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Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Severely disappointed by this book.

Araby Worth (my gosh, what a ridiculous name to begin with - last name Worth to hint at her apparent usefulness despite her lackluster in life?) is a suicidal poet girl who languishes in a post-apocalyptic world where the air isn't safe to breathe. She finds it hard to muster up the will to do anything except go to a club called Debauchery and immerse herself in oblivion. Her claim to fame is that she is the daughter of the man who made masks - which help filter the air.

The plot takes her to meet up with Elliot, the nephew of the villain Prince Prospero who has a tyrannical control over the entire city. She is quickly brought into the folds of a conspiracy and has to assume the guise of his fiance, all while harboring feelings for another boy. Oh, and of course she doesn't like being touched. But it's fine if it's a boy kissing her, naturally.

Cliche teen romance without any spunk from the protagonist. And what's more, boys fall in love for her being beautiful with vacant eyes. Ridiculous. No depth. Dull except for the world building.

So much potential in the world though! Ceramic masks and lovely images of a broken world with the rich draped in whale bone corsets and long flowing skirts and streaks of violet in the hair. A tyrant villain with a masquerade party. Ah what wasted potential. Poor execution, characters that I have no sympathy for, scenes that drag on, and way too many unnecessary kissing scenes. I love romance and kisses as much as the next girl, but ones that are thrown in there just to show that she's attracted to two guys, hmm not for me.

One star because I couldn't even bear to fully read the second half of the story. Read only if you feel like reading about a fairly dimwitted protagonist and can stomach a sappy romance against a beautiful backdrop. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Severely disappointed by this book.

Araby Worth (my gosh, what a ridiculous name to begin with - last name Worth to hint at her apparent usefulness despite her lackluster in life?) is a suicidal poet girl who languishes in a post-apocalyptic world where the air isn't safe to breathe. She finds it hard to muster up the will to do anything except go to a club called Debauchery and immerse herself in oblivion. Her claim to fame is that she is the daughter of the man who made masks - which help filter the air.

The plot takes her to meet up with Elliot, the nephew of the villain Prince Prospero who has a tyrannical control over the entire city. She is quickly brought into the folds of a conspiracy and has to assume the guise of his fiance, all while harboring feelings for another boy. Oh, and of course she doesn't like being touched. But it's fine if it's a boy kissing her, naturally.

Cliche teen romance without any spunk from the protagonist. And what's more, boys fall in love for her being beautiful with vacant eyes. Ridiculous. No depth. Dull except for the world building.

So much potential in the world though! Ceramic masks and lovely images of a broken world with the rich draped in whale bone corsets and long flowing skirts and streaks of violet in the hair. A tyrant villain with a masquerade party. Ah what wasted potential. Poor execution, characters that I have no sympathy for, scenes that drag on, and way too many unnecessary kissing scenes. I love romance and kisses as much as the next girl, but ones that are thrown in there just to show that she's attracted to two guys, hmm not for me.

One star because I couldn't even bear to fully read the second half of the story. Read only if you feel like reading about a fairly dimwitted protagonist and can stomach a sappy romance against a beautiful backdrop. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Looking forward to book 2.
( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Edgar Allan Poe’s story, the Masque of the Red Death, is one of my favorite short stories. Even though some of his work fell a little flat for me(The Tell-Tale heart, mainly), most of his work is perfectly creepy, and The Masque of the Red Death is one of the creepiest and the one that’s stayed in my memory ever since I had to read it for school in the tenth grade. That being said, I had a high expectation for this book based on Poe’s story, and it did not disappoint.

The devastated world in this book is absolutely stunning, in the saddest way. It lingered on every page and in every word. When I was reading this book, I became completely sucked into the dark world with porcelain masks, a plague, steam engine carriages, and a city almost in ruins. I really cannot gush enough about the world-building, because it is definitely the star of this book. Characters? Who needs them when you have a setting like this! Plus, the characters are actually fairly interesting as well. It took me a while to relate to Araby, but her character growth and development is extremely evident throughout the book. She’s not the most likable character in the beginning, but while there’s tons of intrigue and plot in this book, Araby’s character arc is well done, if sometimes overshadowed by the world and plot that surrounds it.

Every character in this book fascinated me. They were all complex, three-dimensional characters who had flaws and made mistakes as well as triumphs. I was continually interested in characters like Will, who at times is the ultimate nice big brother taking care of his siblings, but who also seems resigned at times, and also Araby’s best friend, who is much more than just another sidekick.

The plot in this book is thick, and I never knew what was going to happen. Every character had secrets and strong motivations to propel the plot further, and I almost never tired of it. I say “almost” because there was a bit in the middle of the book where I began to tire of the story a bit, but it picked back up rather quickly. This is also the only bit of the story where I was genuinely frustrated with Elliott, so I was quite glad when I kept reading and in the next twenty or thirty pages I went back to actually appreciating all the characters again.

I can’t say this book is just as haunting as Poe’s original tale(It is Edgar Allan Poe, after all), but it certainly comes close enough to satisfy. Suddenly, the world in which the Red Death exist is real and fleshed out, and contains characters I care about. A read I highly recommend.

Final Impression: A solid telling of The Masque of the Red Death that entrances with the world alone, with interesting characters being a delightful plus.4/5 stars.

Review originally posted on my blog at Book.Blog.Bake. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
Im torn, I loved the writing style but there were parts of the story that I didnt like. Ive never read Poes story of this so didnt know what to expect. Its a very dark book with steampunk elements. I will definitely read book 2 to see what happens. ( )
  BookLoversLife | Apr 24, 2014 |
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In this twist on Edgar Allen Poe's gothic short story, a wealthy teenaged girl who can afford a special mask to protect her from the plague that decimated humanity in the mid-1800s, falls in love, becomes caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow an oppressive government, and faces the threat of a new plague.… (more)

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