Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: Masque of the Red Death

TITLE: Masque of the Red Death
AUTHOR: Bethany Griffin
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: In a world where a disease is slowly killing everyone, a girl joins a rebellion...
MY REVIEW: This is one of those books that I think had a good concept and good writing but unfortunately didn't really have a good story. It is what I call the Star Wars conundrum: a fully realized awesome looking world that you want to spend time in...but a rather cliche story. However this was written with less self-awareness then even Star Wars.
For those that don't know this world is based off a short story of Poe's called The Masque of the Red Death which is one of the eeriest short stories I've ever read only rivaled by his other story The Tell Tale Heart. Griffin does do a great job in taking this short story and expanding on it. Unfortunately she does it while writing around so many YA cliches that it winds up being a rather boring book. It doesn't help that the characters are pretty one-dimensional cookie cutter characters who I have a hard time liking. I found the main character especially whiny and emo and it just wound up being dull despite the great idea of the world itself.
This is just another example of why you should work on both writing and story at the same time. If readers have a difficult time liking any of your characters or the plot then what is the point of making a great setting? I do think Griffin has promise for sure because like I mentioned, her writing is very nice. She just needs to work on her story telling skill.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Poe's Masque of the Red Death, dystopian fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five steampunk zombies

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