Reviews for Dance of the Red Death


Booklist Reviews 2013 December #1
In the sequel to Griffin's riff on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," Araby Worth continues her fight against both the contagion and the Red Death. Confused and grief stricken, she attempts to come to grips with the knowledge that her father may have introduced the Red Death, that her best friend is dying, and that she is unable to reconcile her feelings for the two men she thinks she loves. Again, the contrasting opulence and poverty, love and betrayal, violence and gentleness are difficult for both Araby and the reader to resolve, and readers would do well to start with the first book (Masque of the Red Death, 2012). Araby's gradual evolution into the city's heroine, however, is a satisfying conclusion to a disturbing, intriguing saga. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Things are no better than in The Masque of the Red Death for Araby and the devastated world around her, as most humans are dying of plague and untended buildings collapse. Betrayal, romance, death, and extravagance form unlikely but intriguing dance partners, and Araby, desperately pretending at indifference while her heart crumbles daily, is a gripping central force.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October

Gr 9 Up--This retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic story begins exactly where Masque of the Red Death (HarperCollins, 2012) left off. Araby, Elliot, and Will have fled the contaminated city in a steam-powered airship. The weeping sickness that decimated much of the population continues to spread, though it is now accompanied by a new, more deadly plague, the Red Death. With Araby's best friend beginning to show signs of the illness, the three are in a race against time to find a cure. Caught between affection for Will and Elliot, and haunted by her father's involvement with the prince (who played a hefty hand in the spread of the plague), Araby spends much of the novel determining whom to trust. In the end, she learns she must have faith in herself. This once-shallow, drug-addicted, party queen transforms into a strong, empowered rebel. Teens who have read Poe's story will be familiar with the ending as Araby returns to the prince's palace and enters a deadly game to determine the fate of the city. Griffin has successfully turned the short story into the type of YA saga that flies off the shelves. It is timely, well written, and quick paced. Steampunk fans are likely to appreciate the world of corsets, invention, and excess, so beautifully drawn in this novel. In addition to being a fantastic read, this two-part saga would serve as a great companion to classroom units on Poe.--Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR

[Page 122]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2013 October
At the conclusion of Masque of the Red Death (Greenwillow, 2012/VOYA April 2012), Araby, Elliott, and Will narrowly escaped their plague-ravaged city and the horrifying new disease called the Red Death. Now, in a desperate race to save lives, the three dare to return to their old haunt, the Debauchery Club, although each has a separate agenda. Devastated daughter Araby seeks her scientist father in hopes that he can provide a cure and help rescue her mother from the twisted Prince Prospero. Aspiring leader Elliott has all the charisma and political pedigree to leave a legacy, either tragic or triumphant. Compassionate helper Will wants to rebuild their community for the sake of his young brother and sister. Meanwhile, Araby's best friend, April, contracts the contagion, soldiers from opposing rebel groups sweep through the streets, and the zealot Malcontent promises a different kind of salvation. In a creepy climax, Prospero draws Araby into his castle, engaging her in a sinister game where a wrong move promises death in any one of its many forms. With a lifetime of losses shadowing her, Araby must overcome more than just the prince's obstacles to prevail over Prospero and death itself. The novel is a satisfying sequel that avoids the plotting pitfalls of a trilogy. From the ominous swamp to the modern skyscraper to the foreboding castle, the writing is strongest in regard to setting, which evokes the enthralling macabre of Edgar Allan Poe's greatest works. The love triangle unfortunately distracts from an otherwise compelling plot and undermines the attempt to characterize Araby as a strong female protagonist.--Joanna Lima 4Q 4P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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