Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Masque of the Red Death #1 Masque of the Red Death

A steampunk retake of the original of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe (well I have to read that to make a head or tail of what it entails before I go about comparing)..... Presenting in all it glory (well the cover beauty to be exact) Masque of the Red Death #1 Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin.

Here is the summary of the book:

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.

Now as I have stated above I have not read Edgar Allen Poe's work by the same name, so I can't be sure of what it all entails.....so my views will be entirely on Ms. Griffin's book. Red death, is the plague  that has swept the land, killing millions in its wake. The only protection is the expensive face masks.....expensive in the sense that it is produced by a private company and not easily available to the general masses. Only the rich can afford such a luxury and the poor are left to their state. It is in these post apocalyptic, steampunk era that the story is based in. Araby Worth has some issues (in fact in the face of the plague everyone has major issues). The only one of the siblings still left, Araby has turned rather complacent and not very differentiated to life. Only the routine visits to the Debauchery Club with her friend April to just forget and drown in her grief.

It is in these club visits that Araby meets April's brother Elliot, the Prince's nephew and one of the club's workers, Will. She feels an attraction to both, that's when things start to complicate. Prince Prospero is not a person to be trifled with but he is also not someone you will want as a ruler too. Elliot is planning a rebellion but he needs Araby for that. Both Elliot and Will are truly not what they seem and maybe Araby will finally have something worth living for again.

As far as the cover is concerned, it actually and aptly summarizes the gothic and steampunk feel of the book very beautifully. The synopsis definitely doesn't give away much about the book and that is how I prefer it because then you'll get more out of it as you read through. The characters in here are all some wide varieties. Araby is the protagonist and she has big guilt issues, she is also very righteous and very stubborn, Elliot and his sister April, the nephew and niece of the Prince are the ones with the agenda here, they want to uproot their tyrant uncle, a noble goal. Then there is Will, although seem to be the only one with no agenda (we'll see what part he plays in the later book I hope) here feels like the one unwantedly caught in the crossfire.

It is visible enough that while Elliot, April and Araby are covertly pursuing their goal their is a certain attraction between Elliot and Araby, he seems to really care for her. But Araby seems to be attracted towards Will too....I seriously don't like William though (don't know why though!). Since this is just the first book and the author had written the beginning so beautifully that there are no jarring cliffhangers or info dumps....kudos to the author for that.

This is not a simple post-apocalyptic steampunk but with the added stuff is a story of a political struggle and of going against the norm to create a better world. I'm definitely counting looking forward for the next one now.

"Dark and engrossing......Bethany Griffin provides a tale that breaches all boundary"
Genre :       Young Adult, Steampunk, 

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)


  1. Brilliant review! I agree with everything! And the American cover is just so gorgeous!!

  2. Wow, 5 stars! I've been hearing a lot of positive things about this book. I think the cover is awesome. And I agree, I prefer when the synopsis doesn't give too much way. I really dislike reading a book when I already know what's going to happen. I enjoy the suspense. :)

    Great review! I always love it when someone really loves a book. :)



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