Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Love the idea: a plague has devastated what I think is New Orleans, killing the majority of the population and forcing the ones who remain to either stay indoors or use a porcelain mask to breathe the air. Araby is the daughter of the man who has invented the masks and thus is relatively privileged, venturing out at night in corsets, short skirts and glitter make-up to the Debauchery Club. She lives with the memory of the death of her brother Finn, having pledged to not experience things he could never now experience.
The problems are that there's an obvious love triangle (although there is a final twist that did surprise me), the identity of the rebel leader was predictable, as were some of the other plot points. Prince Prospero's menace was more stereotyped than real, sadly, and it isn't until the very end that we see the emergence of the Red Death - leading me to suspect we'll be seeing a sequel. I did like the vague steampunk vibe, and if there is a sequel that would be interesting to explore.
ARC provided by publisher.