Age Group: YA
Desire is contagious
A devastating plague has decimated thepopulation, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them. So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club, Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Both have secrets. Everyone does. And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
As an avid lover of the Edgar Allen Poe's work, I was a little leery about reading this book. I was almost afraid to read it out of fear I would hate it, but in the end, my curiosity won out and I bit the bullet, and I must say I am so glad that I did. It was a very entertaining read.
I found the world to be the most intriguing part of this book. It had an interesting mix of futuristic, dystopian, and historical elements which gave it a steampunk feel that I rather enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed the historical elements because it helped tie into Poe's original story. The author also did a good job of world-building; not too much not too little. And it seems that what wasn't answered in this book is going to be answered in the next one. One aspect of the book that I really liked was how well the author touched on disparity in the treatment of the rich and the poor. The author was not afraid to show the harsh lives of the poor and did not sugar coat their maltreatment.
While, not a negative to the book, I do wish that the author would have gone into a little more depth about the masks. I really would like to understand more about the mechanics of the masks, not just how they look and that their function is to keep them from getting the weeping sickness.
The thing I loved most about this book was the love interests, yes it had a love triangle and I actually liked it. I normally hate love triangles, as I find them overdone and cheesy, however, this book is a circumstance of a love triangle being done right. Both of the love interests were likable but not perfect and it wasn't obvious as to who she is going to choose, and it was not the forefront of the book but was more of a subplot.
I do feel that it's important to caution some readers about themes within the novel. There is quite a bit of recreational drug use as well as themes of abuse, torture, general violence, and neglect. I personally do not mind these themes as they fit well into the story and give the story more depth, however, these themes may make the novel unsuitable for some readers.
I think that overall if you as a reader understand that there are graphic themes throughout the novel and are okay with that then this would be a great read for you. It has so much going for it, romance, betrayal, danger, and it a duology so there is little commitment involved which is always a plus.
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