Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)Title: Masque of the Red Death 
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher:  Greeenwillow Books
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 319, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 stars
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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 around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . 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 is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.


This book was my May Random Read. chose this book for me from my TBR list on Goodreads.

I was honestly disappointed with this book.  I haven't read much steampunk, so maybe that was part of my issue.  I just didn't get the whole corset, streaked hair and gaudy make-up thing and why anyone thought that was attractive.  But, my biggest problem with the book had nothing to do with the steampunk elements, it was simply that I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters.  Araby is detached - she drowns out the world using drugs, but even when she's not high, she only seems to feel in short bursts.  I get that this is a character choice, but Araby's detachment made it impossible for me to feel anything either.  I just didn't care about her or her love interests - especially Elliott, who just came off as an insane jerk.  But a detached insane jerk.  I guess I was supposed to like Elliott in the end, and he did rise very slightly in my estimation, but not enough to make me care.   I cared more about Will, but still not enough to really make reading the book enjoyable.  Araby came off as selfish and annoying, so I don't know why these guys are all in love with her anyway.  I just couldn't care about these people!!

Then there were some little things that just bugged me - like WHY can't people share masques?  Araby says you can't, but I can't for the life of me figure out how a masque would sense the difference between people and what would happen if you tried - it's just never explained.  It's just a convenient way to make it so that Araby can't give one of her many masques to Henry (Will's adoptive younger brother).  And how exactly is the plague spread?  It seems like the author doesn't know and it changes throughout the book.  There are lots of little things like this that just bugged me.

The end of the book picked up and caught my interest more, but by then I was just trying to finish it, so it seemed like too little too late.  I think that the writing was good and that it was an intriguing idea, but this book just wasn't for me.  2.5/5 stars.


  1. I've been meaning to read this book. The whole inspired by Poe aspect rally caught my attention. It's too bad you didn't enjoy it :( Aside from Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard, I haven't really read that much steampunk either. Now I'm not sure whether or not I'll get to this book...

    Great review, thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, I thought the concept of the book was great, but I just couldn't connect with the characters. There are others who loved it, though, so you still might want to give it a chance - especially if you're the type of person who can put a book down if you don't like it. I just can't!

  2. Oh my godness, I really loved this book. I read it within the course of a few hours. I was pulled into the story from page one and I couldn't stop until I was done with it. And the last page, oh man. I want a sequel right now. I want to know what happens with our heroic characters. I want to know what becomes of Araby and her two guys.

    1. Yeah, for some reason this one just didn't click with me. I know a lot of people loved it, though!