Masque of the Red Death - Bethany Griffin

I didn't connect with this book, which is too bad, as I really wanted to like it (especially its setting, and the links with Poe's original story). But in the end, it didn't work for me. Mostly I found the characters bland and not really consistent in their behaviour.

For instance, Araby spends half the novel or so wandering with her father's journal in her bag, and not once does she consider having a peek at it. And in a world where masks are presented as so important to stay healthy and not catch the deadly plague that killed half humanity, I thought too many people were actually rather quick to take off said masks for kisses, quick pecks on the cheek, etc.

(show spoiler)

As for the love triangle, since I didn't find the characters enjoyable, I admit I didn't care for it either.

Another problem for me was that events tended to follow each other a little too abruptly to my taste. I had to read back several times, wondering how the characters ended up being there or doing that. I kept feeling that I was missing something—that some parts were missing.

On the other hand, the world depicted in this story is indeed appealing—all the glitter of a despaired society trying to drown into drugs, nice clothes and parties, because facing the grim truth outside would be even more depressing. There's something compelling in that.