Thursday, April 19, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Based off of the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe, Masque of the Red Death was an interesting read for me.

Araby is a troubled soul after witnessing the death of her twin brother Finn. Set in a time when the majority of the human population has died from a horrible contagion. Only the very rich can afford to buy the masks that filter out the contagious disease. Araby's father is the scientist that designed the masks. Prince Prospero is the one that controls the plant that makes the life-saving masks.

Araby desires to be numb so that she doesn't have to remember her brothers death. She seeks out dangerous drugs and alcohol to put her in this numbed state of mind. When Will, who works at the Debauchery Club, saves Araby's life and takes her home to his young brother and sister, Araby finds a reason to live.

With unrest in the city and Araby's best friend April disappearing, Araby is confused as to who to trust. Can she trust April's brother Elliot who's uncle Prince Prospero killed their father? Can she trust her father, who would do anything to get his wife back from Prince Prospero? Or can she trust Will who seems the most trustworthy of them all?

At first I had a hard time getting into this book. But as I continued reading I became invested in the characters. It was an interesting story that kept my attention. I even got out my Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems book to read the original Masque of the Red Death. I wanted to compare them. Of course it is a bit difficult to compare a short story with a 319 page novel, but I wanted to at least know what the original was about. I have to admit if there is some symbolism attached to either story I missed it. I just enjoyed what I read and didn't look any deeper into the writing than just the entertainment factor. I did get a bit frustrated with Araby in her drug use and her leading both Elliot and Will along. And actually in reality did she lead them along or did she just take advantage of the one that was with her at the time?

I received my ARC copy of Masque of the Red Death at ALA in January it is set to be published April 24, 2012.


  1. A deadly plague has swept through the city and now Araby is looking for oblivion. Anything to make her forget that she's alive and her brother is dead will do. At the Debauchery club she finds the distractions she needs but she might also find herself in more trouble than she bargained for. Between meeting Will and Elliott, two very enticing guys from the club, Araby delves deeper and deeper into the devastated city she's been looking to forget.

    The eclectic atmosphere of the setting evoked vivid images in my mind and I could feel every bit of fear or excitement that Araby was experiencing. I love when I'm pulled into a story that's so intense I wonder to myself, would I be brave enough to do that? I can only hope that from reading books like this that I've learned a little something about being courageous and valiant.

  2. So glad you liked it "Portugal" it was definitely different than what I normally read. Thanks for stopping by!