Let’s kick this review off by ogling the cover:
Seriously, MASQUE is one of my favorite covers of recent months. I love how dreamy it is–in sort of a creepy nightmarish way which totally fits the book– and the color scheme, and how the girl’s face is completely obscured by the umbrella.
Now, on to the contents! Here’s the official summary:
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 to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . 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 boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
So, MASQUE is a steampunk post-apocalyptic Victorian retelling of Poe’s MASQUE—um, hello, how amazing is THAT? The prose in this book is gorgeous, and the setting is vivid in a dark, dreamy-dreary way, as befitting a world that has been devastated by plague and a heroine who experiences everything through a haze in an effort to forget the past that haunts her. If you’ve read many of my other reviews, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for a broken, flawed heroine, so Araby grabbed me right away with her damaged soul and her exploits at the Debauchery Club.
In Araby’s city, the wealthy wear masks to avoid contamination while corpse collectors make regular rounds to collect the bodies of the less fortunate. I really loved the disconnect between that pervasive sense of despair and the sensuous, ridiculously expensive parties that the rich use as an escape. The two love interests in MASQUE–Will and Elliott–are so, so different and both have their own secrets to keep. To me, Elliott is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve read about in a long time, and I seriously can’t wait to see what the next book holds in store for him and Araby.
Now, it’s GIVEAWAY TIME! To win a shiny new copy of Bethany’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, leave your best Poe pun in the comments by Tuesday, May 1st, noon PST (or, you know, just comment) Winner will be chose by random–Good luck!
Don’t forget to check out what the other Bookanistas are up to:
Elana Johnson more than “likes” BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS
Nikki Katz is crazy about CREWEL
Stasia Ward Kehoe adores BREAKING BEAUTIFUL
Katy Upperman wonders at WANDERLOVE
Tracy Banghart takes a shine to A MILLION SUNS
Jessica Love is wowed by WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOEShare on Facebook