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.

In this dystopian-type world, the wealthy survive with masks on their faces that protect them from a plague that fills the air. In the clubs, everyone goes to partake in drugs and alcohol while dressed to the max. It’s a way to forget just what life is really like. The world Griffin has created is terrifying, people come around to collect the bodies of the diseased. Any bodies that are unable to be retrieved are left of the streets. She has gone to great depth to create a story I think Poe would be proud of. It’s scary, intense and so fascinating – much like Poe’s works.

Araby has created rules for herself, her little brother passed away as a result of the plague so she strives to do nothing he will never get to do. From holding hands to falling in love. Mixed in with the horror of this “world”, our girl is discovering just who she is and who she deserves to be. Mix in a love triangle with two boys who want totally different things. Then as a more intense plot line, “rebels” seek to uncover the plans for the masks to mass-produce them so that they are accessible to everyone. What better way than to involve the creator’s daughter, Araby?

Masque of the Red Death is the sort of book with a lot going on and it handles it nicely. The ending did leave a bit to be desired, it was rushed and at times I found myself having to re-read to be exactly sure I didn’t “miss” something. I’m hoping that with a sequel more will be explained and it will make it even better.

Regardless, I love this more recently popular combination of dystopian and steampunk and eagerly crave more. If you aren’t a fan of steampunk, Masque of the Red Death isn’t that steampunk – there are factors, but it’s not heavily present.

I received my copy of Masque of the Red Death from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.