Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death

Book: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 320
Source: HarperCollins Canada (Thank you so much!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 3.5/5
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.


(summary taken from Goodreads
MY THOUGHTS:  

Dark. Dangerous. Lyrical. Tragic. Poe would be so proud of this book! 

Set in a plagued city with danger around every corner, Masque of the Red Death is one of the most chilling yet captivating dystopians I've ever read. There's death wherever you turn; corpse collectors roam the dangerous streets. And everyone has to wear a porcelain mask outside to protect them from the plague, but only the rich can afford them. 

Araby is such a heartbroken and heartbreaking character. With the guilt of her twin brother's death hanging over her, she refuses to let herself to be happy, to experience anything he won't. While my heart goes out to Araby for what she goes through, this makes is a little harder to connect with her. I had the same problem with most of the other characters. We only skimmed the surface when I felt like there was so much more beneath their masks.  

The romance was twisted yet incredibly sweet just like the two boys. There are secrets, sacrifices, and huge surprises you won't expect. Bethany Griffin knows how to write suspense! And even though I wish there was more of a punch to that build-up, it still left me craving to know how anything could possibly work out in this bleak world. 

Deliciously dark and hauntingly beautiful, Masque of the Red Death sits up there with Kelly Creagh's Nevermore on my list of coolest Poe-inspired books! It wasn't as mind-blowing as I'd hoped, but it still stuck with me and I can't wait to read the next. :)

BUY or BORROW?: Edgar Allan Poe fans, get ready to empty your wallets! Don't let the rating fool you this book is definitely worth the read! Am I the only one hoping this will be turned into a movie? x) 

-Mimi

42 comments:

  1. Great review! I've been forever obsessed with Poe. His work is legend and he's a great inspiration for me and my own writing. I'm getting this book in the mail soon and I sooooooo can't wait to read it!

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  2. Ohh Sweetie, I gave it the same rating! While Araby's loss is tragic (and I know what I'm talling about) her overwheming tragic sadness was just too much for me. It might be just perfect for a Poe story, but I haven't read him before which is why I judge this book just for itself.
    The romance was sweet and I actually liked the premise of the Triangle. Both boys are interesting enough and I hope we get some deeper character development in the next book!

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  3. Po would be really proud of this book! I loved the dark, crazy atmosphere and the bittersweet romance! Lovely review Mimi I'm glad you enjoyed this one too!

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  4. ORDERED THIS ONE. (And it releases today -- so it should be at my house soon!! :D) I've gotta admit that I bought this book just because of that gorgeous cover and because I luuuuuurved Nevermore (Varen!), but you always have a way of making me more ecstatic to read a book just by using Mimi words! Poe is one of my heroes, so hell yes for everything inspired by his works. That just means that the author has great taste! ;)

    Fantabulous review, Mimi! <33333333333 I only have to wait a few days for this to ship to me and you still make me feel like the most impatient girl in the world! :P

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  5. Not really a fan of horror since I'm scwaredy widdle cat. But I must admit, I can't resist heartbreaking characters. And the title itself is delicious!

    Great review! :D

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  6. I am really dying to read this book! The Edgar Allan Poe concept sounds AWESOME and Araby sounds like a great character!

    Awesome review, Mimi! ♥

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  7. Great review, Mimi! It sounds like a dark and heartbreaking book! I'm definitely waiting to read this one! I also LOVE the title- it is so intriguing and awesome. I can't wait to meet Araby and though she sounds difficult to relate to and disconnected- she sounds like a character worth knowing! I haven't read any of Poe before but he's such an inspiration to many people and I loved that this book is inspired by him!

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  8. I can't wait to read this! I love the gorgeous cover, the concept sounds really intriguing, Griffin sounds like one heck of talented author and a sweet but twisted romance you say!! I want this now!!! :) Awesome review as usual Mimi!

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  9. "Araby is such a heartbroken and heartbreaking character."

    YES! She just leaves you with a heavy feeling doesn't she? I felt for her but at the same time I wanted her to think about whether she would have wanted the same life for her brother had she been the one to die. Probably not. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Mimi, I really enjoyed the dark atmosphere of it and while I agree we stayed on the surface of the characters for the most part, I have high hopes we'll dig deeper in future books! Wonderful review:)

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  10. I can't wait to read this-it's in my pile and I hope I will love it since I am a big fan of Poe! I am a little worried about the love triangle as I've had such mixed experiences with them; hopefully I find the boys as sweet as you described them.

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  11. I have been hearing so much about this book lately! I love the sound of the atmosphere, from what I've read of the world it sounds FASCINATING. A little disappointing that there wasn't as much depth to the characters as you'd hope. Although I love how you describe the romance: 'twisted yet incredibly sweet.' You know how to hook me in :P

    Very eager to see what I think of this. FAB REVIEW!

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  12. Oh, Poe! This book just reminds me that I need to write an essay about Tell Tale Heart. I'm not big fan of Poe - his works somehow tend to give me nightmares LOL! x) But I think I'd buy this book simply by the cover! It's incredibly gorgeous. ♥ Araby sounds like a great character but I'm worried since you mentioned that it's difficult to connect with her. Well, hopefully the suspense would be enough to keep me reading! :)

    Like always, amazing review, Mimi! Even though you expected this book to be much better, I'm glad that you fairly enjoyed it! Have a LOVELY day! ♥ :)

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  13. I totally can't wait to read this it sounds so awesome! I love a deep and dark atmosphere. Plus, I'm a long time Edgar Allen Poe fan so I've really been anticipating this.
    Janiera @ This is From My Heart

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  14. Even though it wasn't as mind-blowing as you would hope, I'm glad you still enjoyed it! The book seems like it has such a creepy, eery atmosphere and I've heard a lot about the triangles. This is such a lovely review, Mimi. ♥

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  15. :) i will always love tale-tell heart by poe! he is a great creepy writer!
    sounds like a fun, scary read.
    I hope you had a marvelous weekend!

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  16. Did you say twisted by sweet romance. Bingo. Me want. But two boys? Does that mean there is one for me? LOL

    The setting for this one does sound perfect for a movie. Its been a while since I've read Poe, and it looks like I'm long overdue to revisit interpretations of his brilliant work.

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  17. I haven't read many reviews for this one. It does sound interesting. Nevermore is also on my tbr list. I'm starting to get back into YA which makes me happy!

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  18. Great review! Everyone is saying this is so good! I need to read this, soon.
    =D

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  19. I usually associate 3.5 ratings with books that I wouldn't normally be urgent to pick up, but your review seems to have the opposite effect! I've never wanted to read this book more than after this moment. I would love to read a book that would make Poe proud and is poignant enough to rank near the greatness of Kelly Creagh's Nevermore. Poe is my hero.

    Thank you for your kind words. =)

    Best wishes,
    A

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  20. I think this would make such an amazing movie!! I can just see it now. I love the sound of this so much, especially how dark it is. Twisted romances are my favourite, so I'm glad you mentioned that aspect. We don' get this over here until later on (August, I think) but I really can't wait for it.

    The Cait Files

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  21. Yep it sounds like you ran across some of the same problems I did. I wanted more depth and detail. The world building was great, though but the buildup and climax were slow a good read but not stunning...

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  22. Oh wow Mimi - awesome review! I've been wondering about this one for a while and now I can't wait to check it out.

    Thank you so much for sharing Mimi - Have a great week! <3<3<3

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  23. I felt the exact same way as you! My review goes up tomorrow but I'd wished I could have connected more to the characters. But the story was still pretty freaking fantastic!

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  24. Ah, I'm glad you enjoyed it overall, Mimi! I admit that a great deal of my affection for this book is due to the dark mood and setting, both of which I thought were extremely well done. Hopefully the story and characters get fleshed out a bit more in the sequel. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  25. EEEP. I am excited for this one! Between it being inspired by Poe, which hiiii, Gothic books, I love you, and the beautiful cover and the synopsis, I'm ALREADY dying to read it. Now your review. It seems like you really enjoyed it, with a few flaws and I can so handle that. I just love how beautifully you blend your reviews together, Mimi! Even if the book didn't blow you away, you always find something you liked about it, and your review only makes me more excited for this one!

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  26. Wow this one sounds like it's totally my kind of thing! Dark mood and dystopian setting? Yes please! I think I'm developing into one of those readers who likes to watch everyone die! And look at the cover. Is that coolness or what?

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  27. It looks as though we both had the same response to this book! I enjoyed the dark world-building too but was hoping for more of an impressive ending. Still, hopefully the next book will deal with smoothing out the small issues. Great review! :)

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  28. Gah! I totally havent been able to read this one yet!!! I'm TOTALLY trying not to build it up to 'mind-blowing' status so I'm disappointed BEFORE I start! Lol

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  29. Yours, was the one review I wanted to read the most. We coincide so freaking much in our reviews that I was really longing to read your review of this book, which I pre-ordered, but for some weird reason, my order got cancelled. SO before wanting to buy it again, I wanted to make sure I should buy this book. ANd here I am... more confused than ever before XD LOL! Even though it sounds awesome, Im not sure if it's word buying. Could you please help me? XDDDD

    great review my dear, Im glad you liked it but... snifff.. it didnt blow your mind. Would it blow mine? what do u think my sweet?

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  30. This one sounds so dark and distressing. But sometimes I like that in books. I hate that the characters weren't as forthcoming you would have liked and it was hard for you to connect with them. But maybe the author is just working on build up and will explore them further if there is a sequel to this novel. Let's hope so anyway. Despite that it still seems like you enjoyed the book! I'll have to look into it further.

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  31. Glad you enjoyed this one Mimi, so cant wait for the second book. Such a great review as always <3

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴ƷFICBOOKREVIEWSƸ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

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  32. Aaah, Mimi! Amazing review... I'm reallu looking forward to this, but I've been seeing such sketchy, lukewarm reviews... I REALLY loved your review, and it's... oh, I'm excited for it, who am I kidding. Just not expecting to be blown away... but it doesn't sound like a blow-me-away one? More of a haunting, slow-build, introspective and melancholic one? AMAZING, YOU IS MIMI!

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  33. Oh-oh. Mimi liked, so now I have to read. I didn't want to request this book because the release date was so close and I have far too many review copies anyway. To be honest, I'm not the biggest Poe fan out there, not anymore. Not because he's not good, but because I was forced to read him all the time in Uni and it left a bitter taste in my mouth.
    But seeing how this sounds, and the enthusiasm of all my friends, including you, I have no choice but to read it, and I bet I'll end up enjoying it.
    Wonderful review, Mimi! <3

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  34. Oh, Mimi. I find the concept of this book so interesting, especially since... Perhaps I'm a little morbid, but I've always imagined a dystopian version of my city, Manila, to be like that. In fact, when I think of writing that sort of novel, in that I want to make, death is around every corner. It's very... desperate. That's partly why I'm so intrigued!

    While it seems like there are issues with the characters, or at least like you weren't able to connect or see the depth in some of them, your review still makes me want to try it. It's good that you empathized that it's stuck with you... Now I'm even more excited! Thanks for a lovely review, Mimi. I love reading what you have to say, always! :)

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  35. Gahh..I read around 60 pages of it on the galley I received, but I just couldn't get into it:/ I totally agree about the main character - it was like, literally impossible to connect with her; she IS this heartbroken soul and under normal circumstances my heart would ache for her loss, but like you said, we only skim the surface & for me, it was impossible to penetrate the barrier & understand her fully :/ Ooohh, SUSPENSE? I don't think I read up to the part where suspense begins, but I'm really glad you enjoyed this Mimi!!! Fabulous review!<3 (Oh, and NEVERMORE! I see you really enjoyed it<3 I'll definitely have to check it out :)

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  36. Holy moly that's a lot of comments! This is the review I wanted to write, it's perfect! I loved this book. :D

    ComaCalm's Corner

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  37. A movie for this now sounds great, I would love to! I haven't read it but I confess I'm very curious to learn more now. and I love the cover (it helps a lot lol). Thanks for the review!

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  38. aaaaaaaaahhh Mimi!! I am suuuuuch a huge Poe fan!! The new movie "The Raven"? Yeah, I'm so going to that, even though I'll be scared out of my mind. hahaha ;) But seriously, I want to read this book SO BADLY. Your review, of course, made me want to read it even more than I already did, which was a lot. Your description of Abby's character, the romance, and the book being "hauntingly beautiful" all totally have me waiting very impatiently for Masque!! If only my library would get a copy in...since I have no money to begin with. haha ;) Thank you for your glorious review, Mimi!! So glad you enjoyed this book - hope I enjoy it as well! <3

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  39. Thanks for your comment! ( : I just finished reading A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, which was amazing!

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  40. Hmmm.... Not really sure what to do about Masque of the Red Death anymore. It looked so awesome, yet some reviews have made me reconsider it. And I get really frustrated on those books you don't connect with the characters.

    Still, it's a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe... Argh! Don't know xD Anyways, great review, Mimi! ♥

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  41. Ohhh! I just reviewed this too and you say what I want to say so good! I agree and it definitely WAS good. My only problem was I had issues truly connecting with the characters, but even that got better towards the end! And oh, I can't help but feel the sequel will be even better. :D I bought Poe's work to read now too, hahah. And a movie would be REAL cool. o: Great review!!

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  42. I love dark and dangerous! What an interesting Poe story to base this book off of. People wearing masks to avoid the plaque but also hiding out and partying. Very interesting. But with the reviews I've read I feel like I'll be disappointed in the romance. Both boys sound well not that great. Awesome cover though!

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It's really nice to meet you!