Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

I feel something. The first emotion I’ve felt all day, besides vague anticipation for tonight. This isn’t the sort of thing I want to feel. Gnawing and sick, it wells up from my stomach. ~ARC p. 3 

Masque is a fantastical, stimulating and gritty read that will leave your heart a flutter, your fingers twitching with anticipation and an unbelievable desire for more. 

by Bethany Griffin
*I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No money was exchanged for this review.
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. 

This book follows Araby, the last living child of the scientist that is responsible for saving humanity. Her father invented a mask that is the only thing from preventing the entire population of Araby’s little world from extinction. The town is scare to catch the disease that is a death sentence and the Prince feeds off of them. 
“My brother always wanted to go up in a balloon.” “Well, then you should do it for him,” Will says softly. It’s the exact opposite of the way I've tried to deal with Finn's loss. The idea of living for Finn is alien and fascinating. ~ARC p. 265 
Araby is laden with guilt. She feels guilt over her brother, Finn, who she believes caught the contagion and died because of her careless act. She has made a vow to herself to not live or experience that which her brother will never have a chance at. 

Choosing not to live and riddled with pain and grief, she tries to escape. Spending her life trying to forget and feel numb in the Debauchery Club, Araby’s life is tragic. Not loved by her mother who would love nothing more than to have the child that was taken from her and her father who is to busy buried in his experiments to pay attention to her. Araby’s best friend April, the niece of the Prince and her partner in crime, encourages Araby’s life but also helps keep her alive. 
I’ve never kissed anyone. I made a vow to avoid the things that Finn will never experience. It doesn’t usually bother me. April says that’s because I don’t know what I'm missing, but passion seems very messy. ~ARC p. 31 
Her world is shaken when she falls in line with Elliot, April’s brother, who has his heart set on revenge against the Prince. He plots a rebellion and Araby is to be one of his pawns. But is she more than a pawn to him? Or is he just that good at lying? But Elliot is not the only one that wants to overthrow the Prince. The dark and sinister Minister has created a rebellion that is vicious and they don’t care what gets in their way. 

Araby must work with Elliott, when April goes missing. And she wants nothing more than to live happy ever after with her boy from the club, Will. But will she push aside her vow in honor of Finn to be happy? Does she have what it takes to fight for what she wants? Does Elliott really lover her or is she one of his pawns? 

I was so taken aback by this book I'm still swooning all over this book. I devoured this book in almost one sitting. It left me gasping for air and drowning in need for me time with Araby, Will and Elliott. 
Will leans forward, pulls off his mask, and kisses my forehead. “I'm glad I was the one to save you this time,” he whispers. ~ARC p. 51 
I loved this book so much!!! I mean seriously everyone. This book took my breath away and shocked me like a crazy phsych patient needing therapy!!! The action the romance and the world that Bethany created is just spectacular. She managed to make you feel everything that was going on in the story with Araby. You feel dirty when walking around the city, you feel your heart (and other parts) fluttering with Elliott and Will, you feel scared and excited with all the action and you feel your heart swell with Henry and Elise. 

I have not read the original Edgar work that this is inspired by so I can’t compare, but this makes me want to read it so bad!!! I found this book just fantastical and so filled action and adventure I refused to put it down until I was done! Which didn’t take long, I could have easily read this in one sitting. 

Just shy of being the most amazing book I read this year, Masque is something that everyone needs to get their hands on. It would have been perfect if the reasons behind Araby’s motives and decisions were clearer. I sometimes felt that she trusted Elliott too much, especially with what he wants her to do. I would love to see more of a debate in her head about what she should be doing. I don’t know what I'm trying to say here, I'm just really nitpicking!!! I mean seriously! It’s just friggin fantastic. I could read it over and over again! 
Elliott takes off his mask and leans closer to me. If anyone came around the corner, they would think we are about to embrace. As he moves closer, I'm tempted to pull away, but he's speaking so softly that if we weren’t so close, I wouldn’t be able to hear him. It's more feeling the words he's saying than hearing them, as his lips move against my hair. ~ARC p. 152 
Now I have to say that this book has yet another love triangle but just like Will and Jem from Clockwork Prince, I cannot choose (although I'm partial to Will, hehe another Will ladies, who will steal your heart!!!) Now, Oh William!!! You sure brought this book to a whole new level. In the beginning, you are just a hot boy in a club, but you turn into something sooooooo much more!!! Every word that comes out of his mouth makes me swoon. This boy makes my heart a flutter and my inner goddess scream and cheer for him and Araby. Did I mention that his hotness has tattoos?!?!?! Ahh, everything he says it just swoon!!! I kept seriously swooning all over this book. I know I should use another word, but nothing describes it better. 
Then there is Elliott. Oh Elliott, you remind me of Warner from Shatter Me, you are a bit crazy, hell-bent on revenge, but unlike Warner, you have a soft spot that I want to run my fingers over. I go back and forth between him, wanting to rip his eyes out and take Araby back to Will, and wanting whisk him away to his bed chambers and see what he is all about!! He is so complex and mysterious I can’t help but be captivated. 
I won't cry. When the guilt is this heavy, you can't. It just settles and stays with you, and it's cold. Grief is warm but guilt is very very cold. ~ ARC p. 205 
Read this book, you won’t be disappointed!!! Its tantalizing, exquisite and so different than anything out there!!!! Its something that we haven’t seen for a long time. 

4.5 stars for sure!!!! 

The basket swings lightly back and forth, and he shudders. I open my eyes and look at him. Hes beautiful. Completely beautiful with his eyes closed, leaning forward. He pulls me toward him without opening his eyes. 
He kisses the side of my face. "I want to stay up here forever," he whispers. 
We kiss again, and I feel like I'm drowning. So this is what April always said I was missing. It isn’t a messy as I thought. His hards are in my hair and on my shoulders and my back and I feel boneless and weak. The vow that I made and even Finn seem very far away. 
"Why don’t you open your eyes?" 
He opens one and squints at me for a second. "I'm terrified of heights," he says. ~ARC p. 268-269


  1. Great review! I'd really love to read this...it sounds absolutely FABULOUS! :D

  2. awesome
    i can't wait to read it soon/hoping

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'm dying to read this one, as I've been a fan of Poe for many years. I hope you read his work soon! :)

  4. I'm starting this one soon (it's waiting impatiently on my bedside table just staring up at me) and now I can't wait! I've heard mixed things about this one, but after this review it sounds right up my ally!

  5. I was captivated by the pictures in the article, love it! This book looks great!



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