Monday, August 13, 2012

Masque of the Red Death

Review Time! Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin is probably one of the 2012 YA releases that most people have read. I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while now but since it's released this month in Australia - it only makes sense to review it now! You can purchase a copy of the book here - Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus and Robertson. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy!

(Goodreads) 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.
The Short Story? - Edgy, dramatic and deliciously dark, Masque of the Red Death completely blew my breath away. Griffin's retelling of Poe's foreboding tale is one of my favourite YA releases of the year! Excellent world-building, a captivating plot and a hauntingly beautiful protagonist, Griffin has truly outdone herself with her sophomore novel! Masque of the Red Death is a must-read for fans of steampunk and gothic horror YA!

The Long Story? - For the last ten minutes I've tried to place Masque of the Red Death into a genre and I really can't. It's so unique, it falls into a variety of genres. Post-apoclytic, gothic horror, steampunk, dark YA and to an extent supernatural. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is something in this book for everyone. The premise for this novel is quite amazing, I know it's a retelling of Poe's Masque of the Red Death (which I haven't read) but I can't imagine it to be any better than this. It's a complex plot that's unpredictable and filled with twists and turns. The setting is eerily beautiful and seductive and there is a hypnotising quality to Griffin's prose that lures you in and never let's you go. Masque of the Red Death is so well-written, it would truly be a shame to give this one a miss. Putting the brilliance of this novel into words really does it no justice, it's just one of those books that you MUST read!

I like to read through negative reviews before writing my own review and one of the things I picked up was the inability to connect with Araby. I can safely say that *I* bonded with Araby like nobody's business. Araby isn't what I would call a typical protagonist, she's a lot darker, timid and lost. I felt like her grief over the death of her brother has affected her so deeply, she's lost a part of her that was human. Personally, I loved Araby as a protagonist, her detached personality is something that really reached out to me and I could really connect with Araby through her grief. I just adored her. I've always found myself drawn to the darker boys of YA fiction and Elliott was no exception. There was a quality about him that made him desirable and incredibly HAWT and I think I've developed a hero complex because there is something sad about Elliott and I just want to *save* him! Will was also a great character but he just didn't really appeal to me the way Elliott did. There is something artificial about good boys that turns me off! Overall, a solid characterisation.

I don't want to be a book pusher but Masque of the Red Death couldn't have been more perfect! Griffin is a remarkable author who has really hit the nail on the head with this novel. She understands YA and her writing really comes to life. I can't wait to see where the story leads Araby and her friends next because the ending was quite spectacular. Even if they're quite different, I think lovers of Daughter of Smoke and Bone would really enjoy Masque of the Red Death! This one is brilliant!

What's it Worth - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx


  1. Oh wow you read the negative reviews. I have to admit reading negative reviews have challenged me to read the book to see if they are correct. I love great retellings and I must pick this one up.I had to read Poe's version in high school.

  2. Haha, the white mask on the cover is totally making me think Phantom of the Opera!

  3. Aah, I loved this book so much! Once again you Aussies get the best cover - the US cover is just another girl in a pretty dress.. Glad to see you liked it!

  4. LISA. I kid you not I have actual chills reading your review... I just... wow.

    "It's a complex plot that's unpredictable and filled with twists and turns. The setting is eerily beautiful and seductive and there is a hypnotising quality to Griffin's prose that lures you in and never let's you go."


    Seriously, this sounds... just so so SO beautiful. WONDERFUL review, my dear ♥

  5. I truly loved this book! Araby's pain and hopelessness was palpable, and I connected with her. I know you found her boring, but I loved her. I really liked the world too:)

    Lovely review:)

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