Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on June 19, 2012 | 4 Comments

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany GriffinMasque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Published by Greenwillow (4.24.2012)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

1 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Not gonna lie, I very nearly marked this as DNF about 200 pages through. I really should have. I was going to give myself another 40 pages, and by then I was so close to the end I just forced myself to finish the rest. Plus, I had heard a lot of people saying that the last half is worth it…NOT. It was the same dull, drab story all the way through for me. I think the real issue here is that it just wasn’t for me.

The characters felt painfully one-dimensional. They all blended together – I couldn’t tell where one personality ended and another began. The writing was very dry and formal, with absolutely NO humor whatsoever. I realize that it’s supposed to be ‘dark and gritty’ because of the happenstance, but I like a little levity in serious situations. I was literally falling asleep on this one because I was so bored.

I didn’t like Araby. She was a weak and vapid lead. She won’t do anything that resembles actually living because her brother is dead. Um? I think he would want her to enjoy life, not wallow in pity. She takes syringes to send her to ‘oblivion,’ and refuses to do anything that her brother can’t experience. Yeah, that makes sense. I wanted to slap the stupid out of her. Also, in the beginning I got the vibe that she was somewhat indifferent about her friendship with April, but then when April disappears, she’s all, ‘LIKE OMG MY BFF IS GONE HOW CAN I LIVE?!’ Okay, so now you care. Wonderful.

Then there were Elliot and Will, who I could barely tell were different people. Their personalities seemed to be made from the same mold; then add tattoos to Will to make him stand out. They both have feelings for Araby when they’ve only just met her, and both are jealous of each other. Elliot was more creepy though – his was more of obsession and infatuation. Halfway through the book he told her he was falling in love with her. Um, HELLO, you don’t even know the girl. Then he followed that sentence by telling her he wanted to throw her into a crocodile pit (no, seriously. Not even joking)…HOW IS THAT LOVE?! Ughhh.

Prince Prospero. Is he supposed to be the leader? Of what, the country? The city? What was even his purpose? He kidnaps people and poisons people…what motive does he have for being so cruel? He was just evil for no apparent reason. He was clearly the villain, but it seemed like he was just there so that the book could have a villain. I like my bad guys to have a little more depth than that, thank you.

I couldn’t connect. AT ALL. To the story or the characters. I felt as if the scene should have been set in the beginning, because I was just kind of dumped into it without any real clue to what was going on. There weren’t many explanations and I was left to figure things out on my own. Too many things didn’t really make sense. In the club some girl tries to stab Araby with her stiletto and a rock is thrown through the window of the carriage she was riding in. Why? There seemed to be no real point to these happenings. My best guess was because she was higher class and they resented rich people?? Who the hell knows.

The world building….was a train wreck. What exactly was the Weeping Sickness? How did it work? Why can’t the masks be shared – they don’t work on anyone else, but why?? All you get is little bits and pieces, like mention of tea having to be imported because the tea they have is a ‘vile substitute.’ WHERE DID THE TEA GO?!

This book had no point. I don’t even know what it was about and I just read it. Things that happened felt pointless too. Why was April taken? And then the new plague introduced at the very end – why the hell for? And where did that one come from? What caused it? And I still don’t know what purpose Reverend Malcontent had, besides to create rebellion. Although his identity was a surprise…I suppose that’s one good thing about the book.

Overall, a forgettable read.

Plot: 1/5
Writing style: 2/5
Very, very dry.
Characters: 1/5
Flat and uninspiring, all felt the same.
World-building: 1/5
Pace: 1/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 1/5 starfish
It was just NOT for me.
Jessi (Geo)

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4 responses to “Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

  1. I will have to agree with you. It kept me mildly interested but overall the writing was just not enough and even though I felt the setting was pretty well done, the characters and plot failed to excited me.

  2. When I first heard about this book I read a couple good reviews and I was excited to check this out, but since then all I’ve seen are bad reviews. Nevermind, there are way too many other books out there for me to worry about this one, at least at this point.

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