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Masque of the Red Death Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 24, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Haunting and beautiful, disturbing and thoughtful, this is a book you’ll be thinking about well after the last page is turned.” (Melissa Marr, New York Times Bestselling Author of Wicked Lovely)

“Luscious, sultry and lingeringly tragic, this story has my heart. I can’t stop thinking about this tale of a broken world held together by corsets and clock gears. Araby’s voice stays with me even now, making me wary of the air I breathe.” (Lauren Destefano, author of WITHER)

“Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death is gorgeous, compelling, and achingly romantic.” (Suzanne Young, author of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL)

About the Author

Bethany Griffin is the author of Masque of the Red Death. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She lives with her family in Kentucky.

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Product Details

  • Series: Masque of the Red Death (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062107794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062107794
  • ASIN: 0062107798
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a Poe enthusiast, I was a bit diffident about reading "Masque of the Red Death". After all, I had read "Nevermore" which proved to be sham of book, imo. Never the less that lovely cover called to me, and in spite of the fact that pretty covers have often proven to possess ugly innards, this book at least proved to be the exception to the rule.

"Masque of the Red Death" tells the story of Araby Worth, who lives in a world plagued by contagion and death. Bodies fill the streets as cities slowly disintegrate along with humanity. Death is emanate, except for those lucky few who possess ceramic, air filtering masks. But even those who have been lucky enough to survive thus far have few things to live for. As a result, many individuals, including Araby Worth, spend their days seeking oblivion in night clubs, chasing highs to escape their lows. It is in such a club, known as Debauchery, that Araby meets two individuals who will change the course of her life.

While I'm sure that the summary may sound trite, rest assured that "Masque of the Red Death" didn't befall to the typical YA pitfalls. There is so much to soak in while reading this story. It is gloriously atmospheric. I was wholly entrenched in this plague ridden universe. I had a clear mental image of dress and those coveted, life saving ceramic masks. And there were many times I wanted to jump into the shower as I read of plague and puss. Moreover, I loved each of the characters. There were such a refreshing change of pace with their drug habits, manipulative cunning, and most importantly, desperation. Even the love triangle, which would typically create an impulse to bang my head against the wall, was exceptionally well done. It wasn't forced, and made perfect since for each of the characters. My only regret is that I read this via an ARC. Now I have to wait even longer to begin the next installment.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The world in Masque of the Red Death is being destroyed by a plague called the Weeping Sickness. Because the air is foul and contaminated, everyone who can afford one wears a mask that covers half his/her face to keep out the sickness. Araby Worth lives in a pastiche of New Orleans and Paris in the fin de siecle. There are carriages and corsets, but this is no Gilded Age. The sickness killed the horses, so everyone relies on steam to power their carriages and machines (yes, this is a steampunk novel). In order to prove a person doesn't have the sickness, tattered clothing exposing as much skin as possible is worn. Inexplicably, dramatic glittery makeup and tattoos abound, despite the pseudo-historical premise. Young women of the upper classes go clubbing and inject drugs to pass the time and forget the horror and death all around them.

Araby, the daughter of the scientist who created the masks, goes where she wants whenever she wishes. She spends her evenings at the Debauchery Club with her friend April, niece of Prince Prospero (the villain in this tale). Though the people suffer, the Prince does nothing but send out his soldiers, killing any infected persons. Prospero feasts in his castle, safely behind his walls (this is where the Poe influence comes in). One night, the bouncer at the club finds Araby in a drugged stupor, and decides to help her. The two grow close over the story, as Araby finally finds something to goad her out of her sadness and self-hatred. Since Araby's brother died of the sickness, she has had nothing to live for, preferring to wander through existence in a drug-induced haze.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a reader who loves dystopians, this is the ultimate. Author Bethany Griffin has created a world where you have to where a mask for fear of contracting a horrible disease that results in death. A world where your next-door neighbor or sister could disappear randomly without you knowing what actually happened is both terrifying and oddly exhilarating when you think of what it would be like to be one of the survivors.

The main character, Araby, had lost her brother early on in life and blames herself. She pledges never to experience anything that her brother never had a chance to. Although she may come off as a pleasure-seeker, Araby hides her loss behind a devil-may-care attitude. The reader will certainly want to shake her at times, but she is also a sympathetic character. There is a bit of a love triangle in this book. There is Araby's best friend, Alice's, brother and a boy who saves Araby from her drugged revelry. Both have been deeply affected by the Plague, but the two are very different. Elliot, Alice's brother, is ruthless, but he shows some weakness when it comes to Araby. Will is more of a white knight, the reader will have a hard time choosing who to root for.

The plot was fast-paced. The reader follows Araby through a Plague-stricken world, a world she could possibly affect for the better. Araby meets the "Prince" Prospero, Alice and Elliot's uncle, she realizes that things must change. The time she spends in his castle will introduce the reader to a whole new Araby; she matures throughout the book. The ending is both surprising and will leave the reader wondering about what happens next. Author Bethany Griffin manages to effortlessly combine both the steampunk and dystopian genres, mix the two with romance, intrigue, mystery, and action and produce an amazing book. This book is recommended to young adult/teen/adult readers.

*Complimentary copy received for review, this does not affect my opinion in any way*
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