I received this book for free from NetGalley, ABRAMS Kids in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
AUTHOR: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
PUBLICATION DATE: January 10th 2017
Source: NetGalley, ABRAMS Kids
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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.
RoseBlood is a modern spin-off of The Phantom of the Opera. The story is centered around Rune, a teenage girl with an extraordinary talent for opera. Rune is uprooted from her Texas home and sent to school in France, more specifically, a school that is housed in an old opera house that has ties to the Phantom of the Opera.
I thought RoseBlood was a pretty good read. It starts off a bit slow and Rune a little getting used to in the beginning, but overall I enjoyed reading her story. That being said, I feel like something is missing from it. It was a well-crafted novel, but there’s just this element that could have made it even better.
I really like the twist to the original story of The Phantom of the Opera. It was a really different and fresh take on an old story that incorporated its history as an explanation. But I felt like the plot was kind of unbalanced. In the beginning, it was a slow build and then things started to get more interesting in the middle of the novel. After that it was a really exciting read, only to end in a tacked on conclusion. The rest of the novel was full of descriptions and focused on Rune discovering things but at the end, the last chapter especially, it was just bam bam bam. It was like, okay no time left, just tell everyone instead of showing them.
The characters themselves were fun to read about. Their psychology and reasons for their actions is quite interesting once you solve the mystery of their backgrounds. The romance was interesting for another reason. You had your typical high school romances and then you had the concept of soul mates. I’m just going to stop there before I spoil anything.
I enjoyed reading RoseBlood. It was a refreshing take on The Phantom of the Opera and well written action with a shroud of mystery. But it was missing a spark that could have made it even better. For the most part I liked Rune and the romance, but felt like the plot was unbalanced and a little let down by the conclusion.