Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Masque of Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death 
Author: Bethany Griffin
Release date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Araby lives in a world that is incredibly dark and broken with most of the population having succumbed to a plague with death collectors collecting bodies in every street you pass. Life is moment by moment, and for the most part, lived in fear...fear of your neighbor, fear of contamination, fear of the Prince, fear of the uprising religious fanatics, and most of all...fear of feeling and remembering. Oblivion is sought by many, and many live in a state of numbness at all times if they can afford it. Of course there are those who live at the opposite end of the spectrum and believe they must live life to its fullest debauchery that can be found so that they can feel something, just anything at all for any one moment or two in the day.
As this world of Araby's is burning to the ground around her, the question remains...will she be able to save anyone?

My thoughts: This is a deliciously dark world where hope has been smothered with death and fear until even the tiniest glimmer of it can make a person willing to die for it. I loved the darkness in this. I was in a place where I was content to languish in this world near its end. If you are not a fan of that in any way then this book is not for you. Also, if you are not OK with a whole lot of blood and death of people of all ages then this is not the book for you. There is also every way possible for a person to "forget" the world around them in this book to the point where I really need to think about whether I will be purchasing this for my MHS LMC. Right now I am really hesitating. Would I purchase it for myself or for a public library? Absolutely! In a heartbeat I would! The cover is beautiful and fits the book so well. I can't wait to see what happens next for Araby, Elliot, April, Will, Henry and Elise!

4 stars instead of 5: I do have to say that the ending for me was rather abrupt and that it left me completely unsatisfied as far as resolving any type of conflict in my opinion, which annoyed me after such a great book.

Final thoughts: I am really looking forward to more from this author in the future...SO different from anything I've read before and I love that it's based on a classic Edgar Allan Poe tale!

1 comment:

  1. 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.