Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

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 finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though 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 series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.
I absolutely 100% am on board for a YA retelling of an Edgar Allen Poe story. I loved the first book, and I was really excited to get my hands on this one because the characters hadn’t quite gotten to the Edgar Allen Poe parts in the first book (minus some hints of things to come and some character names).
I was not disappointed. It was so cool being able to see all the Poe connections in this one. I was also dying to see how things would end with the love triangle. I wanted answers about Araby’s father. And I have been anxiously awaiting for someone to get payback on Prospero.
I know I must have said this about the first book, but seriously, this book has it all: love triangle, classic literature references, the plague, flying machines, masked balls, scary swamp people, religious zealots, dead bodies (everywhere), torture, and even a smidgen of hope. I did kind of miss all the dance club scenes from the previous book, but I was definitely willing to trade not having those scenes for also not having so many depressing thoughts of suicide scenes.
I guess the charcters had too much escaping, world saving, and romantic understanding to do to have too many depressing thoughts. This book was one nonstop action-filled adventure and Araby has finally become a strong, tough female lead who wants to do things on her own like learn how to use a knife.
Add all the romantic tension to the crazy plot and this book was just pure awesome. The love triangle stuff was done so, so well. I could see why Araby would have a hard time deciding. The scene where the three of them all camped out together, away from all their other friends, was so entertaining. And the ending scene at the ball with the messed up deadly game was beyond cool to read.
There were moments where Griffin literally seemed to be channeling Poe. Some scenes are so surreal that I had to remind myself that they were actually happening in the story, and that they weren’t dream sequences. But, I think that was the point. So much of this story was about escapism and I’m not even sure how many people were there, but also not really there at the same time. Everyone who wasn’t dying from illness or violence was drinking or drugging away their problems. And this made all the party scenes so much more intense. And even though Araby was not intoxicated there were some scenes that just flowed like dream sequences, and I couldn’t not compare this to the original Poe.
The writing in these books is unique and wonderful. The main character truly grew into a strong, rebellious fighter. The love triangle was the best kind. The suspense was killer. The plot was extremely dark and fascinating. And all my questions were finally answered. I hope this author continues to write YA. This gets a 10/10 from me.

1 comment:

  1. I actually loved this book to pieces! Yes, sometimes the plot needed to speed up bit from the dragging t the first but I loved the twist at the end. Dying to read the sequel!

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