Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Masque of the Red Death Book Review *Bethany Griffin*

I had high hopes for debut author, Bethany Griffin’s Young Adult Steampunk/Dystopian like mashup with Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1). This might be my favorite cover of this year and I’m a big fan of anything Edgar Allen Poe.

Masque of the Red Death introduces a world where the air is poisoned and only the rich can afford breathing masks so they don’t die from the virus in the air. Araby Worth is very lucky because her scientist father is responsible for creating the masks that keep people alive and well. Araby is also very suicidal because she feels responsible for her younger brother’s death. She goes to clubs where she can get high in the hopes she may overdose. She’s more than depressed and is barely functioning. But then she meets two boys. One is Will, a bouncer at her favorite club, The Debauchery Club, who takes care of her one night when she overdoses. The other is Elliot, the brother of her best friend April who has gone missing and wants her to help him take down his uncle, the crazed Prince Prospero who rules the land. Araby wants to find April, and even though she doesn’t really trust or like Elliot, she will betray her father and put herself in danger to help Elliot unseat tthe Prince and restore hope across the land and allow every citizen a chance to have their own breathing mask so they can live a life free of disease and not suffer a horrible, early death.

Masque of the Red Death was a major disappointment. I DNFed half way through because I was so bored. The plot is weakly written and the dark atmosphere and Araby’s self flagellation grew tiresome and ridiculous. The writing is very cut and dry and has no meat to it. There was no real substance to the story, and again we have the familiar trope with Elliot, the semi bad-boy who doesn’t treat Araby with that much respect, and yet wants her to give up her entire life to help him. Araby was a cardboard character for me who was DOA as soon as the story began. Her personality was as dead as the corpses found on the streets and in the alleys. I had no sympathy for her plight and why she wanted to give up on her life. I found myself wanting to smack her because she came across as some whiny daddy's rich girl.

Masque of the Red Death is a big pass and another poor attempt at trying to write some hybrid Steampunk universe that isn't Steampunk at all.

Final Grade: DNF

A few other Masque of the Red Death reviews:
Badass Book Reviews
Book Brats
Misfit Salon



barklesswagmore said...

That is disappointing. The cover is fantastic and I was looking forward to this based on the synopsis but I think I can easily skip it now. said...

I'm so disappointed. It sounds like a wonderful premise.

Bookworm1858 said...

I did manage to finish this book but I really hated Elliott-such a jerk and I could not understand why Araby kept going back to him and trusting him even when he told her not to! Grr...and after I had such high expectations for this twist on Poe.

KB/KT Grant said...

Barklesswagmore: The cover was what drew me in. The story didn't. :(

2 Sheep: It does sound wonderful, but didn't deliver.

Bookworm: I wanted to smack Araby. She had emo TSTL syndrome.