Author: A. G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet, ABRAMS
Date: January 10th, 2017
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review
Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.
About our buddy read
I read Roseblood with Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
Her review should be live at the same time as mine, so make sure to visit her blog and read her review.
We both composed three questions for each other, and you can read my questions here on my blog (with our answers) and hers on her blog.
1. Have you seen/read Phantom of the Opera before you started this book?
Jasmine: I have seen a movie Phantom of the Opera and I liked it. I saw it a long time ago so my memory is sketchy. It’s cool that this book reference a lot about music, but the story just doesn’t grab my attention.
Irena: I saw Phantom of the Opera movie and I really, really liked it. It has been a while since the last time I saw it and now I think it would have been a good idea if I saw it once more before reading the book.
2. What do you think about the world building?
Jasmine: The world building could be interesting if all of the remaining 25% of the book can be spread out to the first 75% of the book. It has potential to be interesting.
Irena: The world building was done pretty confusing. I honestly think that it could have been done better, maybe if more things were explained at the first third of the book.
3. What part of the book do you find the most interesting?
Jasmine: I find the remaining 25% of the book interesting, but at the same time, it becomes too much information because everything is being revealed at once.
Irena: The legend about Phantom was the most interesting part of the story. I read it twice because I didn’t want to miss anything.
I rarely feel guilty about writing my reviews, but this one is one of those rare cases when I do.
Because I was so excited for Roseblood. I even sent my review request to the publishing house Amulet Books, and, since so many book bloggers wanted to read this book, I know how privileged I am to have recieved a physical proof copy.
You can probably guess that my expectations for this novel were high. I read Howard’s Splintered and really enjoyed it, so when I found out about her retelling of Phantom of the Opera, one of the best musicals out there (which is based on the book I haven’t read), I was so excited. Roseblood quickly became one of my most anticipated new releases.
I am sad to say that this book wasn’t the best book I read this year. It wasn’t as excellent as I wanted for it to be. It was just good. And that is it. I can’t even say I loved it, I can only say that I loved some parts of it (like amazingly described images) and the rest I found to be confusing, boring or mediocre.
The story follows Rune who transfers to new school after a tragedy that happened.
On the very few pages we already can read one of tropes in ya fiction: a new girl finds herself opposite a school diva and becomes her rival.
I don’t mind tropes, they are tropes for a reason after all, and it is on the author how the certain story will develop, and how he/she is going to approach to a situation that most readers have already read about in some other story.
The reason why I’m mentioning it here is simply because I wanted to tell you that in that certain situation, I found myself on Kat‘s (school diva) side.
Rune was hard to connect with.
In whole honesty, it was really hard for me to connect with any of characters. Thorn was too mysterious at first (although as we get to know his story the whole book becomes so much better).
Side characters were intersting, but weren’t explored enough. Rune said she was friends with them, but we got to see them so rarely that when Rune was worried about their friendship, I couldn’t be concered. I just didn’t feel it.
The story itself is very confusing and it takes 150 pages for the story to become somewhat interesting.
150 pages is simply too long, and because I was confused most of the time troughout the whole book, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m confused because I simply don’t understand the story (because English is not my first language, or maybe my brain cells just don’t work fast enough), or maybe the writer didn’t describe the world in a way to bring it closer to the reader, to make reader understand it better…
Also, I didn’t like how succubus/incubus thing was replaced with the word vampire at times, when these are two (or three if you want) words that mean totally different creatures, so there was no need to add more confusion to already confusing story.
My favorite book character was Diable. He was the ghost cat. Smart little guy! The way author described him made me imagine him as devon rex, so now I wonder what kind of cat breed was he.
The best part of the story is Legend about Phantom. I read it couple of times just to observe everything.
Last 80 pages are the most interesting and where everything starts to make sense.
I feel like, if I ever decide to reread Roseblood, I would enjoy it more.
I am still debating whether I would reread it, because it took me forever to finish it the first time around.