you are left longing to read further and find out what is next in store for Araby. 'Plagued' by questions like: what will happen next; will Araby succeed in her suicidal attempts; will she let herself experience happiness; is her brother alive; and who is she in love with, William or is it Elliott? I am a very empathetic person so I found the book entertaining and enjoyable in grabbing me into the scenes emotionally. Araby is a bit up and down for me. I don't necessarily hate her character, but she's not my favorite. None of the characters are in fact. I like them equally. I think it is because I was more into the story itself than to pay attention to any specific individual. The love triangle wasn't that extreme like in most books, but it was kind of intense because neither one was the 'good boy' and the other the 'bad boy' ...they were both equally the 'bad boy' if that makes sense hahaha I'm still figuring out which heart throb to root for -- (1) the guy who almost got her purposely killed by his own hands or (2) the guy who betrays her and will get her killed by someone else? Which one would you choose? I loved not knowing!!! The ending was great and it leaves it off like there is a possibility of a sequel which I am hoping for!! I WANNA KNOW the answers to my questions, so there BETTER BE a Book #2!! hahaha A MUST READ!! I LOVED IT!