ARC Review: Roseblood by A.G. Howard10:00
Author: A.G. Howard
Published January 10th 2017 by Abrams Books
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.
A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
Unfortunately, this review is not going to be positive. I first read Howard's Splintered a few years ago, and wasn't a fan, but was hoping Roseblood would be better - it wasn't. Basically, I found the story long and boring, and, tbh, should've DNFed it and not wasted any more of my time.
Roseblood is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, one of my favourite musicals, with a twist. It's somewhat of a sequel, with the original phantom still playing a large part, but the main characters are Rune and Thorn. Rune arrives at Roseblood school, hoping she would manage to get over her affliction when it comes to operatic music, when, really, there's an ulterior motive for her being there. The Phantom has drawn her to the school, because he believes her to be a reincarnation of Christine, and he wants her. Thorn, the adopted son of the Phantom, has a central role to play in this, but he falls in love with Rune, for himself.
I'm sorry, but I can't really say anything positive for this book. The writing was confusing at times, and unnecessary at others. So much was drawn out, as if it would make it more dramatic, but it only made it tedious. You could see all the twists and turns a mile off. Nothing was exciting, and it would have saved me a lot of grief if I dropped the book when I had the chance.
The romance was cringy, and I didn't see the attraction between them. It was more forced than natural, and sometimes creepy. Rune was an awful MC, and I sometimes found myself wishing that the Phantom succeeded in his wish.
All in all, there was nothing I liked about this book, and I couldn't recommend this at all, without feeling bad. I don't think I'll read anymore of Howard's books in the future.