Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Plundering Plague

Masque of the Red Death  by Bethany Griffin

* Book will be released April 24, 2012
ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours

3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes
I've read the original story so it was great to see the parallels between the two.  Having read the original story though, I had no idea what would happen in this story or how it would be changed/enhanced.

There is such a great creepy atmosphere throughout the story and if you're germaphobic I definitely wouldn't recommend reading this book.  Plus if you aren't germaphobic then this book might just make you that way. 

At first Araby Worth seems like an extremely uncaring character who only does what's best for herself.  Then slowly the layers of who she is start to unravel, she also has one giant case of survivor guilt and isn't exactly handling that very well.  Not that anyone could blame her though especially in the world they all live in.

The government is run by Prince Prospero and his power is absolute.  There's also the plague to contend with.  They get around the plague by using some kind of ceramic mask system that her father came up with.  There are plenty of class conflicts too because if you're poor you aren't going to have enough money for a mask.  Another problem is that masks can't be shared, they only work for the first person that breathes through it.  A conflict is simmering throughout the book on whether science or religion should be believed in more and if they can all be saved.

Araby and her friend April do their best to forget about the world in their own ways.  April seems to be an air-head party girl type but you also find out that she's not had the easiest life either.  Araby turns to drugs and really just tries to obliterate the world.  As one character notices Araby isn't living a full life and at first doesn't have the will to change that.

This book has a well not my favorite kind of love triangle.  You can pretty much tell right away who she should end up with (at least in my opinion anyway).  I am not on board with her being with who she's with at the end of the book.  I think that some character's motto when it comes to love should be, Once a jackass, always a jackass.  Araby does stand up for herself but you think with how important she thinks family is that she would be much more willing to forgive then she seems to be so far.

There is plenty of mystery and intrigue as to who will live/die and who has the plague.  You'll be left wondering if their coup of the Prince will work or if they will all die a horrible death thanks to the plague.  This is definitely a great twist on a classic story, I just hope it doesn't end like the original.

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