Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death

Synopsis: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 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.

My Review: Masque of the Red Death is just the dark gilded world the synopsis makes it out to be.  The aura of tragic glamour and death the cover pervades definitely doesn't disappoint.  The atmosphere in the novel was truly chilling, and really kind of grossed me out.  Plague is never pretty.  In Araby's world, the plague has decimated much of the population, only the rich being able to afford the filtered masks that protect them from the disease.  An evil Prince (oh doesn't that sound terrifying) rules the city with an iron fist.  He's just as likely to kill you as look at you.  Prince Prothero is the one who is responsible for keeping the city in such a state of disrepair.  But there is unrest in the city and a plot begins to stir that Araby cannot ignore.

I really enjoyed the plot of this story.  It was dark and brutal and I loved every second of it.  And oh how I loved the Poe influence.  Masque of the Red Death! HA! I was fangirling the whole entire time.  (Poe fanatic here) I thought it was very well paced and I really enjoyed the little plot twist the author threw in.  Didn't see that coming.  It was horribly tragic too.  It even had a very satisfying ending! Or I was pleased at least.  It wasn't a cliff hanger, but it wasn't wrapped up in a bow either.

The only negative thing I really have to say about this book is that I didn't really like Araby all that much. Okay, I take that back. I liked her by the end of the novel.  The beginning though...just kind of wanted to slap her.  I get it, she lost her brother, she was kind of responsible in a very roundabout way.  She has an extremely guilty conscious.  However, abstaining from anything that Finn wouldn't be able to experience is just dumb.  She was just making herself miserable, and throwing herself into the Debauchery Club to forget was just compounding the issue.  She just had a very low senese of self worth and that bothered me.  I will say though that despite this, she had a very strong character.  She truly stood up for what she believed in and by the end of the novel was fighting desperately just to stay alive.

Oh and the love triangle.  I think this is one of those rare exceptions where I don't down right hate it and there is no clear cut winner.  Okay, well, in my mind there is.  But I sympathize with both guys, so I'm still open.  Will, the tattooed hottie bouncer at the Debauchery Club, who is an incredibly sweet guy who looks after his two younger siblings.  I really liked him.  A lot.  I completely supported Araby falling for him.  Until I just felt he was too good to be true.  I hate being right. Then we have Elliott, the nephew of the King and surprise revolutionary.  He's intent on ending his uncle's reign of terror and wants to save the city he loves at any cost.  He's manipulative and a bit of a douche but I still loved him.  He was completely honest about his intentions though.  He upfront told Araby, "Don't trust anyone.  Especially me." I gotta respect that.  And when he admitted that he thought he was falling in love with Araby it was just heart breaking.  A few of his actions are questionable, but all in all he was a good guy.  See? This is my problem! I like them both! I just like Elliott just a bit more...

I can't wait for the next one.  Shit was flying by the end of the novel, so it will be interesting to see where the author picks back up.  I'm definitely intrigued with where this story will go.  I have no doubt it will continue to be as exceptional as the first book.


Michelle Flick said...

I love this cover... SO MUCH! I am really glad you liked it! I seriously need to move it up on TBR pile.

Gianne said...

Great review! :) I've been dying to read this but first I got to attack and conquer the ever growing TBR pile...