Initial thoughts: 4 stars. What a dreary world - Red Plague, evil villains, airships, and hungry crocodiles. A bit of an annoying love triangle but enjoyable nonetheless.The Review: The world of Dance of the Red Death is a dark and depressing place. The city has been devastated by the Red Death. The dead are piled up everywhere, blocking the streets and neighborhoods. Those lucky enough to escape the city seek shelter at Prince Prospero’s palace. However, this refuge is subject to the whims of the despotic and often sadistic Prince. In the city, a group led by the Reverend Malcontent purposely spreads the disease. The lucky few wear porcelain masks to protect themselves from the dreaded contagion.Dance of the Red Death is the second book in Bethany Griffin’s series based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Masque of the Red Death. It’s not a retelling, it’s more of a rework and it works quite well. The book begins right where the last one left off and it is a quick paced, action-packed read, full of airships, crocodiles, and other assorted clockwork items.The heroine of this series is Araby Worth, the daughter of the infamous scientist Dr. Worth. Araby is a likable character; she is quite pragmatic and does whatever needs to be done in order to save her friends and to find a cure for the plague. In a world where those in power seem bent upon destruction, Araby stands out as someone who is looking to save her city.There is a love triangle in this series, though in this instance it didn’t seem to bother me. After all, Araby and Elliot were not really a couple – they were just needed to appear to be one. In fact, they kind of use each other. Personally, I’m Team Will and despite Araby’s anger towards Will, I kept hoping that she would choose him.Let’s talk about villains. Dance of the Red Death has two very evil villains, each at odds with the other. There’s the Prince Prospero, a sadistic despot with a taste for the macabre. Prospero’s idea of entertainment involves feeding young orphans to the hungry crocodiles in front of an audience. A truly evil man. One of my favorite parts of the book was the 7 tasks Prospero gave Araby to complete. So creepy! The other villain is the Reverend Malcontent, a man who uses religion to push his own agenda for control of the city. Malcontent and his cloaked followers spread the disease throughout the city.Dance of the Red Death was the perfect conclusion to the series. The book kept my attention. It was full of exciting chase sequences, nail biting suspense, snapping crocodiles, religious zealots, and even some swamp people. The world was richly detailed. If you haven’t had a chance to read this series, I recommend it. It’s a lot of fun to read.Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins/Greenwillow Books for a review copy of this book.Review posted on Badass Book Reviews.