Masque of the Red Death is oh so deliciously dark and twisty!
I adore dark, fantastical and overly dramatic stories. Who's with me? Let's go...moreMasque of the Red Death is oh so deliciously dark and twisty!
I adore dark, fantastical and overly dramatic stories. Who's with me? Let's go kick some flying monkeys, everyone! Kidding, kidding. Please guys, treat your flying monkeys with respect. Oz just wouldn't be as much fun without them.
Araby Worth lives in a chilling death-ridden world, where every day is a struggle to keep from contracting a deadly plague. Dead bodies litter the streets and air-filtering masks are necessary to keep the plague at bay. A villanous Prince rules the area but lives outside the threats that exist within the more poulated areas. Araby spends most of her time out in a club named Debauchery and encounters two sexy and mysterious boys. Yet even more mysterious is what's going on in the city. Rumors of an uprising threaten the safety of those within the city and then the attacks begin. Annnnnnd, love triangles and villainy ensue. Whoohoo! Damn, this is a difficult book to summarize.
I really appreciate when the publishers put so much love into even the advance copy of the book. The cover looks beautiful in the photo but in real life it is outstandfendupulosus! Don't even ask me what that means but, I kid you not, it's exactly the word I think of when I look at this cover. Because a "real" word just wouldn't do it justice.
Lately, a lot of books with gorgeous covers haven't been quite as beauteous on the inside. So I was expecting to not like this one. When I would look at it on my shelf, I could picture myself reading it in the future and clearly see the disappointed look on future me's face when it turned out to be less-than-outstandfendupulosus. (Also, I think that if Richard Simmons was a dinosaur, outstandfendupulosus would totally be his scientific name.)
This book reads like a crazy twisted dark cartoon version of dystopian gothic fiction. The characters are over-the-top and full of dramatic intrigue.
I fell for every one of the characters. They all have a delightful mix of good and evil. Except for the villians who are so fantastically evil, almost cartoonishly evil, that it makes you want to yell "Prepare for trouble! Make it double!" As for the other characters, glorious shades of gray and questionable actions fill the pages of this book. Moral ambiguity, yay!!
I am enamored with Araby. I don't love that she seems committed to remaining chaste at the start, but I do love her reason. It's not based on religion or peer pressure but a real complex emotional stance, and that is all I'll say for now.
The love triangle is my absolute favorite of recent books. Like Araby, I had a hard time choosing where my loyalties are and jumped back and forth between the two. Neither guy is exactly the hero type, not the kind you'd take home to your mom, but that's what I loved about them. She truly cares for both of the boys and doesn't lead either of them on just for the heck of it.
Who loves bad boys? Lyndsey loves bad boys! I do, I do, I do-OO. If you like bad boys, you'll love the two love interests in this book. If you like love triangles, you'll love to hate making a decision between these two guys.
The Pacing and World-Building
This isn't heavy on the steampunk or the dystopia, but there are lights elements of both weaved throughout the world. If anything, I'd consider this "gothic" instead of "steampunk." It's definitely a colorful and dramatic tale.
In the beginning, I was luh-huuuuurving the pace. I was thinking that there was no way way this wouldn't end up being a favorite. Then in the middle it began to lull a bit. Still a constant forward motion, just a little more slow going than in the beginning. I started to have some doubts, but it kicked into high gear toward the end. What a thrill ride!
I've been itching to reread this ever since I finished and that doesn't happen to me often! Don't they have a lotion for this? It's driving me crazy! MUST. REREAD.
I haven't been this excited about a first book in a series since Divergent. The world-building is extravagant and consuming. The pacing is even and exciting. It's such a compulsive read. I felt compelled to keep reading and compelled to reread. I still do.
I've been trying to write this review for a while. Trying to make sure I properly express my excitement over this book. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since I finished and have had a hard time with other books because I want them to be as much fun as this one!
Masque of the Red Death is a stunningly dark novel by Bethany Griffin. It's a whimsical mix of gothic dystopia, brought together with gorgeous prose and intriguing characters.
In short, I LOVED it. Wheeeeeee! Fun fun fun.(less)
This book blew me away with... a Masquerade Ball, reincarnation, slyph, dragons, music, souls, butterfly, slow burn romance, tension, laser pistols, massive library, war stories, dragon battles. Need I go on? I mean - Wow.
I read this in a flurry of addiction. I just couldn't get enough of the world and it's goings-ons. Completely entrancing.
Ana was born into a society of a million souls. A million souls who have known each other in various forms for thousands of years. They reincarnate into a new body every time they die. Except for when Ana was born. When Ana was born, they were expecting one of their own, someone named Ciana, who was now lost forever. Ana's mother hates her for taking the place of Ciana and is ashamed, so she moves her new baby outside the city and locks her away from all the others. Now, Ana is eighteen and on a quest to the city of Heart to find out about her birth and Ciana's disappearance. Will she find the answers she seeks?
The author's prose has a very subtle lyricism, and the underlying message of this book seemed to be one of peace and hope for the future, which is a happy change from bleak and desolate outcomes of some recent dystopian fiction.
The main character, Ana, gets things done. The questions Ana posed to herself in her head were realistic and it was refreshing to have a character who asks questions and goes against the grain instead of settling for everyone-else-knows-best. The love interest, Sam, was complex, intriguing and a hottie!
The romance developed at a (GASP!) realistic pace, more so than most paranormal YA. It wasn't all "You looked at me like you LIKE me, so LETSBETOGETHERFOREVER!" I was afraid that it would feel cardboard or manufactured like some recent YA romances have. But it didn't. It felt natural and ended up being higher tension and surprisingly steamier than I had imagined for such a PG book.
Although few and far between, there were some unobtrusive religious, or possibly even anti-religious, undertones. The thing was that I couldn't tell. I couldn't see an agenda hidden behind the words and I appreciate that. These undertones were woven in delicately and did not overwhelm the world or the characters. It seemed to be more about raising the questions, instead of forcing an answer on you.
Should you believe in something you can't see? That's one of the questions it raises. Novels should be able to raise questions without imposing the author's answers onto on unsuspecting readers. Books should make you think and learn and discover the answers for yourselves. I felt this one did that pitch perfectly.
One complaint I do have, however, is the lack of dialog tags; oftentimes, it was necessary to reread passages over and over to figure out who was saying what. But that might just be my ADD talking. *sings* It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN. Doodoodoo. Wait, what was I saying...
A fresh and unique twist on the mythology of reincarnation. Finally! It is handled beautifully and seems intensely creative. But I want more! I'm so excited to learn more from the next books in the series.
In actuality, there are SO many interesting things you could do with this society. What if the same couple had been together for ten lifetimes but in the next, one just isn't attracted at ALL to the other. Oh, the scandal!
Even though I love the reincarnation concept used by Jodi Meadows, it still weirds me out a bit. Statistically someone who had been your lover in a past life could end up being your parent in the next....or vice versa. *shudder*
In general, I still have so many questions about the world-building. It was exciting and unique, but I wanted more details. More answers.
But I guess we don't know everything about even our favorite mythologies. Like what the hell are midichlorians (besides "bacteria") and how do they work? And WHY can't Darth Vader teleport? I mean, if the Weasley Twins can do it, why can't the original Dark Lord do it?
Regardless, I LOVED Incarnate. I inhaled it. This is definitely more of a 4.5, but it could have been a 5 if the ending had been more dynamic.
I was expecting something more emotionally heart-wrenching. Break my heart into pieces and then put them back together just in time for the last sentence. Give us a huge reveal, more answers, something epic, something shocking, something weep-worthy! However, it just didn't quite do that for me, but I'm hoping that the next books in the series will.
Keep in mind that this is a series. The story comes off at times as a mish mash of genres and ideas. So if you are for streamlined world-building and definitive answers, you might wait on this one. I'm hoping all is explained in the upcoming books but even I still have MANY questions.
I CANNOT WAIT to read the sequels.
Just look at this word cloud. How can a book with this word cloud NOT be awesome?
There's only one thing it needs: NINJAS! Because if I had lived for over 5000 years already, I would definitely have learned to be a ninja by now.
You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism...moreKindle edition is on sale for about $5 HERE!!
This is what I call an "experience" book.
You may not find yourself inside the world like in an "escapism" story, instead you feel as if your viewing it from the outside. It's intent is to help you reflect upon and experience your own life, not necessarily that of the characters. Another more well-known example of this type of book would be 1984.
You breath on your own instead of with the characters. You are able to see the story more objectively, without having unhealthy attachments to the characters. You don't think "If something happens to the this character, I will never forgive the author." You are still invested, but not so much so that it clouds your judgement.
An experience novel asks you to logically consider the story and it's implications. It asks you to experience. It asks you to think.
Genesis is truly incredible! You will probably either be completely put off by it or you will be blown away by it. I was one of the latter. Either way, it WILL make you think about why we exist and the implications of that existence.
Here is a partial synopsis from the publishers:
Set on a remote island in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, this electrifying novel is destined to become a modern classic.
Anax thinks she knows her history. She’d better. She’s now facing three Examiners, and her grueling all-day Examination has just begun. If she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society.
But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And that the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be.
I usually go for longer books or series books, but this is a unlikely exception. It makes me wish that there were more of these well thought-out, groundbreaking novellas. If anyone has a recommendation of something similar, well plotted short books, I would love to hear about it.
I really think everyone should read it, especially considering it's a meager 150 pages and manages to raise philosophical arguments and tell a complete dystopian story in those few pages. You'll either love it or hate it, but either way, it will make your brain melt.
I wouldn't exactly call this book fast-paced, but that is why it's short length is perfect! The overall experience of a book is sometimes what makes or breaks it's rating. And a lot of times the ending can make all the difference.
I just want to make perfectly clear that the ending of this book is, without a doubt, the most impactful ending I have EVER read in any book. I am not exaggerating.
Ever since finishing it, I have been aching for a book to send my mind spinning as much as this one did. I so want to experience another read like this or go back in time and experience this one again.
Edit: It has been well over a year since I read this book and I still think about it constantly. It's so so memorable and it should only take a couple hours at most to read.
If you are discouraged by the state of so-called dystopian books lately, I beg you to read this book. I don't care if you buy it, borrow it from the library, or sit down in the store and read it (which is totally fine, right?) - just READ it. Add it to your "must read now" bookshelf. If you don't have a bookshelf called that, create it now. :-) You know you want too.
This book is only 150 pages long, but well worth those few pages. If you think that you'll like Genesis, it may be a great investment for you.
I cannot say enough about this book and give it my highest possible recommendation. Yes, I know that I'm really pimping this book hard, but I can't help it. It is incredibly profound and really captured my attention and hasn't let go. But now, it's up to you...
And please, please, please. If you are even a tad interested in this book, don't read anything else about it. Just go read it. It is so much better if you have no idea what to expect.(less)
I started this one a while back and took a long break before coming back to finish it. I had forgotten how intensely and wonderfully creative this boo...moreI started this one a while back and took a long break before coming back to finish it. I had forgotten how intensely and wonderfully creative this book was. I had forgotten the beauty of the language used in it. The mysteries of Matt's relationship with El Patron. The nickname he is called, mi vida - my life - which has so much more meaning than even he realizes.
The subplots of this book are extensive and diverse. Scientific experiments, drug dealing, juvenile espionage, child imprisonment, and family power struggles just to name a few.
At first, eejit is used as a derogatory term and I thought that was just their term for idiot. But it runs much deeper than even that. I don't want to give anything away but it is certainly an interesting take on the human experience. In fact, everything in this book comes back to the question: What is it that makes us human?
I can't say for certain whether all the questions are answered, so you'll just have to find out for yourself. But I can certainly say that I had a great time attempting to find answers for myself inside this wildly imaginative book.
My only disappointment with this book was that I didn't feel the emotions as strongly as I would have liked. And I did kind of expect a twist and the end, but the ending was beautiful none the less. Loved it.(less)