REVIEW: Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Release: April 24th 2012
Pages: 319

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 definitely takes you on a roller coaster of a ride through a haunted town, as if you are on a steam carriage entering a world of which you could only imagine possible in your nightmares. The cover is gorgeous! I love the way the red is snaking around in the background, in a way representing the plague that has come upon them. The mist also makes it more mysterious as if their is no-one else out there, causing it to feel quite isolated. And the dress and umbrella add to the theme of those in the upper city wearing more expensive and extravagant clothes, like Araby and her best friend April.

Their city has been taken over by a plague. Wiping out those who dare breath the earth's air, it causes them to die a long and painful death. Araby is one who, on the outside, is classed as one of the lucky ones. Her father is a famous scientist and the inventor of the masks, it filters and cleans the air of which they breath to reduce the risk of catching the plague. But, King Prospero controls the land of which they live on and he is not afraid to kill if his demands are not met. One of those demands are that he and Arabys father are the only ones of which know how to make the masks, meaning only the rich can afford to pay for them and for the poor to live in fear of the polluted air. But, joining up with April's brother Elliott and Will, Araby attempts to save them all... but there is not only the King they should be afraid of.

Araby is a delicate character, who is kind and is someone who keeps her thoughts and feelings to herself. She feels as if she is abandoned, her brother died and she blames herself. Her father ignores her completely and her mother pays no interest in her, keeping many secrets hidden and acting as if all is fine. She has made a vow though, she is not allowed to experience anything her brother, Finn, will never be allowed to experience, meaning she is not allowed to be happy and not allowed to fall in love. She is a strong, independent character who, throughout the story, comes to realise her mistakes but she will take her secrets to the grave with her if that's what it takes. I also liked the way she showed such love for Will's siblings and you can see how deep her longing for her brother really runs, with some true emotion seeping through. Her relationship with Elliott was really interesting though, the way he always told her not to trust him but you could just tell he truly longed for her trust. But, I couldn't tell if he was really falling in love with her or not, compared to Will whom of which you saw he had a strange fascination for her and the way she lives her life, especially with her guilt and vow.

I loved the imagination that went into the creation of the masks, where only one person can wear it and when they have been worn once, it is theirs until the very end of human existence and those who wear another's mask will die. I also liked the idea of how the production of the masks was so secret, like the recipe is an ancient myth or secret of which will be passed down in generations to come to only a selected few. The layout of the city was really interesting, the way in which the rich are guarded and gated in the upper part of the city and the poor are essentially left to their own devices. Also, the number of secret tunnels hidden under the continuous destruction of the city and the mysteriously violent secret societies hidden with in the city's walls and the Kings castle.

This masterpiece is dark, mysterious and deadly in the wrong hands. It will keep your turning the pages until you are hiding under your covers to get away from the terrifying city. I was told this book was inspired by Edgar Allen Poes, The Masque of Red Death (after reading this version, I am definitely going to check it out!)

The next book in the series: Dance of the Red Death and there is also a novella: Glitter & Doom.


  1. I love this series, and your review of it :) I also thought the world building was phenomenal. It's dark and intriguing and I really like how Araby's strength isn't obvious at first sight. I'm not a fan of Elliott's but I agree that he's an interesting character. Your review really made me want to go back to the series! I need to read the novella sometime soon...

    1. Yay, thank you! This series is definitely going to be one of my favourites, hopefully and most likey the Dance of the Red Death will be just as good or maybe even better :0)

      Thank you very much for stopping by!


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