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I Belong

Review: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Dance of the Red Death

Author: Bethany Griffin

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Masque of the Red Death (Book 2)

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-100032107828 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13978-0032107824 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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

Quick & Dirty: This is a YA Science Fiction book with a hint of Steampunk.  It is filled with heartache, love, adventure, and death.

Opening Sentence: MY FATHER IS A MURDERER.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Araby’s life has just been turned upside down, and she is on the run for her life.  She was betrayed by the boy she loved and her father isn’t the person she thought he was.  Araby’s best friend, April, has been infected by the Weeping plague, and there is no known cure.  Araby will do anything to save her, even give herself up to the enemy.  Araby’s one hope is to find her father.  He is a scientist and there are rumors that he has a cure, but Araby has recently learned some terrible truths about him and she doesn’t trust him.  He is hiding somewhere in the city and Araby will need to find him before it is too late.

Meanwhile, there is now a new plague rampaging and killing hundreds in the city.  It is known as the Red Death and it kills very quickly.  It is spread through the air and through the water, so the special masks people wear to ward off the Weeping plague don’t fully protect them from the Red Death.  This new plague has everyone running scared, even the powerful and rich.  The city is in ruins and everyone fears that there is nothing that can save it. Prince Prospero has abandoned the city and has evacuated to his place outside the city.  He is planning a masquerade ball for only a select few citizens, and like his other parties it is sure to be “deadly” entertaining.

Araby is very different in this book than she was in Masque of the Red Death.  She was very depressed in the first book and would use drugs to escape her pain.  In this installment she had a purpose worth fighting for, and her attitude about life has really changed.  She is determined to help her friends and the people in the city if she can. She stops running from her problems and I really came to respect her.  While she is obviously not a perfect girl, she is still a very good heroine and I really liked her. She is also torn between two amazing guys, Elliot and Will.

Elliot is the brother to April, Araby’s best friend.   He is also the leader behind the rebellion trying to overthrow the tyrant Prince Prospero.  He is very attractive and charismatic, but not very trust worthy.  Elliot really cares about the city and the people in it, but he is ruthless and almost crazy at times.  There are times when I felt that he really came to care deeply for Araby, but his sense of responsibility overshadows his feelings for her. Even though he is dangerous and unpredictable I couldn’t help falling in love with him.  He and Araby have amazing, steamy chemistry that just made me swoon.  Their relationship is far from perfect but it is definitely interesting.

Will is totally gorgeous and really he is perfect for Araby in a lot of ways.  He is consistent, reliable, kind, and caring.  Araby has her doubts about Will, but she knows that he cares about her even after everything he has done.  He has a bad boy persona, but really he is a total sweetheart.  He is the steady choice and honestly Araby could use a good steady guy after everything she has been through.  I really liked Will and I feel that he is good for Araby, but I felt that their relationship was a little boring compared to Elliot’s and Araby’s relationship.

I really enjoyed this book, but to be honest, it didn’t quite meet my expectations.  I loved Masque of the Red Death, it was easily one of my favorite books from last year so I had very high hopes for this book, and it fell a little short.  In Masque there was mysterious ambiance that was so captivating, and this book was missing that special element of intrigue.  After that being said, this was still a good read for me.  There was good action, steamy romance, interesting characters, and a good plot.  There were many heartbreaking moments, but also there was always an underlining hope present.  Even though this book was a little disappointing for me, I would still highly recommend this series. It is still definitely worth reading.

Notable Scene:

I’VE SEEN DEAD BODIES NEARLY EVERY DAY SINCE the first plague started, but never so many at once. They are heaped together, lying all intertwined. I gag like Will did in the science building and force myself not to be sick. The carefully tended lawn, once so vibrant and green, is totally obscured. Most of the bodies are in shrouds, but some untended corpses lie around the periphery. Red tears stain their cheeks. One is holding a bouquet of wilting flowers. Did she bring her loved ones here, and then die herself?

This disease leaves you little time to mourn. Little time to live with guilt and loneliness. People are dying so quickly.

I want to shield myself from the awfulness, but I can’t stop looking. Puddles surround the corpses. Soon this rainwater will mix with the groundwater, spreading further contamination. The innkeeper was right—whoever can rid the city of these bodies will be a hero. It is the first step in saving the city.

“Step away,” Elliott says, even as he goes closer. He doesn’t check to see if I’ve obeyed, and I don’t. Taking a vial of liquid from his pocket, he pours something over the nearest victim and then lights a match. As he drops it, he takes a quick step backward. Despite the recent rain, the corpse catches fire immediately. The blaze is very hot, hotter than any fire I’ve ever encountered, and the smell is terrible. Elliott’s face is illuminated by the blaze. He looks radiant.

Masque of the Red Death Series:

1. Masque of the Red Death

2. Dance of the Red Death

FTC Advisory: Greenwillow/ Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Dance of the Red Death. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

  1. Erin ArkinNo Gravatar

    Great review and I had the same feelings. Book 1 was one of my favorites and this one just didn’t take me to the same place. So glad I’m not alone in that feeling.

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