Saturday, March 31, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

A plague has killed most of humanity, but there are still those that survive. They wear porcelain masks so that they don't breathe in the deadly air. Those that can't afford the masks take their chances. The cart goes through the streets daily collecting the dead.

Araby is one of the lucky ones in the fact that her father is a renowned scientist who created the masks. She lives a life of luxury but her heart isn't in it. Her twin brother died from the disease, so she has vowed she will not do or feel anything that her deceased brother cannot. She spends her time with April, a girl in the same apartment building, going to masque's all dressed and glittered up. There, she seeks a drug to give her oblivion.

At the club, she meets Will and finds herself attracted to him, but distances herself from him emotionally. She also finally meets April's brother, Elliott, who is on a mission to overthrow the Prince, the man who runs everything. Araby vows to help him, in secret from her parents. She steals from her father and she dodges her mother. But she isn't the only one with secrets and the only danger surrounding her isn't in the air.

Masque of the Red Death is a post-apocalyptic thriller that is seeped in shadows and secrecy. The world-building is complex and compelling but the main heroine, Araby, fell short of my expectations. She made poor choices and was very flighty. The characters of Will and Elliott, though, were very well-developed and quickly held my attention. I'll definitely be picking up the next book by Bethany Griffin, but I hope Araby becomes a stronger character.


  1. I enjoyed this book very much and it was a real page-turner near the end. I didn't realize it was part of a series so I was a bit disappointed to be left hanging, but I definitely would read the next installment. Several minor mysteries were cleared up, so at least that gave some sense of closure. I felt the characters were well-rounded and I was sympathetic to Araby, even in her depression and seeming self-centeredness - it is understandable given her circumstances and the ordeals she must face, as well as her emotional distance from her parents. Characters grow and change with their experiences, and their actions are not always predictable.

  2. I've been going back and forth on whether or not to read this one, but I think you just convinced me that it's a must read. Thank you!


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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