Published by Amulet Books on January 10, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Source: Book Subscription Box
Buy on Amazon
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.
Phantom of the Opera wasn’t the first musical that I saw in the theater, but it was the first one that I fell completely head-over-heels in love with. I’ve seen it performed live at least four times, watched the movie even more than that, and have gone through phases when the soundtrack was on repeat in my car. So obviously, I was excited when this turned out to be the selection in the January OwlCrate. I wanted to love it. Oh, how I wanted to love it.
Unfortunately, it ended up being one cliche after another. I love that the author wrote it because she was such a fan of the original story, but I couldn’t help feeling that it could’ve been so much more. Rune, our beautiful, talented (obviously without training) protagonist has been dreaming of Thorn (these names!) for several years. And the fact that he creeps around the tunnels and watches her doesn’t creep her out at all. I didn’t care for the way that the Phantom was portrayed, and the twist/reveal was just…weird.
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard felt more like a sequel than a retelling. I wish that I could’ve been swept away by a magical story about the Phantom, but I was mostly left shaking my head and rolling my eyes.
Enough about the book. Let’s take a look at the rest of the contents of the January OwlCrate. The theme was “Classic Remix” and it included several items. There was a cool book-shaped soap from TeaSoapBooks, with a scent inspired by The Secret Garden. I have a hard time actually using this sort of thing, but I think it’s really cute. There was also some mint tea from First Edition Tea Co. that was inspired by The Little Prince. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think the concept of this shop is unique, and it is completely run by one woman.
There were also some artsy items in the box. There was a beautiful watercolor bookmark with a quote from Slaughterhouse Five. This was designed by Lexy Olivia and was exclusive for the box. There are so many beautiful things in her Etsy shop! There was also a small calendar designed by Obvious State with art inspired by classic children’s stories, and a Phantom magnet designed by Sweet Sequels.
Despite the fact that I adore Phantom, this box wasn’t my favorite. The extras were nice, but there wasn’t one specific item that I just fell in love with. I would’ve loved to see a Phantom-themed tote bag or pouch, or even jewelry. And even though I didn’t love the book, I was happy to revisit one of my favorite stories. I was inspired to re-watch the movie, and I found out that both the original play and the sequel (the not-so-well-received Love Never Dies) are both coming to my local theater in the upcoming season. Now that is something to get excited about!