My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I have to say that I am disappointed I did not like this. The idea of a ‘Phantom of the Opera inspired retelling was such an attractive idea, but when it came time to actually read this book, it fell flat for me.
RoseBlood is about Rune Germain, an American girl with an amazing singing voice (though it always left her feeling physically drained and ill), ends up going to an exclusive boarding school for the arts in France, which is originally where her late father was from.
Not long after arriving at the school (called RoseBlood and rumored to have ties to ‘The Phantom of the Opera‘ story), Rune begins to experience strange things, including seeing a masked person who comes and goes like a ghost.
Then we finally have Rune’s secretive friendship with Thorn, a boy who does not go to her school, but appears to know everything about it, including its hidden details…and there’s the fact that with Thorn’s musical guidance, Rune appears to be able to sing without injury to herself…
But, though Thorn may be falling for Rune, there is still the very real Phantom haunting the school, and he wants Rune for his own dark reasons, and Thorn may end up having to give her up.
I have to give props to A.G. Howard, for taking such a beloved story and making it her own – making it fresh – but I just didn’t care for Rune and Thorn. Rune as a character just never quite connected with me, and so that only left me easily annoyed by everything she did. I couldn’t bring myself to feel any empathy towards her and her situation, and I couldn’t help but find her stupid when she so easily likened herself to Gaston Leroux‘s Christine, and thus met up with Thorn (like the Phantom in her eyes) at night, in secret, to help her with her singing.
Actually, maybe she’s not quite so stupid as she is naive?
Depends on how you want to look at it.
Now when it comes to Thorn, I felt a wee bit more empathy for him because of where he’d come from and what he’d had to survive, but he just didn’t appeal to me in the sense of being our substitute Phantom. He did have his dark past, as well as the darkness that even now surrounds him, but there seems to be something missing. I’m not sure what, honestly, but it’s enough to make me be not quite that interested in him.
Another thing I have to point out, is that the storyline itself never seemed to build up to anything. The dramatics weren’t dramatic enough, and then when you’re expecting something big and climactic as you’re coming up on the end of the book, it’s like ‘oh, that’s where we’re going with this?’ and the then it’s a little blah, blah, blah, and then the book is over.
I’m beginning to think I may actually have to downgrade my overly generous three-star rating, considering the way this review is going…
As for whether or not I recommend it? I can’t personally do so, but to each their own.