Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
Cover Thoughts: This very much like her other series Splintered. I like it a lot, it eludes to what the book is about which is a Phantom of the Opera retelling. I like the contrast in colors the soft dark blues/blacks with the whites and red.
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.
I next to never feel guilty about writing a review on a book I didn’t like. But with this one I do. I wanted to love this book so much, I REALLY enjoyed Splintered and so I had such high hopes for this one especially since it was a YA retelling of The Phantom of the Opera.
I may very well be a minority when it comes to my thoughts on this book. It’s not all bad I promise, so let’s get too it.
I think Howard is a great writer, I think she really knows how to twist and turn a story to completely make it her own and a story that is unique.
The main character is not the phantom, it’s Rune who is very much the Christine we want her to be or are familiar with when it comes to the musical. She is musically inclined with curly hair! HA! However she has an ability that has almost become a curse. Once she hears music she must sing otherwise she literally becomes physically ill. She has no idea where this gift/curse came from or why she has it. So after a tragedy hits someone in Runes life she is transferred to a musical private school. As a character I had a hard time connecting with her, there wasn’t really anything wrong with her I just couldn’t connect.
I had a hard time getting into the story and it took me HALF THE BOOK to finally be like…okay now I’m feelin’ it! The writing constantly flipped back and forth between past and present and switching points of view in the story telling as Howard tried to give us a 360 view of each important character. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that in general but for this I just wanted to MOVE ON with the story.
The ONE person that kept me going was…Thorn. His tragic past and how he came to be, his creepy/gothic self was interesting and I found myself catching onto the story because of him.
There were also many other side characters that are involved that help make this retelling completely the author’s own which was fun.
Overall: I think many will find this one very much that suernatural/gothic read that Howard does so well at from her other books.