by Bethany Griffin
Rating: I liked it (3/3.5 stars)
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.
I was so incredibly excited when I finally bought this book because I had heard some utterly fantastic things about it. I simply devoured it! I couldn't stop reading! Every chance I had (heck, even when I should've been doing other things) I grabbed this book just so I could delve back into this world. When I finished I immediately went to Goodreads and rated this a huge 4/4.5 stars.
Fast forward 30 minutes when I tried to write this review and I just felt...bleh. But not in a good way where you're just so sad the book ended and can't find another book to fill its awesome shoes. No. I looked back and couldn't really remember much about the book. I thought it was utterly fantastic while reading it, but afterwards all these things I kind of ignored kept coming back to bug me.
To be honest, I think what kept me so addicted was the atmosphere. There is no doubt that Masque of the Red Death is dark and gritty and gruesome and I loved it! I was completely immersed in this dark, gothic world. The eerie masks and threat of disease around every corner. It was....addicting.
However, I'd be lying if I didn't say the guys were also a bit addicting. Neither of them were exactly swoonworthy but they were intriguing. This has to do with their mysterious natures. Will, the mysterious man of the club has always intrigued Araby. But he's got a softer side too. He's actually an incredibly kind and loyal guy and really wants to help Araby. Elliott, the rich owner of the club probably has a couple loose screw yet I was still intrigued by him. In a weird way. If that makes any sense :P I can't really delve into either of them too much for fear of giving things away, but while I didn't fall in love with them, there is no doubt that I want to learn more about them.
But, those were really the only two aspects of this book that kept me reading.
When looking back, I didn't really care for Araby. She wasn't an incredibly strong heroine and she was far too trusting. She didn't really think through things and this really bothered me. Not to mention she was a bit depressing. I understand the death of her brother really affected her, but she's also got to learn to move on and learn that she can be happy. She's one of the lucky few to have a mask and should be thankful for that. Instead she does drugs and wants to go into oblivion to get away. I will say that she can be incredibly kind and she has a good heart and towards the end she does become stronger and learns that maybe she can be happy. However, I wasn't exactly rooting for her.
Also, there were many inconstancies in the writing. There were too many times where I had to go back and re-read sections because I thought I missed something. A big part where I did this was between Ch. 3 and 4. There was no transition. It went from 1 scene straight to the next. Even though you get a glimpse of what "happened" a little later, it doesn't make sense. I literally thought I was missing a chapter. That's not good.
While I loved the plot, it definitely could've been delved into more. Masques to keep out diseases, a tyrannical prince, rebellions? A great set-up but I feel like we only really get a glimpse of it. While that's not bad, I do wish I could've seen more, especially more about how the world came to be. But hopefully we get to learn more about it in the next 2 books.
Also, on a side note: there is a religious cult. I don't think it was too bad, but I do hope it doesn't go overboard in the next books (which I have a feeling it might since I think its a big part of this book).
This book was interesting, don't get me wrong. The atmosphere and mysterious nature of the book were definitely addicting. However, while the descriptive writing was good, transition needs to be worked on and more details added. If you like gothic atmospheres, definitely give this a try!
All the best ♥