Release Date: April 24th 2012
Goodreads: 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.
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | TBD
(I apologise for the enormous review, there was just so much I loved about this book!)
Wow. Wow. Wow. Masque of the Red Death was a wonderfully creepy book! It kept me hooked from the very first page. So much happens within the first chapter! There is drug taking so I’d recommend it for older readers. The plot was twisting and turning and left me guessing throughout, there were numerous times I was left shocked at what was revealed! The writing flows effortlessly!
All of the characters were richly described and had a great detail in their back stories. April was a character who I enjoyed reading about. She was Araby’s best friend and had saved her life once. She was also a broken character to read about, hiding behind her fancy dresses and her reckless behaviour attending the Debauchery Club.
Araby is the protagonist and she is a very dark character to read about. I did actually enjoy reading from her point of view as it was really interesting. She is a very complex girl, blaming herself for her twin Finn’s death so therefore racked with guilt. She yearns for oblivion numerous times as her way of escaping her life. She made an oath to herself that she would never experience anything that Finn wouldn’t, and this was a very sad aspect of her life. Especially the way the reader discovers how Finn truly died. She feels very hopeless and believes that she will no longer be truly happy again.
Elliot (April’s brother) and Will are the main boys in the Masque of the Red Death. They each have very different personalities so would appeal to different people. Elliot is the blonde haired older brother who gives people their drugs, whilst Will is the dark haired, tattooed guy who tries to scrape together every last penny as he has two other people to care for. Elliot starts faking his attraction towards Araby as a means of seeing her more often for his own needs. I think that he tries to fight his attraction for Araby a lot. He is also a very broken character -sensing a theme here ;) and his childhood was not a happy one. Whilst, Will works in the Debauchery Club as a tester for any contagious people. His softer side is revealed quite quickly and he is such a sweetie! Although there may be some twists near the end! ;) I love the boys’ jealousy towards each other! :)
And then there is always the villain. Prince Prospero is his name and he is the Uncle to April and Elliot. He is a very evil man, killing people merely because he can. He is also annoyingly ignorant, believing he can lock the disease away simply by shutting himself away in his castle whilst his citizens die.
I even cared for Araby’s father and mother who each had their dark histories and secrets. Every single character had a piece in this story and I enjoyed how all the pieces fitted together.
There is a real contrast of whether science caused the disease and failed because there was no antidote or that religion failed as people lost their faith in God and praying. I thought this was a very interesting concept! It was very sad that only the rich could afford the masks that protected them from the disease.
The whole atmosphere of Masque of the Red Death was a very tense one and also very creepy. People are dying all of the time in the street in front of people who recoil in horror and walk away from them and Collector’s come to pick up the bodies. The whole feeling of disease and death was very prevalent, especially as houses were marked according to who had the disease. I’d imagine it was like the Plague, especially with the descriptions of the disease (Weeping Sickness) with the sores and the pus dripping down people’s arms. Yes, Bethany didn’t spare any description! :) The diseases sound terrifying, including the new one introduced near the end The Red Death, were the victims bleed from their eyes. Yuck.
Overall, Masque of the Red Death was a fantastic novel! Read this book right now! It won’t disappoint! I cannot wait for the next book due to be release next year!
5 out of 5 stars.