5.19.2017

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard {Restless Reviews}

It's time for another Restless Review!


The book I'm about to discuss was possibly my most anticipated read of the year. I had been anxiously awaiting the moment that RoseBlood, by A.G. Howard, would fall into my hands. Did it live up to my self-created hype? Eh, not so much. Let's get into a little bit more detail...


"Guard your throats and hide your eyes. He's not dead, you fools. Legends never die."

In a nutshell...
RoseBlood is a retelling of Gaston Leroux's classic novel, Phantom of the Opera. In this version, we follow 17-year-old Rune Germain, who has a gorgeous voice, but for some unknown reason, falls ill every time she sings. In an attempt to cure Rune's singing sickness, her mom sends her to what is essentially an opera-centered boarding school, located in France. Questions are answered and an adventure begins as Rune meets the characters and learns the secrets of the school. 

Bad news first:
*Insert long, obnoxiously audible sigh here.* Initially, you should know that my love for Phantom of the Opera runs deep. The novel, the musical, the characters, the story-line...I couldn't love it any more than I already do. It's my favorite thing of life. And...maybe that's what ruined this book for me. If it were up to me (and it's not, but if it WERE), I would describe this book as more of a sequel than a retelling. I'm not going to say why, because that would be a bit of a spoiler. Let's just say, I didn't always appreciate the angle of the story. 

Howard also chose to go more of a paranormal/fantasty route with this book. You see, I like both paranormal and fantasy, but, I'm just not sure I liked those aspects combined with the mystery and amazingness that is Phantom. I found Rune to be a pretty obnoxious protagonist...she feigned this heir of "toughness," but really she was just naive. There was virtually no depth to the majority of the supporting characters, and portions of the dialogue were super, super cheesy. (And not in the funny way.)

Now for the good: 
I have one word for you: nostalgia. Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia. Howard did a really good job of creating the same creepy, yet beautiful atmosphere that Leroux created in Phantom. The descriptions of the opera house were wonderful, and even though the setting was present day, you still often felt like you were in a much older time in France. She was also great at adding pieces of the original Phantom story into her own writing, and then building on the ideas. For these reasons, I rated RoseBlood 3/5 stars. 

So...yay or nay? 
Sure. If you're a Phantom fan, I definitely think it's worth a comparison. If you're a fan of fantasy and paranormal aspects on classic stories, you may really enjoy it. If you check it out, let me know what you think! 

What is a book that you found yourself being overly critical of? Have you ever read a retelling of your favorite story? 
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