Masque of the Red Death - Bethany Griffin There’s a lot of hype surrounding Masque of Red Death, and perhaps I’m the only one who just wasn’t as wowed by it as everyone else. I liked it, but it’s probably not quite a favorite for this year. Outwardly, I adore the cover and the binding (if you’ve seen the hardcover, the pages of the actual book are just as gorgeous too). It makes me want to sit and admire the book alone without even opening it. Haha. Anyways, I found the story unique along the lines of this future world where everyone has to wear masks due to the outside air and a plague. This intrigued me. But my problem was that I struggled a bit picturing this. Maybe my imagination was malfunctioning that day? I’m not sure. I also struggled with coming to terms on how this world came to be exactly. As a reader, I went into this story directly from the start but I felt there was a major slack in the back story. Of course, it being the first book, more of the back story could be explained later in the series…but it would have been nice to have some of it here as well. I was insanely curious about the virus and the setting and Prince Prospero. So, I had a few nitpicks. It was still a fantastic read. Bethany Griffin knows how to write. I went into this story expecting something else, and instead I got an entirely different story than I thought. Yes, it’s based on Poe’s title, but it’s fresh and new and entrancing. It was dark and gritty…and I loved it. You know what, I can see this becoming a movie. And I hope it does. Hear that Hollywood? Quit making remakes when we have all these fabulous authors already writing amazing books that could make movies. Got it?The love triangle? Yep, there’s a love triangle. But here’s my take on love triangles: I don’t have a problem with them. I never have. Sure, I’m getting a little tired of them. I also have found that sometimes it’s unnecessary to have them just to try and please readers. If they’re fitting to a story line, and they don’t feel forced, cheesy, or no insta-love, then I don’t generally have a problem with them. With Masque of Red Death, it was mild. It didn’t detract from the story, and I actually liked both guys that Araby had an interest in. Though, I believe I would have to say I like Elliot best. He just had the spunk I liked. Ms. Griffin is a well-crafted writer and built an astoundingly believable world for readers to experience. The reading experience was a little creepy at times, but that’s what I really enjoyed. I think audiences that are fans of paranormal, dystopian, and steampunk will love this book.