Masque Of The Red Death

Hardcover | September 19, 2013

byBethany Griffin

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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 around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . 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 is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

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From the Publisher

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 around them.So what does Araby Worth have to live for?Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.But in the depths of the cl...

Bethany Griffin is the author ofMasque of the Red Death. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She lives with her family in Kentucky.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:September 19, 2013Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062107798

ISBN - 13:9780062107794


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Ahh steam punk meets dystopia in a wonderful book of a plague that installs fear and panic. If anyone has known to live in a world where a pandemic has happened, you can read about it in Masque of the Red Death. Wearing masques are the norm. The virus is everywhere and people make do with what they have including Araby, daughter of the scientist who engineered the masques that citizens wear. She’s caught in her lifestyle of visiting The Debauchary Club and getting high on drugs. What a dreary and desolate world it has become. Half of the population has died and there are the poor who are employed by the wealthy to deliver messages and others who clean the streets that are littered with bodies. *shudders* Incredible world building and I love how the girls wear corsets and gowns. It takes you back to the Victorian Age with all the steampunk carriages too. I haven’t actually read the original short story from Edgar Allen Poe, but I would love to so I would be able to compare the two. Bethany Griffin paints a story with enough mystery, and danger that kept me turning every page. As for the primary characters like Araby I admired her will to help Will’s family as well as her own. Even helping Elliott made her such a likable character. Will was your definite brooding manly character, but I liked Elliott just because he was trying to help the people and to take down his uncle’s strict clutches. Pick up Masque of the Red Death and be transported in the world where only the healthy can live freely.
Date published: 2014-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Masque of the red death Very cool book. Awesome read.
Date published: 2014-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gothic Steampunk Awesomeness Gothic horror is not a genre I usually dabble in. There isn't too much out there, that I know of at least, and the horror genre in general makes me wary. When I first heard about Masque of the Red Death I was intrigued. It had a very interesting concept, some Gothic elements thrown in, and a stunningly gorgeous cover. I knew I had to read it. And I'm very glad I did. To start off, I love broken characters. I might even love them more than kick-ass heroines. Broken characters are utterly complex and interesting. They have things to overcome, which makes their (hopefully) eventual triumph that much sweeter. And broken characters are so real. They have heart, they have weakness, but they also manage to find hope in the darkest places. So, I loved Araby from the start. A guilt-stricken girl seeking oblivion through drugs and dress-up, Araby grabbed me from her first words. My heart broke for her and I wanted desperately for her to simply forgive. But she wasn't the only distraught character. It seemed that every person in this novel had a secret or two, many of which defined their whole lives. This wasn't a very happy novel, but desperate and dreary, each character barely clinging to life and knowing that every moment could mean their death. A horrific situation that made one heck of a plot. And some very interesting relationships. Normally, when love triangles are involved, I can choose a guy. Very easily no less. And, although I'm not a huge fan of love triangles, this one kept me intrigued for the simple fact that I couldn't choose. At first, the tattooed and surprisingly sweet Will was a clear favorite. He was the kind of character I just instantly fall for. But then Elliot came along and surprised me. At first, I was not a huge fan. He was arrogant and forceful, which I absolutely can't stand. But soon, he started growing on me. The arrogance turned to pain and the forceful attitude turned loving. And by the end, choosing between them was impossible. They were both great characters, and swoon-worthy crushes. The story was really bleak. But also so interesting. The setting was kind of a mix of all different places and periods, and the steampunk element was so well done. I totally wish I got to walk around in a crazy ripped corset dress all day. Although, if I had to wear a mask and deal with an awful plague, I would pass. Because wow, what a terrible and disturbing disease these characters had to face. I was sickened and disturbed about how terrible the world, and the people, had become in Masque of Red Death. The Weeping Illness, and the Red Death, killing so many, the terrible dictatorship the city was under, and the hope that everyone had lost in living. But not all hope was gone, and that's something I loved. The novel could pull you down, but there was always just that little niggling of hope. The fight that still hadn't gone out of some characters, despite the situation they faced. Up-lifting, and something I couldn't help but cheer for. The author seemed to use a minimalist style when it came to the writing. Which isn't an negative, since I've often found myself loving those kinds of books. The problem I had was the minimalist writing led to some disjointed scenes. I found myself confused about how one scene bleed into the other, and how characters came to certain choices and conclusions. Araby was well developed because of the internal monologue in the novel, and the boys Elliot and Will as well because of their interactions with her. But I found other side characters, especially April, to be confusing. I liked her, but I couldn't put my finger down on what time of personality she really was. I have a feeling though that the kinks I wasn't such a fan of will all be cleared up in the second book. Overall, I really enjoyed Masque of the Red Death, and I cannot wait for the sequel. I also absolutely adore the cover. I mean, talk about gorgeous! If you're looking for some Gothic horror, complex characters, and lots of steampunk, look towards Masque of the Red Death. - Ciara who is lost at midnight (Originally posted at
Date published: 2012-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Dark and Haunting Dystopian Read Just when I began to think the dystopian genre had already begun to exhaust itself, Bethany Griffin comes along and impresses me with her novel Masque of the Red Death. The book takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Masque of the Red Death, giving it a new awakening. While I haven't read the original, I have no doubts fans will be more than satisfied with Bethany Griffin's rendering of the tale. In the frightening world Bethany Griffin has imagined, danger is always lurking in the shadows and traveling through the ruined city in Prince Prospero's domain is a risk not everyone is willing to take. The poor struggle to make ends meet, living without the protection of the expensive masks which could save them from the plague that continues to kill more people everyday. Meanwhile, the wealthy continue to live their opulent lifestyles in the safety of their homes. Ever since Araby lost someone she held dear in her family to the terrible sickness, she hasn't been able to push aside the numbness that has taken a hold of her. She doesn't know how to be close to her parents anymore, not when she's still lost in her depression and reliving old memories of a time when she didn't feel so alone. It's at the Debauchery Club that she finds an escape from her problems, where she can dress herself in pretty dresses and pretend that everything's okay. However, there's unrest in the city and Araby finds herself caught in the delicate situation of working with the rebels who wish to stop Prince Prospero's oppressive reign, even though it puts her family in harm's way. And as if that wasn't already enough, Araby finds herself drawn to two very different young men: the sweet and kind Will, who's fiercely protective of his younger siblings... and Elliot, the charismatic and calculative older brother of Araby's best friend. Yes, there's a love triangle in the novel, but I never thought it took central focus. Instead, Bethany Griffin has intricately woven it into the storyline, complementing Araby's struggle to pick up the pieces of her broken life and find a sense of purpose again. Dystopia meets steampunk in Bethany Griffin's Masque of the Red Death, delivering a dark and haunting story that is simply addictive to read. Everyone seemed to be hiding a secret in the novel, only adding to the suspense too... I absolutely cannot wait to see what will happen next in Dance of the Red Death! You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2012-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark & Gripping Dark and gripping, we follow Araby as she deals with a reality that is tormented by death. People are dying in the streets from a contagion with an unknown cause and are only protected if they can afford the mask designed and engineered by her father. A city ruled by a self absorbed and callous prince who holds her father like a hostage as well as the death of her brother lead her to escape through drugs and dancing where she meets two men who may lead her to salvation or her end. Griffin paints a dismal backdrop and life in the world she has created is not an easy one. Araby is strong though she doesn’t believe that she is, or that she is worth anything. Carrying the guilt of her brother’s death is a burden, a heavy weight which she deals with daily. It isn’t until she meets Will, that something inside her sparks. And we the readers begin to feel hope. It’s a small change at first, but one that begins to snow ball into possible transformation. Strong character development and a subject matter which at times feels close to home makes The Masque of the Red Death a riveting read. For more reviews check out:
Date published: 2012-06-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A compelling & captivating dystopian tale of survival, romance and intrigue Rating: 4.5/5 stars 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. This, and other reviews can be found on my blog
Date published: 2012-05-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A book worthy of Poe's inspiration! Rating: 3.5 creepy yet gorgeous stars out of 5! Dark. Dangerous. Lyrical. Tragic. Poe would be so proud of this book! Set in a plagued city with danger around every corner, Masque of the Red Death is one of the most chilling yet captivating dystopians I've ever read. There's death wherever you turn; corpse collectors roam the dangerous streets. And everyone has to wear a porcelain mask outside to protect them from the plague, but only the rich can afford them. Araby is such a heartbroken and heartbreaking character. With the guilt of her twin brother's death hanging over her, she refuses to let herself to be happy, to experience anything he won't. While my heart goes out to Araby for what she goes through, this makes is a little harder to connect with her. I had the same problem with most of the other characters. We only skimmed the surface when I felt like there was so much more beneath their masks. The romance was twisted yet incredibly sweet — just like the two boys. There are secrets, sacrifices, and huge surprises you won't expect. Bethany Griffin knows how to write suspense! And even though I wish there was more of a punch to that build-up, it still left me craving to know how anything could possibly work out in this bleak world. Deliciously dark and hauntingly beautiful, Masque of the Red Death sits up there with Kelly Creagh's Nevermore on my list of coolest Poe-inspired books! It wasn't as mind-blowing as I'd hoped, but it still stuck with me and I can't wait to read the next. :) BUY or BORROW?: Edgar Allan Poe fans, get ready to empty your wallets! Don't let the rating fool you — this book is definitely worth the read! Am I the only one hoping this will be turned into a movie? x)
Date published: 2012-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting take on Poe This and other reviews can be found on Cover Impressions: The cover does an excellent job of expressing the dark and foreboding mood of this novel. I am a fan of the oppressive fog and the red highlights that provide a sense of mystery. The title font is PERFECT, antique-looking but clearly legible. The Gist: Araby Worth spends her nights chasing oblivion in the Debauchery District. She seeks solace from the world outside, a world of death, disease and fear. The plague that decimated the city left her family elevated in society but shattered and haunted. When a night of revelry brings Araby to the attention of Will, the well-meaning older brother and Elliot, the reckless leader of a rebellion, she must shake off her stupor and finally decide if there are people in this world worth fighting for. Review: Bethany Griffin is one brave lady. It takes guts to take on a master like Edgar Allen Poe. I love using Poe in my grade 7, 8 and 9 English classes, especially around Halloween. The kids enjoy the foreboding tone and dark imagery. Griffin manages to elicit the same ominous feel and sense of decrepit grandeur in her book. There is a beautiful dichotomy between the peasants ravaged by plague and the sheer opulence of Araby's lifestyle. As a character, Araby is beautifully flawed. In the beginning, we see an empty, thoughtless shell of a girl. One that is guilt-ridden and bent on wasting away slowly and painfully. She is unable to recognize love and caring in those around her. Araby is easily led into betraying her father and endangering the entire city. It is as if she were waiting for someone to ask her to do something, anything, to tilt the precarious balance that the city has reached. As the story progresses, Araby begins to drop some of her carefully constructed walls and we get the merest glimpse into the strong and selfless individual that she might become. For most of this novel, the action creeps along with a few tense moments here and there, much like the city, seething slowly but steadily until it erupts into a cacophony of violence that last until the final pages. There are some dull moments in the middle but if you persist and push through, you will be rewarded. Teaching/Parental Notes: Age: 15 and up Gender: Female Sex: None Violence: Murders, Riots, Beatings, Swordplay, Gunplay. Inappropriate Language: None Substance Abuse: Underage drinking, Use of needle drugs
Date published: 2012-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "Life is Sacred, Death is Even More so." *Copy borrowed from fellow blogger for review* Desire is Contagious Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin takes place in a world that has fallen to ruin. The population is decimating, all thanks to a disease known simply as the Red Death. The Red Death is a deadly plague sweeping through and threatening the already dwindling society, leaving it's residents no choice but to pay an arm and a leg for ridiculously expensive masks to keep out the infection. Araby, Masque's protagonist, is a girl who lives in this world, though she's lucky enough to be among one of the rich who can afford luxurious masks to keep out the disease. On her free nights, she travels to the Debauchery club with her best friend, a club that is a place free of the disease where the rich and privileged can mingle with one another without fear. However, in an already crumbling society, Araby continues to seek freedom and an end to the deadly plague. There, at the Debauchery Club, Araby meets the irresistible Will, the proprietor of the club, and Elliot, a wickedly sharp aristocrat with a secrets agenda. The further Araby gets to know them, the more of their hidden secret are revealed. "Life is Sacred, Death is Even More so." Quoted from uncorrected proof of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin I use that quote from Masque of the Red Death, and fittingly so because it so easily reflects the dark and Gothic tale that is Bethany Griffin's debut novel. First thing readers should be aware of is how incredibly brilliant Bethany's world building truly is in Masque of the Red Death. Masque of the Red Death takes place in a gruesome setting that will set an incredible chill into the reader's bones. Imagine this, a city that very much resembles the architecture that of the Victorian era. It's citizens all sport clothing of that era, society is viewed almost the same, however there is a dark plaque riddling them, leaving the streets to be filled with rebellion and death. Gruesome sounding, isn't it? However, Bethany does a fantastic job pulling the reader in despite it's unappealing surroundings. The more Bethany introduced me to this post-apocalyptic world, the more I wanted to climb into it's pages and live it. Araby, Masque of the Red Death's protagonist, was an exceptionally peculiar character that left me a little disconnected. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed her narration throughout Masque, however I wasn't the biggest fan of her train of thought. Araby, for most of the novel, came across as ignorant of the real issues and struggles happening around her, though now that I think of it I find it a little reflective of her status in society (rich = ignorant of hardship and struggle). Additionally, I also thought that Araby put forth far too much effort in coming across as "selfless". It seemed like much of what she did always had an underlying benefit on her part, not one of the most appealing of characteristics unfortunately. Moving on, I couldn't help instantly falling in love with Will. Overall, he was by far my favorite in the novel. Immediately upon his introduction I felt a desperate need to learn more about him. The further I crawled into the novel, the more suspense unfolded as I discovered things about him that would eventually change my overall thoughts and feelings about him - it was fantastic! I have no doubt that Will will be everyone's favorite character! As for Elliot, I felt just as disconnected from him as I did Araby. Despite Elliot's mysterious persona with an obvious hidden agenda, I just couldn't find myself caring or sympathizing for him. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin is like chocolate; it's dark, delicious, and exceptionally addicting! I will, without a doubt, be running out to the store upon it's release to grab myself a finished hardcover copy. In addition, I'm hoping that the finished product will keep the textured shimmer that the uncorrected proof featured.
Date published: 2012-04-08

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Editorial Reviews

“Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death is gorgeous, compelling, and achingly romantic.”