Masque Of The Red Death, Bethany Griffin's sophomore novel, is a must-read. Fans of the original Edgar Allan Poe story will love revisiting it in this reimagining and those who haven't read the original will be dying to check it out after reading this one.Masque Of The Red Death is set in a city surrounded by swamps that is described as a present-day New Orleans mixed with a turn of the last century Paris. This city has deteriorated since a plague killed more than half the population. Now it is split between the rich, who can afford masks, and the poor, those who can't. The corpse collectors comb the streets daily collecting bodies of the poor who were infected and killed by the plague. The setting is bleak and dreary and shows very little hope. It sets the mood for the whole book.Araby is a bit of a depressing character. There are very few times when she is happy and she always punishes herself for her happiness. However, she is very courageous, smart, and kind-hearted. She can be too trusting but she does learn from her mistakes. There are very few things not to like about her. Her best friend, April, is a very big mystery throughout the book but she is brave and she is a good friend to Araby. April's brother, Elliot, is even more of a mystery. He is sneaky and completely untrustworthy, but he is also vulnerable, lost, and loving, at times. Will is wonderful. He is sweet, kind, caring, and sexy. He does however make some very big mistakes. Prince Prospero and Reverend Malcontent are bother crazed leaders. They only care about themselves and everything they do destroys the city more. The cast of characters really is a very flawed group but still totally wonderful.Overall, Masque Of The Red Death is a wonderfully twisted story that captivates you from the first page to the last. The sequel is one of my most highly anticipated books.