Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: 'Masque of the Red Death' by Bethany Griffin

The cold air hits me and I realize that we're outside.  It's raining.
Out of the club, in open air. I feel myself begin to panic, not because I care,
but because I've been programmed to fear the airborne contagions. 
I put my hand up, fell the ridged porcelain surface of my mask, and sigh with relief. 
I've worn this thing so long that I no longer feel it.

Society is on the brink of complete collapse, brought low by an invisible killer, an illness that has no cure and can only be prevented by the constant employment of a specially designed mask.  Production of the life-saving masks is limited and only the richest can afford to protect themselves and their children.  Araby is the daughter of the man who invented the mask, an act that brought her family into the echelons of the upper class, but which came too late to save her twin brother.  Since the death of her brother, Araby has existed rather than lived, pulled along by her only friend, April, to the risque clubs of the Debauchery District where alcohol and drugs flow freely.  While in the pursuit of oblivion, Araby comes to know two young men whose passions ignite her own and who make Araby realize there are things worth living for; and worth fighting for.

Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's short story of the same title, Bethany Griffin has penned a haunting, gut-wrenching realistic world where life is uncertain and fear rules all.  Araby is wonderfully broken; emotionally distant, self-destructive and disconnected from the world around her.  It's not that she doesn't feel anything, but that she feels everything too much.  Readers will be drawn into Araby's perspective even if they have never flirted with the darker thoughts and emotions that rule her life.  'Masque of the Red Death' will have readers glued to the pages, anxiously turning the page to discover what happens.  Warning: this novel has a cliff-hanger ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting Griffin's next novel.

Make sure to look for 'Dance of the Red Death' coming in April 2013!

Book Source: Local Library
Reviewer: Rebecca

Recommended Ages: 16+ Drug use & violence

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