Thursday, April 19, 2012

SBB Tour Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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.

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk, Dystopian
Source: Thanks so much to Southern Book Bloggers for letting me be a part of this tour :-D

I had been dying to read this book and was hoping it would be amazing. And IT IS! This is one of those books that grabbed me from the very first paragraph. I got it in the mail and was just going to peruse the first page (as I love to do with books) before going about my business until I had more time to read it (i.e. until my kids were in bed). Well, that turned out to be a torturous decision because I kept laser eyeing that thing from across the room all day :)

I'll try to be a bit more specific as to why I loved it. Right from those first few paragraphs when you are introduced to Araby you instantly feel intrigued by her thoughts and actions. She hides her thoughts and emotions behind a mask of make-up, clothes and drugs. The author chose the perfect point in Araby's life to drop us into because we know about her illicit ways, but we see her changing, looking for more. I loved seeing the mystery of her family and past unfold by increments as I was reading.

The two men in her life, Elliott and Will, didn't quite share the same spotlight for me. I was all about Will. Elliott has these moments where his true essence shines through, but we don't see alot of that, nor does Araby, because he doesn't want to get too close to anybody. Will is one of those heart-on-his-sleeve kind of guys . . .with tattoos. Yum. The look of a bad boy and the heart of a puppy. Seeing him care for his siblings pulled on my heartstrings.

As for the Steampunk element in this book, I was so pleased with how it was done. The crucial necessity of  having to wear masks to keep the ongoing plague at bay was felt throughout the novel. All the world-building was seamlessly done and perfect.

I couldn't have loved this book more. I read it in a matter of hours once I finally got to sit down with it :)      


Giselle said...

Awesome review I really enjoyed this one especially the world building it was so dreary and dark. I could really picture everything too. And Araby I loved her as well! :)

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

I loved Will the most for Araby, too... He has it all!!! I did enjoy Elliott because he reminds me of Jace from the Mortal Instruments just a little bit... But I don't necessarily want him with Araby.

Jackie's Little World said...

Yes, Giselle! Very dreary and you can totally feel it while reading.

@Jessi - Now that you mention it Elliott does remind me of Jace...but it's been awhile now since I've read those :)I remember Jace being more likeable. Elliott had likeable moments and I got how his character was, but he needs to evolve into his true self for me to like him for Araby.

Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

Ohh, great review! I'm so glad you loved it so much. I just read & reviewed it myself and really liked it as well, but I didn't quite connect to the characters, which made me a bit disappointed. It did improve in the end though and I have a feeling the sequel will be even better, so I'm definitely excited!

UK said...

Oh, the rich Gothic setting! This was a weird and ambitious novel. Based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death, Griffin does an outstanding job in the world-building department. She created a lavishly dark and ominous story, so urgently fast paced that it's painful to stop reading. I has hooked right away, enveloped in her gloomy fog of decay and death.

Araby lives in a corrosive city cursed by a deadly plague. Under a tyrannic ruler, citizens live heavily divided by social classes and protected by masks, if they can afford it. Corpse-Collectors pick up bodies every morning, but Araby's privileged life allows her to lose herself at night in glitter-wearing club parties with her friend, April. She uses these parties to try to forget what goes on outside and to deal with her grief over her dead brother, Finn.