PUBLISHER: Amulet Books
DATE PUBLISHED: 10th January 2017
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.
At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.
Ok, so I have taken some time to fully contemplate my feelings about this book before writing this review. The first comment I have to make is about the writing. It was elaborate, flowery and at times intriguing. I had to take the time to read this novel and absorb all the information that was being presented. This sometimes led to the feeling that the plot was developing slowly.
The main appeal of this was that RoseBlood was a retelling of Phantom of the Opera and I absolutely love Phantom of the Opera. This book took the basic premise of the source material and turned it on its head. About midway through the novel the pieces of the puzzle began fitting together. This is the point when I felt this developed from a Retelling to a Paranormal / Urban Fantasy.
The characters were interesting. The development of Rune’s character as we discover why music affects her the way it does and what the connection was with the mysterious boy was intriguing. There was a menagerie of different characters all interacting within this novel and provided some interesting perspectives. The character of the Phantom was morally ambiguous. I was constantly questioning whether he was truly a bad guy or whether there were ulterior motives. The romance in this novel was complicated and intriguing with the angst surrounding the affects of the Phantom on the relationship between the two love interests.
Overall, this is a book that had me thinking about it long after the last page was finished. One element I particularly enjoyed was the treatment of music in this novel, it almost felt like its own entity. The writing had be taking this novel slowly and the pacing ebbed at times. I did enjoy this book, it just required my full attention to unravel what was happening at any given time.
Keep Calm and Read On,