Roseblood by A.G. Howard

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3.2/5″Our children will go to boarding school in Europe….. nothing strange, weird, anomalous, unsual ever happens there.” – the overwhelming majority of fictional parents of tweens/teens in paranormal/fantasy novels

Roseblood is not so much a retelling of Phantom of the Opera but more an evolution of the story. A “What if” set in modern France. The author is very gifted, with an imagination that generates rich, unique scenarios that kept my interest. Her voice and choice of words was inspired. The red text on ecru pages, tangled rose vines on chapter pages, all created quite an illusion.
For the first half.
The second half of the book seemed rushed. When the big “reveal” happens, it is almost anticlimactic. While I am willing to over look the nod to contemporary paranormal labels, it did pop the illusion for me. And a subtle but identifiable folding in of several fairy tales didn’t help. By the main closing scene, there was a passivity to the voice that turned me right off. One of the main characters reveals everything that happened, not happens but “happened,” in a look back narrative.  
3.2/5
4 for reading it all the way through in one 24hr period
4 for narrative arc since the story was gracefully planned with several very good twists

4 for expanding my horizons since I found the back story to Phantom very intriguing (& the author does provide information on how she did her research and what liberties she took)

2 For humor/cleverness. I found the paranormal too mundane, the use of additional legends somewhat trite 

2 for voice because of the lack of consistency….. mostly in the very last pages. The beginning was very promising (the first 2/3 of the book would get a 4 if it had kept up) but it fizzled at the end in a hugely disappointing way.

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