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 (Rhiannon's note, he's not, he's just a sort of bouncer) 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.
Another BEA score! Bethany was part of a five author signing at Harpers booth on the second day of the show. Her, Aprilynne Pike, Veronica Roth, and Elizabeth Norris drew one of the biggest lines of the show, and people were camped out in it for up to two hours. Let's just say, I'm one smart cookie for bringing along my camp stool on day two. Also, it was worth it.
From it's release on April 24th, Masque of the Red Death has been getting tremendous buzz. Based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story, Griffin has developed an exotic dystopic world of pleasure, wealth, poverty and death. The way she plays the lushness of Araby and her surroundings against the stark truths of her world reminded me of the flavour of Wither and Fever. But where Rhine is an instigator of her own actions, Araby is tossed about by various factions, often without her even really knowing or understanding what's going on around her.
To be honest, I was hoping Araby would grow a set. I didn't hate her, but I didn't love her either. She was too much of a pawn for me. Will, Elliott and April were much more appealing to me, if for no other reason then they each had strong wills and strong opinions. Some of the things Araby was willing to do, the risks she was wiling to take, without fully knowing what she was involved with made her seem like a silly girl who was easily influenced by a good looking guy.
That being said, I was totally smitten with the story Griffin was weaving. Her world, the plagues, the rebellion and mystery, swept me right along and I whipped through this book in less than a day. She kept me guessing as to who were the good guys and who were the bad, even after I'd turned the last page. I mean, it was keeping me up at night trying to figure it out!
Although Araby was a bit weak for me, the ambience and mysteries of this story more than made up for her lack of personality. I have my fingers crossed she'll develop into a better heroine in book two, but even if she doesn't I can't wait to see where Griffin is taking this story, though, if Poe is any indicator, she's taking them to an opulant palace party filled with death. Yummy!
Masque of the Red Death, By Bethany Griffin
Published by Greenwillow Books, April 24th, 2012
My copy acquired at the BEA