Review: RoseBlood

Posted January 10, 2017

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: RoseBlood RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Published by Abrams on 10th January 2017
Genres: YA, Retellings
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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 Phantom of the Opera retelling. Let me start by saying that although I’m familiar with the Phantom story, I’m by no means a ‘Phan’. However, the premise of this book captured my attention and I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC by the publisher.

Yes, this is the same A.G. Howard of the Splintered series. However, although I have the books on my shelves, I haven’t yet read them, so RoseBlood was my first encounter with A.G. Howard’s writing.

I must admit, I struggled with the opening quarter of the book. I felt it to be rather slow and it took me a while to become invested in the story.

However, once the ‘scene-setting’ element was over I definitely enjoyed the story more. Although, it was more Thorn that kept me reading than Rune.

Howard’s retelling of this story is creepy, mysterious and imaginative. She draws upon her research of the legend to inspire her story and the result is an interesting combination of High School tale and paranormal romance.

Howard’s writing is beautiful. Her descriptions are stunning and as a result this tale truly comes to life in the mind’s eye.

While I ended up enjoying this book and its concepts, I wasn’t crazy about it. Perhaps I went into it with overinflated expectations? When I did really start to get into the story, it ended! Personally, I felt the ending too abrupt – I didn’t feel satisfied by its content or pacing.

I realise this is a somewhat mixed review, but I *did* enjoy this, I just wasn’t blown away by it. I loved the gothic nature of it though – Howard absolutely captured that creepy, Gothic feel.

All in all, once the book gets going it’s a good read with interesting concepts and some intriguing characters. It’s Howard’s descriptive writing that I enjoyed most though – I felt as though I was actually in RoseBlood!