Monday, June 10, 2013

ARC Review: Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #2) by Bethany Griffin

Release Date: June 11, 2013
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Page Count: 336 pages
Source: ARC provided by Edelweiss
Author Links: Website | Blog | Twitter

The sequel to Masque of the Red Death, which Melissa Marr called "Haunting and beautiful." Araby Worth is poised either to save her city, or to abandon it. In a novel that embodies everything that's dark, sexy, tragic, and fearless, Bethany Griffin concludes her incredible, atmospheric reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story.

Araby Worth's city is on fire. Her brother is dead. Her best friend could be dead soon. Her mother is a prisoner; her father is in hiding. And the two boys who stole her heart have both betrayed her. But Araby has found herself, and she is going to fight back. Inspired by one of Edgar Allan Poe's most compelling stories, "The Masque of the Red Death," Bethany Griffin has spun two sultry and intricate novels about a young woman who finds herself on the brink of despair but refuses to give in. Decadent masquerades, steamy stolen moments, and sweeping action are set in a city crumbling from neglect and tragedy. A city that seeps into your skin. Dance of the Red Death is the riveting conclusion to the dark and fascinating saga of an unforgettable heroine.

**May contain slight spoilers for those who haven't read book 1.**

Dance of the Red Death, the sequel and conclusion to the Masque of the Red Death series, had a slow beginning but picked up in momentum and I was pleased with the end result. Everything was wrapped up nicely with all of the loose ends tied up and the sense that everyone received their happily ever after. much of a happily ever after that characters like these can have. The term seems too light when considering all of the sacrifices, heartache, and terror that they have suffered through to reach their goals.

The love triangle between Araby, Will and Elliott played a large part in the story and was overwhelming in the beginning. It felt as if it were overshadowing more important aspects of the story and at one point I just wanted it over with. 

I also found that I wasn't able to ease right in to the story because I couldn't remember the roles of several of the secondary characters, the specifics of Will's betrayal, and a few of the smaller details. This isn't something that I normally have an issue with. But I definitely felt like I would have benefited from re-reading Masque of the Red Death before jumping in to the sequel.  

Araby and her friends are headed back in to the city to try and find a cure for April and to help Elliott gather support in his attempt to take control from Prospero and put an end to Malcontent and his followers. 

While in the city, they gather information, provide a safe place for those siding with their cause and seeking safety, and they search for Araby's father.

Araby is faced with many difficult decisions. Does she stay by Elliott's side while he organizes a takeover of the city or does she forgive Will for his betrayal and return his feelings? If she can't find her father in time, will she sacrifice herself for a chance to save her best friend? And as she searches for him, is she really prepared to learn the truth about what he has done? 

Even though Dance of the Red Death had its flaws, it was still a satisfying conclusion to a series that I would suggest to fans of dark dystopian reads.


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