Roseblood by A.G. Howard
If you didn’t see this coming, then you surely aren’t a Phantom of the Opera fan. You can’t have a book about the iconic play/movie/book/phenomenon and not have the desire to break out into the songs. This Book Princess continuously got “All I Ask of You” stuck in her head every time she picked up the book, which drove her insane because she couldn’t remember all the words properly, so she kept having to set her book down to look them up…then falling into the Phantom of the Opera vortex.
Anyway, my Phantom of the Opera love has only started recently…actually, just this past year. My grandma has always been obsessed with it, and I was mostly eh about it until I heard the haunting, beautiful music being played in the car one day and knew I had to get into it. Then started my Phantom descent, and when I heard about this retelling, I couldn’t stop squealing.
So, let’s go to Goodreads to tell more about this Phantom retelling:
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.
Let me start off saying that I’ve heard mixed reactions to Howard’s writing. Going into this story, I was a bit scared to see what I was going to get…the good…or the bad. I have to say that I was completely relieved to see it was clearly the good. Howard definitely has talent as a writing, and she has a beautiful tone and imagery to her writing. She had the perfect tone to tell this gothic, haunting retelling.I did love her writing style – that’s for sure.
What I loved most about this story is was the originality but also the nods to the original Opera story. Howard combined important elements from the original story, and all the little secret things she would add had me squealing with delight over how she creatively added them in. I also liked the new elements that she added – although a few of the ending plot twists were…um, a little insane and could have not been used and I would have been just fine. But other than that, I was super impressed by how Howard took the original story and made it something wholly unique and beautifully crafted and researched.
The characterization was nice as well. I actually liked Thorn a bit more than I liked Rune, but both of them were pretty good main characters. Some of the supporting characters were a bit shallowly developed, and some of them kind of got thrown to the wayside as the story continued. I did feel like Erik did have the angst and complexity to be an accurate Phantom, but I did wish there was a bit more of him in the novel and more angst from my little troublemaker.
The romance was interesting. I thought it was okay. It didn’t give me super feels, but I did enjoy Rune and Thorn together enough to be behind it. It was kind of instalovey, but I bought the explanation enough to ignore it. 😄 The only thing that was kind of missing for me was the Raoul. Rune was the Christine and Thorn was the Phantom…so where was the Raoul? I’m so conflicted whether or not to cheer for the lack of the love triangle or protest because there was no Raoul figure to complete the retelling element. I thought Jackson was supposed to be him for a while, but…nope. 😄
There were some cliche elements and some insane ones, but there were also a lot of creative and beautiful ones. I didn’t fully understand the supernatural elements, and I kept trying to figure out if the two terms that were being used to describe Rune were, indeed, the same thing. And the whole major plot twist reveal at the end just left me blinking at the end because it was so twisty that I’m not even sure it fit. 😄 So…there was that.
Overall, though, I did very much enjoy this book. Rune and Thorn were good main characters, and I think what sold me in this book was the creativity and atmosphere of the book. I lovedddd the setting of the opera house, and each new addition to the setting and the flashbacks and more had me in love. It was what kept me reading and excited. However, there were a few issues, but I kind of just ignored them because I was too busy squealing over the fact that there was, indeed, a book about the Phantom of the Opera. That could have totally colored any faults that there was in this book for me. 😄
An Ariel and four crown rating for this book!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you read it? Can we just fangirl and fanboy over the Phantom of the Opera? Are there things that you will just ignore in a book if you’re too busy freaking about the idea of a book?