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 chose this book not only because of the beautiful cover, or because it has a red spine (part of my popsugar challenge) but because it is a Phantom of the Opera retelling and that is my favorite musical of all time. Also, pretty much no one does this particular retelling.
I have never read anything by this author before. Her other series has an Alice in Wonderland theme and I don't really care for that story, though the covers on those books are great too.
This book is getting two stars instead of one because some of the writing was down right beautiful. The other edge of that sword is that some of the writing had so much purple prose, so many adjectives that the descriptions loss all meaning and simply became a jumble of words that no longer brought a picture to my mind. It's too descriptive when the reader starts to skim.
The MC, Rune ( and of lord that fucking name, give me a break) is s Mary Sue, Special Snowflake. Her voice is an otherworldly gift that she didn't need to practice to obtain. However it's also an addiction, if she doesn't sing the song bursts from her whether she wants it to or not and after she gives in it makes her sick. Rune complains through most of the book and is that character who is not only a great singer but a talented seamstress and everyone wants to be her friend. Another trope? Hmmm how bout her uber tragic dad dying back story? The only trope this novel didn't have was a love triangle.
The love interest is Thorn ( another awful name) who is the Phantom's son. Not surprising as the actual Phantom of the Opera could not have been, he would be far too old. This kid has the self loathing thing down pat. He's a handsome guy who wears a mask just like his adopted dad and loves animals.
Speaking of animals the best character in this book was the grumpy cat Diable. I could have read a short novella simply from his POV. The second best character was Sunny the instant BFF of Rune. Who, while funny and interesting, was the sidekick you see in these kinds of novels example: House of Night. She's a talented pretty, funny, sarcastic hick who gets our MC from the get go and vows to defend her against bullies.
I guess I didn't expect this to be such a on the nose retelling. I didn't expect that Phantom and Christine would be actual characters. I figured the same story but with all new people, in a new place, you know...a retelling. This feels more like someone's fan fic sequel.
I also got the "catch" pretty early on and was VERY disappointed, but I won't spoil it for you. It is obvious, stupid and quite frankly with the Count St. Germaine connection- just a mess.
The first few charpters and some of the bits at the end are pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend this, re read it.