*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first A.G. Howard novel and I can’t wait to read more! If you don’t already know, this is a Phantom of the Opera retelling and I had huge expectations for it. I was beyond excited since I absolutely love the original story and the huge role that music plays in it. The beginning of this story was immensely intriguing and my mind was soon making leaps into predictions. A.G. Howard showed us a unique twist on this classic love story and I basically loved every moment of it.
This book follows Rune, our heroine who is possessed by music in every definition of the word. Her upbringing was a bit unorthodox and I was invested in it right from the start. Her hardships were so unique; I’ve never read about a character who has such an intense and negative experience with music. I loved seeing her character development play out and it might just be one of my favorites. I also really liked her relationship with her mom and would have liked to see more of it. I also wished I had seen Rune’s friends more than we did, they were all so distinguishable and interesting that I couldn’t get enough.
Speaking of distinguishable character, Thorn, our evading male character, was S.E.X.Y and the most unforgettable one. JEEZ-us, that guy drove me off the wall with his attractiveness and his beautiful heart. Give me a man in a sexy mask any day and I will love you forever, but give me Thorn in a mask one day and I will die of bliss forever. His tragic childhood had me crying without mercy and my brother can vouch for me. I read most of this book in our living room and he was there as I broke into pieces. I couldn’t stop crying whenever they so much as mentioned his childhood, let alone when they went into detail.
The chemistry between these two was nothing short of INTENSE. It was off the charts and it made me seethe with jealousy, repeatedly. I had to take breaks in order for the temperature in my room to become bearable again. I was surprised my Kindle didn’t catch fire in my hands.
This book did have a slow start but that might have been the fact that I had a splitting headache for the first few days I tried reading it, which in turn made me focus on something else other than the story. Besides the ‘slow’ start, it did have an unrelenting dark tone from the very first word that had me yearning for more. The entire time that the Opera school was being described had me itching to explore it and become one with it.
I was a bit confused by a couple of things and was going to give this 6 stars but I had to hold back since the ending wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful just… not what I expected? I was proud of every character in this story by the end but I also wanted more drama than I was given.
I think the fact that I didn’t read this in one sitting enabled me to miss the story with a passion whenever I wasn’t near it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it in every second of the day and I was replaying the story in my mind for more. If I had read it all in one sitting, I don’t think I would have felt the same way about it as I do. All in all, I am in love with this world and I would most definitely recommend it to every one who loves Phantom of the Opera!