When I first saw this book I thought... Oh a retelling of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Mask of the Red Death" but, although there a few similar features Beth...moreWhen I first saw this book I thought... Oh a retelling of Edgar Alan Poe's "The Mask of the Red Death" but, although there a few similar features Bethany Griffins novel is an exquisitely dark dystopian novel that deserves to stand by itself.
Masque of the Red Death is one of those books that doesn't hold back; it had me hooked from the very first page. The plot has so many twists, turns and omg moments that you never know what's coming next.
Our main character Araby is best described as a shell... She isn't really a whole person in the beginning of the novel. She is mourning her brother and carrying around guilt that isn't deserved. Araby has made an oath to Finn not to never experience any of the things he can't. Mostly, this means not feeling happiness. To escape and find oblivion from the pain she feels she goes to The Debauchery Club with her best friend April, where she hides her pain in beautiful dresses, alcohol and drugs.
One of the most interesting aspects of the story is the love triangle if that's what I would call it between Araby, Elliot and Will.
Elliot, who is Aprils brother comes across as a broken yet focused individual who at first fakes his feelings for Araby as a means to an end. However, as the story moves along we see that Elliot's feelings become real even though he tries to fight them. Elliot is a complex character that endeared himself to me over time.
Will, is a complete polar opposite to Elliot... He comes across as warm, caring and approachable. Will works hard at the Debauchery Club as a doorman, testing patrons before they enter to see if they are contagious. He does this to support his younger brother and sister who come to adore Araby just as much as Will. Although Will seems to be the easy pick out of two things aren't always that black and white.
All the characters and their back stories are generously described. Each has their own secrets, and was a pleasure to read about. Griffin's writing makes it easy to connect with the main characters and to empathise with their feelings and situation.
The mood of Masque of the Red Death is intense, eerie and quite frankly, menacing. People are dropping dead on the street while the rest flee in disgust and terror yet there is also a feeling of numbness about it all. I like many readers I imagine would see a similarity to what it might have been like to live through "The Plague". Houses boarded up, signs on the door marking where the diseased or dead are, body collectors with carts moving along the streets and an undercurrent of fear and violence. The description of the disease made my stomach turn and if that wasn't bad enough a new disease starts to spread at the end, which makes the first seem like a fluffy kitten!
Overall, Masque of the Red Death is a freakishly imaginative and exciting novel! Get this book as soon as you can because, you will not be disappointed!
I also just need to say... arghh to a twist near the end that left me reeling! You have been warned ;D (less)
Michelle Rowans new book Dark Kiss has been on my "I Want It Now" list for quite a while. The first thing that drew me to Dark Kiss was the awesomely...moreMichelle Rowans new book Dark Kiss has been on my "I Want It Now" list for quite a while. The first thing that drew me to Dark Kiss was the awesomely sexy angel on the cover! Oh so dreamy! The next was the great synopsis which had me intrigued, hooked and squealing with anticipation.
The main heroine Samantha has her life flipped upside down after a literally "soul stealing" kiss. However, even though Samantha's soul is gone, she hasn't turned into a bad person... Samantha is still the same person except now she has a constant hunger for souls. Samantha is such a likeable character, with her willing to help even if it puts herself in danger and the fact that even though she should be angry and bitter about losing her soul, Samantha stays strong and tries to work out how to fix this disastrous situation.
Bishop who was apparently sent to lead the group of angels and demons who are trying to get rid of the Grays and save Trinity, doesn't have it very easy himself. After being pushed out of heaven and landing on earth without any protection his mind is pretty much scrambled egg except for when Samantha is touching him. Only then does his mind clear, and he becomes himself once again. Although that's not his only problem... Bishop starts to have feelings for Samantha even though she is a Gray, and he should kill her! That and the fact that he also needs to protect Samantha from the other angels and demons in the group who make it known more than once that Samantha is essentially the enemy. Bishop with his more often than not scrambled brain isn't the most appealing angel I've ever read about, but I hope that his true sexy strong nature comes out more in the next book.
Overall, Rowan has written an exciting, mysterious and addicting read! I love the side characters, especially. Bring on the next book because I cannot wait! (less)