RoseBlood by AG Howard book review

Read our review of RoseBlood, the new novel from AG Howard

Having the voice of an angel is exhausting for Rune Germain, unable to complete a performance without winding up a wreck. A career on the stage is looking unlikely. To curb her stage fright, she is shipped off to the RoseBlood conservatory.

Already with an obsession for all things Phantom, Rune makes countless connections between the legendary Gaston Leroux novel Le Fantome De L’Opera and her spooky new school.

Told from alternating viewpoints, Roseblood gets off to a slow start – almost a quarter of the book passes before anything happens. Rune’s accounts are tiresome, pages of eloquent, romantic prose that loom like a dreary, endless fog. It is lifted by the shorter third-person chapters that introduce Thorn, puppet of the phantom.

The action kicks in when Rune attends an invitation-only rave. She makes a pivotal discovery about who she is and why the mysterious boy from the shadows has such an effect on her. From this point on, the tone changes entirely.

Howard has made a bold move in retelling such an iconic tale, but by targeting a YA audience and dealing with more current, adolescent issues, comparisons may not be considered as important, and images of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman are kept to a minimum.