Author: Bethany Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: 4th April 2013
Rating: 3.5 stars
Available from: The Book Depository Amazon AU
Source: Own purchase
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.
Dance of the Red Death is the conclusion to Bethany Griffins Masque of the Red Death duology. I really loved the first book, but reading book 2, I felt the atmosphere of this book was lacking and it was missing the spark that had made me love Masque. The first half of the book seemed to drag by, with not a lot happening. There is a new plague that is sweeping through the city called The Red Death. It kills quickly and has left much of the city and water supply contaminated. Everything points to Araby's father being the one to create it and Araby can't comprehend the father she loves could be the murderer everyone is branding him. The pace doesn't really pick up until the last 50 or so pages and is where it gets interesting.
Araby has carried around a very haunted and depressed persona through book one and mostly through book 2. For the most part she is quite useless, but in the latter half of the book she does become more engaging and feels more alive. It takes her a while, but she does realise that she doesn't need anyone to save her and actually goes about doing things that need to be done. It was a nice change to see her taking action and thinking for herself; even though it wasn't always the smartest option.
I'm not a huge fan of love triangles, and really didn't enjoy the was the Elliot, Araby, Will triangle played out. I understand why, but Araby and Elliot together annoyed me. It felt like she was using him to wash away Will's betrayal, and even though Elliot had genuine feelings for her, they were taken over by the fact that he could use her to help his cause. He was more interested in her as the scientists daughter. It was almost like a tug-of-war between them.
Elliot is the leader of the rebellion. He is trying to overthrow his uncle Prince Prospero, the tyrant who rules them. Elliot is a very charismatic character, but there is a dark side to him thanks to growing up under his Uncle's tutelage. He was the most driven out of all the characters, full of passion and ambition. He is incredibly smart and knows exaclty what he needs to do to save the city from his uncle. Even though I didn't like him and Araby together, I loved him as a character. He has the will to get things done.
For the most part, Will is just along for the ride and is trying to atone for his betrayal of Araby. He does what needs to be done and is willing to sacrifice himself if it will help. He's kind of pushed to the back during most of the book and I really missed his character. In book one he was cheeky and flirtatious, but he becomes quite withdrawn in book two. Most of what he does seems to be behind the scenes.
Dance of the Red Death is full of drama, adventure, romance and death. Bethany Griffin has created a beautiful and haunting world. It's hard not to become immersed in the death and destruction she has created. If you're looking for a flawed heroine, Araby's story is definitely for you. I think it was a fitting end to their story.