Masque of the Red Death was an unexpected favourite last year, despite not being crazy about the leading lady Araby. I was dying to know if Araby improved with some well deserved time, and while she did, she was still a little wishy washy for me. She'd stand her ground and announce things like:
April is my best friend. My priority is getting her to my father. Not flirting. Or romance. That sort of thing can wait.and then is would promptly start flirting, kissing and worrying about who she's in love with. Granted she is aware of her foibles now,
I rest my face against his chest, to keep myself from inviting more. Is privacy with Elliott what I want? How can I even think about this when my father is missing and his sister is dying? It told Kent that I wasn't interested in romance. Elliott isn't the only liar in our midst.which makes her considerably less unlikeable. Let me say she's working on growing a backbone and some opinions of her own, so although she's not my favourite YA heroine, she's no longer on my list of least favourites either.
Once again, the side characters and the world they live in were what swept me up in the story. A disappointingly small amount of time is spent at Prospero's ball, but in the end, the unravelling of the mysteries set up in Masque, and how all the characters come together was more than satisfactory. Will and Elliott's different views on a rebellion, how it could be accomplished and what the end results should be, was what kept things dynamic, and it also gave Araby something to chew on. The pull back and forth between the boys, while less mysterious then in book the first, is still intriguing as you're never sure exactly whose being honourable or honest.
Being bloodthirsty, as you all well know I am, the death toll was much too light for me. There is exactly (SPOILER ALERT!!) one death. ONE. This is not a reasonable number in a plague infested city festering with rebellion. Which goes hand in hand with my other issue, the rebellion was much too easy. Prospero, evil genius who has caused the crippling ruin of the city and populace, was out witted in one small line, in one small chapter, and Malcontent wasn't even an issue. The odds this group had to overcome looked insurmountable and then were easily accomplished in a few simple steps.
Although, like the first book, I took issue with various aspects of the story, none of them were so cataclysmic as to ruin the overall feel of the book for me. Griffin has written an enjoyable page turner that I ate up in just a little over a day. So if your looking for a fun, light read, for the last of the lazy days of summer, then look no further, this completed two parter makes a satisfying hammock companion.
The Dance of the Red Death, By Bethany Griffin
Published by HarperCollins June 11, 2013
Buy Dance of the Red Death on Amazon