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The Masque of the Red Death


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Death is impossible and living is impossibly hard for 17-year-old Araby Worth, with her exclusive, decadent lifestyle surrounded by a plague-ravaged society...

About the Author

Bethany Griffin is a superb debut YA author. She currently teaches creative writing, amongst other things, and lives in Louiseville, USA.


Gr 9 Up-This grim tale tells of a city beset by plague. Everyone has to wear a protective mask, and corpse collectors come around every morning to dispose of the dead. Araby Worth lives a nihilistic existence centered around partying and taking drugs at the exclusive Debauchery Club, though she is careful never to kiss or sleep with anyone as she has vowed never to experience anything that her dead twin brother, a plague victim, would be unable to experience. This resolution is tested by two young men. Elliot is the nephew of the evil ruler, Prince Prospero (one of the novel's nods to Poe's original story), who is determined to save the city and willing to die trying. The other, Will, is more of a simple sort, trying merely to keep his younger brother and sister alive amid all the death. Both boys find themselves distracted from their goals by Araby and her irresistible beauty. She is not just any girl, however; her father invented the masks that are the only protection against the plague, and whose production is entirely controlled by Prince Prospero. The plot, set off when Araby steals the design plans for the masks from her father's study, is complicated, involving multiple underground rebel movements, the emergence of a second plague, and dark secrets about almost every character. As the novel ends with the plot unresolved and the main characters in danger for their lives, one can only assume there will be a sequel. Recommended where appetites for horrific postapocalyptic futures remain insatiable.-Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A stylish Gothic mystey * School Librarian *
Revolution, romance, decadence and decay make a heady mix ... Never patronising, often horrific ... a brave, breathless adventure. Written with restraint and relentlessly addictive * SFX Magazine *
[A] dark and gripping dystopian romance * Book Trust *

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