Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Greenwillow Books, 336 Pages
Source: ARC via Edelweiss
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Masque of the Red Death #2
Follow up to: 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.
Bethany Griffin outdid herself again. In her sequel of the Poe-inspired, steampunk version of Masque of the Red Death, our main characters are in the thick of it with Elliot’s evil uncle, Prince Prospero, and the mysterious and ruthless Malcontent. (His name really says it all, folks).
Araby Worth and her companions, Elliott, Kent, Will (his little brother and sister), and her best friend (and Elliott’s sister), April, have escaped from the burning, flooded, and plague-wrought city. The book opens up with a powerful first sentence: My father is a murderer. Now that is what I call a hook. I was immediately pulled in and reoriented with what was going on at the very end of Masque. Dance of the Red Death picks up exactly where the last book ended and I’m glad it did.
After escaping the city, the gang must regroup and figure out their plan, while evading Prospero and Malcontent’s men. Araby is on the hunt for her father. She wants answers and he is the only one that can give them to her. Her biggest question is, Why? She is still reeling from discovering that her father released the plague on the city upon Prospero’s orders, but there may be a way to save the city they call home and find a cure for the infected.
The action is only interrupted by short scenes of a little romance [read: desire], revelations of secrets and lies, and some serious plotting. Otherwise, this book kept me wanting more every time I had to put it down to, you know, sleep or go be productive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you love Poe, steampunk, or anything dark, and thought-provoking, you’ll absolutely LOVE Griffin’s take on a classic Edgar Allan Poe story.