Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Book: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Dance of the Red Death is the sequel to Masque of the Red Death, which I reviewed earlier this year, and is based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. Picking up where Masque of the Red Death left off, Araby is determined to find her father and convince him to save her best friend, April, from the weeping sickness. All she needs to do is convince Elliott that returning to the city is the best plan of action. Once there, Elliott, Araby and Will try to find Dr. Worth, whilst devising a plan to defeat Malcontent and Prospero. But Prospero captures Araby and makes her play a game at his 'ultimate' party, the prize is being able to leave with her mother, or being able to leave with Will, but that isn't a choice Araby wants to make. Can she defeat Prospero at his own game and save the city from the two plagues or will the Red Death take them all.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

I had two reactions to the ending of Dance of the Red Death:

  1. SHE PICKED THE WRONG ONE (capitals indicative of how frustrated I am about this!) 
  2. I want to cry. As in really cry, that barely ever happens. Such an emotionally charged book! 
It is very rare that I pick the 'wrong' guy in a love triangle (as in before I know for certain which one the girl will end up with), but this time I was. And I am gutted about it, far more than I should be over a fictional couple, but at the same time I can understand why Araby chose as she did, I just think the other pairing could have gone on for greater things. I would like to make it clear though, just because Araby ended up with the guy I didn't want her to end up with doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the book, it actually had very little baring on how much I enjoyed Dance of the Red Death!

The relationships that Araby has with Will and Elliott are both completely different, and complicated by the fact that all three of them have done bad, and even evil, things, and betrayed each other countless times, even if it was justifiable. It is obvious though that Araby at least as a pretty intense attraction to both of them, and the descriptions of her kissing both of them suggests to me that she cared. There was something about this love triangle that seems different from other ones, in a good way, it felt much more fleshed out. 

As mentioned above, even the main 'good' characters do things that could be seen as bad, or even evil, which as I have mentioned in reviews before, I think is a good thing for characterisation. Not the actions themselves that is, but the fact that the characters are morally grey, particularly if they are living in a world that is as dark and dismal as the one in Dance of the Red Death

You definitely saw a different Araby than you did in the previous book, she was more independent, courageous and determined than she ever was in Masque of the Red Death, and had definitely grown into someone stronger. It is good, and refreshing to see a female character in this kind of situation grow from a bit helpless to being just a little kick ass! 

To anyone that has read Edgar Allan Poe's short story, a part of the ending won't come as any surprise, in fact I had predicted part of it since the first pages of the first book, though I would say that the ending is far less bleak than in the original, and is obviously more fleshed out, having more pages to do that in!

All in all this was a quick paced, exciting, and satisfying conclusion to the first book, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Griffin's future books! This duology is definitely a must read!