Well, I think I have my first contender for a favourite of 2012. Masque of the Red Death is a retelling of the classic Poe story. Bethany Griffin has her work cut out for her… she’s redoing Poe, whom I love. Who I devoured while growing up…who, as previously mentioned, I adore…
Griffin certainly has a lot of guts.
Araby Worth lives a privileged life at the top of the elite society. A plague has decimated much of the world’s population and everyone must wear masks to avoid breathing the fetid air. Her father is a scientist responsible for creating the masks and they live quite well from his discovery. Araby can’t shed her guilt over the death of her twin brother, Finn, some years earlier. Finn died at the onset of the plague due to a mistake that Araby made and cannot forgive herself for. She made a vow to never enjoy anything which he couldn’t experience. This includes falling in love.
Araby passes her time in pretty clothes falling into a drug induced oblivion at the Debauchery Club where her eye is caught by Will. Through a series of events she gets to know him, and her vow to Finn looms ever present in her thoughts. She also has dealings with Elliott, her best friend’s brother, who is spurring misdeeds of his own. Araby does not trust him, but she decides to help him anyways. During this time, the city is getting sicker and a new plague is born – The Red Death.
is a book that will enchant readers. It’s such a cool book. It has shades of Steampunk, Gothic Horror, Romance… you name it. I read through it completely enrapt and reached the end wanting more. It’s perfect for readers who are fans of Carrie Ryan’s Forest series or Leah Clifford’s Touch books. It’s dark and intriguing and a hell of a ride. I read the entire thing with my toes curled.
There’s a couple of spoiler things I’d like to mention just for context for when I read the next book, but I will try to make them as non-spoilery as possible – The love triangle, the first kiss, the second kiss, the guilt, the shame, the Noah’s Ark moment, the descent into a maddening, horrific future, the uncertainty of knowing who to trust, the paranoia… and a plot twist I did not see coming for miles. If any of those things appeal to you then you will, undoubtedly, love this book.
5 out of 5 stars. Wow, what a book.
* Masque of the Red Death releases May 1st, 2012.