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Dance of the Red Death

Dance of the Red Death - Bethany Griffin I'm conflicted on this one.Dance of the Red Death is one of those books I feel like I have been waiting on forever and imagine my excitement when this was up on Edelweisse. I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed with this one which has me very conflicted because I love Araby’s story and loved Masque of the Red Death.Let me start with what I loved:• The writing – I thought Griffin did a wonderful job and brought the story to life. Most of the highlighting I did was because of the words and descriptions more than the actual situation.• The characters - Araby, Will, Elliott, Kent, and Alice – I enjoyed them all and actually wanted more of all of them.Here is where people may (or may not) get mad at me – I will do my best not to give anything away. What I didn't enjoy as much:• The last 1/3 of the book – it felt very rushed and the pacing was off. The beginning of the book in comparison seems slow (in my head now that I think back to how it all flowed).• I have more questions – the end did not give me answers to everything. There were some answers but I thought some critical pieces were missing.• The showdown between Prospero and Elliott/Araby as well as Araby’s challenge during the ball. It all seemed rushed and anti-climactic.• I thought April got shafted…that is all I will say.Based on this review you might think I didn't enjoy this – that’s not really true. I liked the story and still like that this focuses on the plague. Overall I wish that this had been paced a bit differently and perhaps instead of focusing on Araby trying to find her father or saving other people, perhaps (in my humble opinion) it would have been better to focus more on the actual fight between Elliott, Prospero, and Malcontent. I would have also liked to see more about how the plague was going to be eliminated and now you see why I didn't get all the answers I wanted. Again, just my opinion but I wanted to love this one like I loved the first book and I kind of didn't. Thank you to the publisher for the eARC.