Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

February 14, 2017 Review 18 ★★

Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Abrams
Source: Publisher
Pages: 432
Release Date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Adaptations, Europe, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, General, People & Places, Young Adult Fiction
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 received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Like many others, I was absolutely stoked for this book. Unfortunately, I found myself somewhat disappointed by A.G. Howard’s latest retelling, ROSEBLOOD. The Phantom of the Opera is a favorite story of mine but this version was filled with cliches. It had big plans plans but a not-so-great execution.

We are immediately introduced to the heroine, Rune, who is being sent off to a boarding school in France (which would be a dream for some of us) that has ties to the Gaston Leroux novel (which is already kind of meta) but of course doesn’t want to be there (which is a similar plot to many other YA books). We also learn she has a special power that makes her stand out and be disliked by the other characters e.g. the “mean girls.”

On the first day before she even gets out of the car on the way there, she sees a mysterious man that she is automatically intrigued by. Of course, this will be the love interest that the rest of the story pretty much revolves around and it can pretty much be defined as insta-love, but don’t worry – it’s justified because these two are soulmates that have been dreaming out each other for their entire lives.

From there, it just gets sort of … odd. The explanations for everything that is going on with Rune and behind the scenes with the other characters are fairly farfetched. View Spoiler » At that point, getting through the rest of the book was a serious challenge, which is sad considering how much I adored the author’s other series SPLINTERED.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.2

18 Responses to “Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard”

  1. Sarah J.

    It’s sad to see that this one isn’t becoming well-loved. I will admit when I first read the synopsis I was interested in this one, but since seeing the negative reviews pour in I have lost interest. Sorry this one let you down! Hopefully there will one day be an amazing Phantom retelling!
    Sarah J. recently posted…Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

    • Alise

      Same here, I was pretty excited because it was a retelling of a story I loved but man, it wasn’t even really close. Hopefully! :)

  2. Tasya

    I’m so sorry it doesn’t work! I love Splintered and Phantom of the Opera, so I’m so excited for this one, but after reading your review (it sounds horrible, like generic YA book) maybe I should just skip it…
    Tasya recently posted…The Book Courtship Tag

  3. Ali

    LOLLLLL omg I’m so glad I DNF’d this and never got to the psychic vampires running a rave bit. I’m DYING. That book was so effing weird and disjointed, and it’s really too bad, because I was so looking forward to it!
    Ali recently posted…Seven Favorite Love Stories

  4. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter

    I haven’t seen too many positive reviews for this one yet. I was really excited originally when I heard about it, but maybe I’ll just skip it. lol! I never read the Splintered series but I do love Phantom of the Opera. I’m not big on insta-love or overly cliche themes tho. Bummer! Great review!
    Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter recently posted…Review: Wolfsong by TJ Klune

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I haven’t read Splintered yet (though I own a copy) but from the reviews I’ve read, you’re not alone in being let down with it – especially compared to Splintered. I will officially be skipping this one…it’s a shame though because it had a lot of potential. Great review nonetheless^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: The Eternity Code

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