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Masque of the Red Death

Bethany Griffin

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 16, 2012 – This gothic adventure reimagines Poe’s classic story of the same name as a full-length YA adventure. The world has been devastated by the Weeping Sickness, a disfiguring and often fatal disease staved off only with specialized masks and obsessive preventive measures. The rich hide in their towers and party in the notorious Debauchery District, the poor scrape by, and the despotic Prince Prospero rules with an iron fist. Araby, the 17-year-old daughter of the mask’s inventor, is traumatized by her brother’s death from the plague, hiding from her feelings while partying. When she meets Elliott, the prince’s nephew and a would-be revolutionary, and Will, who works at her favorite club, Araby must choose her destiny and follow her heart, while a new disease rages and the city burns. Griffin (Handcuffs) delivers a seductively dark, decadently disturbing look at a society crumbling from within and without, infused with a romantic, steampunk air and Poe’s own morbid sensibilities. Themes of science and faith weave through a story that draws from Poe’s original while standing assuredly on its own. Ages 14–up.

Customer Reviews

from my bookshelf review of Masque of the Red Death

**possible spoilers**

Araby has lived the last couple of years of her life in a drug induced stupor, spending her evenings with her friend, April, at the Debauchery Club, a private club where you go to forget the outside world. And what's wrong with the outside world? First off is the plague called the Weeping Sickness, a silent killer that seems to eat away at a body until death. Secondly, Araby is trying to forget the death of her twin brother, Finn, whose death she feels responsible for due to an innocent mistake, and as a result, she has set herself with a promise to him, that she won't enjoy anything in life that he won't now be able to enjoy, which includes falling in love.

Araby's father invented a mask that can keep the wearer safe from the Weeping Sickness, but instead of making the mask available to all, Prince Prospero has turned the manufacture of the masks into a profitable venture, thereby preventing the lower classes from being able to afford masks and being at the mercy of the plague. Because of his invention, however, Araby's father and his family has been able to live in relative opulence, something else Araby carries guilt over. Quite frankly, felt there was a little too much guilt-ridden Araby going on in this book. Don't get me wrong, she's a fine MC, but I'll admit, I found April a sometimes more compelling character than Araby - I'd really like to see a story from April's POV sometime.

Araby eventually catches the eye of both Will, a bouncer at the Debauchery Club, and Elliott, April's older brother, each of whom are interested in Araby for far different reasons. Will sees her as a lost soul, someone that he would like to see rise above her self-imposed vow and begin to enjoy life again. Elliott wants to use her for far more seemly nefarious reasons, and while she doesn't entirely trust Elliott, she decides to help him. Enter the love triangle and most of the emotional impetus that is used on Araby for the majority of the second half of the book.

I've read in several places that Bethany Griffin's Masque of the Red Death is a retelling of Poe's classic tale of the same name, but I can't help but keep thinking of it as a prequel of sorts to Poe's story. Maybe it's just me, but Griffin's story seemed to be leading up to the events of Poe's, putting all the key elements of her story in place to get the key characters in Poe's story into their necessary places for his story. However you want to interpret Griffin's Masque, I recommend reading it. Griffin has created a very unique world, that somehow feels eerily familiar at the same time. The book is not really uplifting; the Weeping Sickness is very real in this world, and people die, frequently, from it. The book carries, quite obviously, a lot of the tropes of current YA books, but still manages to tell a story that is unique unto itself. I just wish those tropes weren't always so obvious.

Absolutely wonderful

When I first saw this book at my library, I wasn't sure if I would quite like it. To my surpise, I couldn't even force myself to put it down after a few hours :) So highly reccommended. One of the best books I've read all summer

Masque of the Red Death
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  • $9.99
  • Level: Grades 9 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Published: Apr 24, 2012
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings