Author: A.G. Howard
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
A.G. Howard won my heart a few years ago with her debut novel, Splintered, and I still need to finish the series. But when I heard she had a new book coming out, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera, I just knew that I had to get my hands on it. It's been sitting in my library stack for a few weeks now, and it had some holds on it, so I pushed it up my stack. I'd been looking forward to it, and I really wanted to love it. It wasn't terrible, but it definitely wasn't a knock out of the park, either.
Rune Germain has been sent away to the mysterious French boarding school, RoseBlood, not far away from Paris, to nurture her voice talents. But she is hiding a dark, deadly secret: Using her voice makes her ill, and somehow she manages to enchant everyone in spite of it. Upon her arrival, she begins to dig deeper into the boarding school, as well as the chilling legend that inspired it: The Phantom of the Opera. Drawn into a web of lies, intrigue, and dark magic, she discovers that love may be in her reach, if it doesn't cost her her life...
As I said, RoseBlood has given me a lot of mixed feelings. I liked some parts of the book, while others really fell short. I liked that the novel was inspired by a legend that has fascinated me; honestly, that was part of the draw to it. I also like most of the way that the original story was interwoven into the narrative. The prose was beautiful and poetic, per Howard's signature. I loved the romance and the intrigue; it really added to the creepy gothic feel of the novel, and the school itself. I even liked Rune, and the way that a common paranormal trope was given a unique, sexy spin.
But there were parts of the plot that didn't make sense to me, and I was more confused and skeptical as the book went on. That was a huge part of the reason why I didn't love this book. I wanted to love it all, but at times, it was hard to follow and understand. Still, it wasn't a complete loss; I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't perfect. The bottom line: The first book published in this year that I've read, RoseBlood is a lush, romantic retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, but it wasn't perfect. Next on deck: My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry!