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.
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 »Psychic vampires that run a rave. Yeah. « Hide 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.