I've been looking forward to Masque of the Red Death ever since Lauren DeStefano mentioned loving it on Twitter (and Goodreads) and let's just say that it definitely lived up to my expectations. Having said that, I will admit that I had one problem with Araby: she's sworn an oath to herself to never do anything that her brother Finn can't--seeing as how he died when they were younger. I'll be honest, if my brother died, I'd be devastated too, but I imagine that he'd want me to live my life, not spend it mourning him indefinitely like Araby seems dead set on doing. But other than that, Araby has a good heart and I loved her as a character.
And then there's Elliot, April's brother and as such, nephew to Prince Prospero. He's planning to overthrow his uncle and he also tells Araby that she can't trust him. But there's so much more to him than that and I promise you, you'll understand what I mean when you read Masque of the Red Death. On the other hand, you have Will, who works at the Debauchery Club--and Araby likes him more than she'd like to admit. He has two younger siblings who are absolutely adorable--Elise and Henry--and I love how devoted he is to taking care of them as best he can.
I know I haven't really mentioned Araby's parents, but they both seem like genuinely nice people who are dealing with things as best they can. There's also a lot more to them than initially meets the eye--you'll learn about it as the book progresses. As for the plot and pacing, I really enjoyed it. To be honest, I didn't put Masque of the Red Death down until I'd finished reading it; there were moments that I definitely was not expecting (in the last fifth of the book) and I can't wait to see how things develop in the next book. The world that Masque of the Red Death is set in is also really interesting and in particular, the plague and how the symptoms manifest--as well as why clothing reveals legs and arms.
If you're looking for something that will keep you flipping pages and leave you wanting the next book as soon as possible, definitely look into picking up a copy of Masque of the Red Death. It's a book that I definitely enjoyed and I hope that you'll love it too!
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Release Date: April 24, 2012
* Received for review via publisher and Edelweiss.