Review: Dance of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

Review: Dance of the Red Death – Bethany GriffinDance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #2
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published: June 11th 2013
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four-half-stars

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death. Lauren DeStefano, author of the New York Times bestselling Chemical Gardens trilogy, called Masque of the Red Death "luscious, sultry, and lingeringly tragic."

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby's world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she will fight for herself, for the people she loves, and for her city. Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball. It could destroy her and everyone she loves . . . or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death saga about a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I had trouble with this one in the beginning. Not because it was a bad book or because I wasn’t interested. It was purely because I couldn’t remember what the heck happened in the first part of the series because I read it so long ago! I couldn’t for the life of me remember what happened in Masque of the Red Death and what I loved about it. But as Dance of the Red Death continued and the memories started to return I remembered my love of Will and Araby and the world Griffin created and I found the book fantastic. It was really a great ending to a very creative series. I apologize for any spoilers from the first book but it is hard to talk about a sequel without them.

Dance of the Red Death begins right where Masque ended. Araby, Will, Elliott, April, and company have fled the city that is being demolished by disease, the people, the Reverend and the Prince and are traveling to places unknown. They just know they need to get away and need to hide. April is sick and Araby’s heart has been shattered by Will’s betrayal. With Elliott’s constant advances, April’s fast-declining health and the prospect that her father is the cause of everything Araby has to make some tough decisions that bring her right to the city she is trying to flee and the two men that are trying to destroy her.  Now Araby has to decide what it is she wants to fight for and what her heart can handle in the end.

I actually enjoyed Dance more then I liked Masque. I found Araby to be a stronger more compelling character in this book. She had a backbone and wasn’t as scared to live. Was she still scared of her emotions and the circumstances of her life? Definitely. But I felt like she matured in a way that allowed her to deal with them as opposed to whining about everything. She knew what she had to do to save herself, to save her friends, to save the city she loves and although she struggled at times, she did what she had to do.  She was very likable in this book and that is what made the story more enjoyable. That and her “relationship” with Will.

Not gonna lie, he broke my heart in the first book with his betrayal, but I also understood why he did what he did. And I liked that Araby understood it too. The awkwardness between the two in this book because of that one incident was perfectly incorporated into the story. With that said, the emotions that were between them were also extremely present and I could feel Will’s jealousy every time he saw Araby anywhere near Elliott and that was all kinds of awesome. They had to have had one of the most real relationships in the book by far and it added to the story opposed to taking away from everything that was going on around them.

Basically, I found the distribution of the relationship aspects and the war that was going on in the cities laid out pretty evenly. Dance wasn’t too heavy on either aspect and everything flowed nicely thanks to Griffin’s talent of weaving a great story. I was really happy with how everything came to a head and even happier with the conclusion. Really great ending to a brief two-part series. I look forward to reading more from this very talented author in the future.

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Second Chance Sunday – Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

On Tuesday the final book in the Masque of the Red Death series, Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, will be released(review on Friday). So I thought what better book for today’s Second Chance Sunday then Masque of the Red Death. I really enjoyed this story. It was a very clever take on an Edgar Allen Poe story that was made into a modern dystopian but kept the same creep factor vibe from the original.

Second Chance Sunday – Masque of the Red Death by Bethany GriffinMasque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published: April 24, 2012
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four-stars

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.

Really great start to this story. The characters were interesting, the setting was eerily described and spot on for the plot and the plot was nicely designed to give the reader a glimpse into this series. I enjoyed the twist and turns and the feeling of not knowing who to trust and who was on what side. And it was nice to finally read a book that had a plot twist I didn’t see coming from a mile away. It is pretty rare that I can be surprised when reading and this certain part definitely surprised me.

I must admit the part I liked most about this book was the relationships. Between Araby and April, Araby and Will, and Araby and Elliott, not to mention Araby and her parents, the reader really got to see what Araby was about. Each and every relationship was different and showed a different side of her and I enjoyed getting to see that. When she was with April she was the sidekick that was sort of in the shadow of her best friend. With her parents, she was the grief-stricken, guilty girl that survived when her brother couldn’t. With Elliott, she was this strong girl that people needed and believe she could hold her own. And with Will, she was a girl, just a simple teenage girl trying to figure everything out. By far her relationship with Will was my favorite. There was something about that Araby that I liked over the rest. Maybe it was the realistic aspect of her just being an uncertain teenage girl, or maybe it was just Will, who I definitely have a little crush on. Whatever it was, it made Araby likable and enjoyable.

The end definitely left me wanting more. Although there were things I could have done without and things I wanted more of, the end pulled stuff together nicely and has me looking forward to book two. Definitely a book to be read.

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