Author: Bethany Griffin
Rating: 4 stars
Summary: 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.
When I first heard this was going to be a duo, I got really excited because I really loved the first book. Them for some reason around the release, I started coming across a bunch of terrible reviews. So I warily ordered it from the library...and it was just as awesome and exciting as the first! A great conclusion of the story, and I can't wait for Griffin's next Poe retelling. Araby's world has such a vivid atmosphere, and I can guess the next story will be just as dark. (Because Poe, you know.)
Only a couple things bugged me. Both of those are called Elliott. (Not really. just the first.) I'm honestly not sure why everyone seems to be "Team Elliott" because I can't stand a single word that comes out of his mouth. And the fact that Araby is/was sort of in love with him or something...ugh. If the rest of the storyline wasn't so good, I would have serious issues with that character. He's possessive, selfish, arrogant, and downright sadistic and manipulative. (Yeah, I know. Bad childhood. But really??) I just don't get how anyone could like him. This is me being harsh. But it is my opinion.
The imagery with the masquerade ball and Prospero's palace, and the airship, swamp, even the Red Death victims....all very realistic. Still, still, cannot picture how exactly the porcelain masks work. Since this series is kind of steampunk, I think it would have been cool to have a few "info blurbs" and sketches every now and then in the books.
You can see my review of the first book, Masque of the Red Death here.
By the by, Bethany Griffin's next book will be another Poe retelling, called The Fall. <-- add on Goodreads!