Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review #1561 Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Review: #1561
Book: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: Apr. 24, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 319
Source: ALA 2012

Initial thoughts: Steampunk + adventure + plague = intrigue. 

Review: I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. I was surprised by that, but pleased.

The storyline was engaging and intriguing, with just the right touch of eerie and darkness to keep me guessing. The world was very surreal and I definitely thought the author did a good job of painting this gritty and desperate world of people living day-to-day trying to drown out their sorrows. Even though the book was fairly dark and had this kind of sepia/old-fashioned tone, it still managed to be new and different too. It was a strange mixture of old and new and I loved that. I wasn't completely in love with the characters though, and some of their actions were a little strange at times, but overall I was following the story, not wanting to put it down.

And here's another thing that surprised me. There was a love triangle in this story and while I normally cannot ABIDE that sort of thing, it didn't bother me as much as I had initially imagined. In fact, I was wondering the same as Araby - who to choose? I couldn't really make up my mind and I was waiting for the author to throw something out there that would make it obvious, but that never happened. It ended in a little bit of a lurch - I wasn't sure what the story was going to do next. And then it ended, with no sequel in sight. (Now there's one, but at the time I read this, it had only just been published.) But I was thoroughly engaged in this novel and I would recommend it for people interested in darker, more literary styles with elements of dystopia, mystery, and romance. It also vaguely reminded me of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, but I'm not sure how I got that, because these books are SO different.

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