Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 24, 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Steampunk, Young Adult
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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.
Masque of the Red Death is a re-imagining of the short story by Edgar Allen Poe, and tells the story of Araby, a young and depressed woman who has vowed to never experience anything her dead twin brother cannot. A tall order since he died so many years ago.
I’ll confess to never having read Poe’s version, but this story was well done. The pace is quick, and the reader isn’t overburdened with details–instead the details are slowly revealed when they’re needed. In some cases it’s a little annoying, making Araby a not quite reliable narrator. She withholds the truth from the reader. The story is dark, set in a dystopian world where a plague has killed off most of the population, leaving people reliant on masks to filter out the contagion.
I really enjoyed reading this. With the fast pace and the never-ending action it was easy to keep reading it, and time flew by. I liked Araby, and the way she slowly comes out of her shell. I didn’t much care for the love triangle that’s going on, if I’m honest, but that could be because I just don’t like Elliot. I have a soft spot for Will, because he’s done everything he can to protect and care for his younger siblings. And April is an interesting character, with some twists of her own.