Amidst the chaos and ruins of the city around her, Araby lives a relatively privileged life being the daughter of the scientist who saved humanity. Her father invented the masks that everyone must wear to protect themselves from the disease; at least, everyone who can afford one. Surrounding herself with glittering nights at the Debauchery Club with her best friend April, she immerses herself in this night club designed to help those lose themselves for a night and give in to temporary oblivion. That is, until she attracts the attention of two – very different – guys, both with their own agendas that they want Araby a part of.
I was not familiar with the short story by Edgar Allan Poe of the same name, but you don’t need to be to fully enjoy this story that Griffin has told. She has used Poe’s work as inspiration to concoct a full-length novel that tells the other side of the story. Where Poe’s story features Prince Prospero, Griffin’s shares the other point of view, from his “subjects” and the commoners.
The dystopian world and all-consuming fear of a disease in Masque of the Red Death reminded me at times of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. The narrative captured the widespread panic, chaos and suspicion among a decimated community trying to live their lives as best they can, given their circumstances. While there are two guys vying for the attention of Araby, their distinctive qualities and personalities is sure to divide the readers on who is better for Araby. The dilemma Araby faces, of whether she should follow a life of being successful in love or in wealth while trying to stay alive makes for a compelling tale of survival, romance and intrigue.
With captivating characters, Griffin paints a vivid picture of a city in ruins, with paranoia running as rampant as the disease that they’re afraid of catching. With all the buzz surrounding this book prior to its release, I’m so pleased to have it meet my expectations for a phenomenal read.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5 stars)
Masque of the Red Death is now available in stores
I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.