Masque of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

15745753Title: Masque of the Red Death
Masque of the Red Death, #1)
Bethany Griffin
Young Adult
Rating: 4


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.


“And I’m falling in love with you,” he whispers. “But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, this is a lovely work. I loved the gothic style mood, the streampunk, the haunting melody that flows within the pages. Bethany Griffin has taken a dark influence from Poe and created a similarly dark gothic adaptation.

Araby Worth is a teenager living in a world consumed by the plague. Haunted by the death of her twin brother Finn, she spends her nights with April attending parties, losing herself in the numbness that drugs provide. It is there she meets April’s brother, Elliot, the nephew of the evil Prince Prospero, and Will, who works at the Debauchery Club while trying to take care of his younger siblings. Araby is thrust into the real world, away from the careless that her drugs provide, and discovers that she may be able to help save countless lives from the plague and the villainous Prince Prospero.

Throughout the story, I was enchanted. I’ve never read much Poe, but I loved the darkness of this story, where no one has a shred of innocence and those who appear good do bad things. I loved the descriptions of the porcelain masks and the nights of debauchery and the constant threat of disease and death. Even the love triangle wasn’t obnoxious as they tend to be in countless YA novels. Will isn’t the perfect guy he comes across as, and Elliot isn’t entirely bad. Everyone is human, and there is both good and bad in them as they try to navigate the devastation in the city. Even April, who seems like the annoying best friend that doesn’t give a damn about anything but herself grows as a character for the little time she is present while still remaining herself.

I really loved the Masque of the Red Death and would definitely read the upcoming sequels. Even if you aren’t a fan of Poe, this haunting influence pays homeage to the original story without dwelling in it constantly. If you like slow but never boring stories and being thrust into a dark and enchanting world, look no further.


Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare


Author: Cassandra Clare

Rating: 5/5


Tessa Gray should be happy – aren’t all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.


*weeps loudly and awkwardly, clutching book to her bosom*


The final battle begins…

And ends, as I sob relentlessly. Gah. *shakes fist at Cassandra Clare* WHY.

I’m overwhelmed, ignore my psycho banter. Really. I haven’t finished a series in years, and I’m terribly heartbroken. I’ve come to love and adore these characters, who might just be words on a page, but they all hold a special place in my heart.

I just got my hard copy in the post today, but I have already read the eBook, since I could not wait. I did my waiting! Twelve years of it! In Azkaban! And I shall wait no longer!

There is no wrong that can be put against Clockwork Princess. It was wonderfully wrote and is a very well wrote ending to the trilogy, but I felt the Mortmain bit was rushed. Clare spent this entire trilogy building up this fantastical villain… first, leading us to think it was de Quincey, and having simple Mortmain be the true villain in the background. Mortmain and his clockwork army, perfected at last… and -SPOILER ALERT- Tessa just shifts into Ithuriel and crushes him like a gnat. All that building for that? I felt that could’ve gone on longer. By the time that was done, there was still like 20 percent left to the story, working out all the love and couples who ended up together and whatnot. I’m glad of the resolution of tiny things that have popped up in the TMI series, such as the Herondale scar.

Tessa has grown, as a woman and as who she is. We finally find out where she comes from and her purpose in it all. Jem, oh Jem. My poor Jem. This has got to be the ONE series in which I rooted for both sides in a love triangle. Mostly Will, though, but Jem is so fragile and strong and loving that you can’t help but to have your heart broken by him.

Everyone gets their own happy ending. Sophie and Gideon, Cecily and Gabriel, Charlotte and Henry and their Charles Buford Fairchild.

I’m hoping Jem and Tessa pop up in Clary or Jace’s life again (I saw you, Tessa, in City of Glass. You can’t hide from me.) or Jem’s ancestor, Emma in The Dark Artifices.

The epilogue, oh my. That killed me. Tessa, living through the century, untouched by age, forever young while Will grew old… and their children had children and grew old. Everyone you love, just a tiny blimp of time before their gone. I don’t know how Tessa did it. Or Magnus, whose done it so many times. Jem and Tessa still alive in 2008, and Will being dead for over seventy years now, so heartbreaking, I’m tearing up again just thinking of it. Now Jem will grow old now that he’s human again, and she’ll suffer heartbreak all over again. There should be a small novella, or some entrance to them in the future Shadowhunter books, where Tessa finds a cure to her immortality and somehow be with them all again – Will, Jem, Charlotte and Henry, Cecily and the Lightwoods, even Jessamine.

I’m just mindblown.

Go, read the book. Read the series, first, if you haven’t. You won’t be disappointed, but warning: your mental health may deteriorate.

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