Published by Amulet Books on A.G. Howard
Genres: Paranormal, Romantic, YA Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to prostitution, child prostitution, oblique references to sex
Reviewed by: Kate
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, for lack of a better word, a bit weird. Billed as a young adult retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, it reads more like a sequel to its inspiration, rather than a retelling. Dark and mysterious, ROSEBLOOD has a lot going for it, but it just didn't live up to what I felt it could have been.
One thing that is important to me when I read is the cast of characters of the book. Unfortunately, the characters of ROSEBLOOD never felt more than one-dimensional, and all could easily fit into a nice little box - none were very complex, save one adult who mostly just went from heartbroken to scary.
The magic in ROSEBLOOD felt almost like an afterthought, like halfway through the book the author decided they needed a reason for something and added it in. What I felt was "the big reveal" was casually remarked upon and then not explored much further.
As the original phantom is a character in ROSEBLOOD, but the main characters are two teenagers, like I mentioned, it reads more like a continuation of the original Phantom of the Opera story, which could have been quite cool, but ended up failing in a few major ways. The ideas were creative, and the story well written, but the characters fell flat and the mythology just wasn't developed enough. If you liked the original Phantom of the Opera, you might like ROSEBLOOD out of curiosity, but I wouldn't recommend it for everybody.Series Titles:
- For more musical boarding school experiences, try STRANGE SWEET SONG by Adi Rule.