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“Roseblood” Could Use More Twists

March 7, 2017

A contemporary gothic fantasy inspired by The Phantom of the Opera, Roseblood by A.G. Howard, is the story of seventeen year old, Rune Germain, and her journey to discover who (or what) she is at a boarding school in France.
Right off the bat, the cover for this book is beautiful, both parts detailed and just plain pretty. Covers say a lot about the quality of a story; however this cover led me to believe that the story was going to be better than it actually was. While the cover art is beautiful an extremely well drawn, the book itself was only OK .
Howard’s writing style is adequate, the story flows and the descriptions are great; however when it comes to character writing and overall character interactions the writing comes off as a bit forced and simply unrelatable.
Let’s begin with the main character, Rune Germain, whose whole persona revolves around the fact that she has an amazing voice that she can’t control. Songs will play and she’ll have no choice but to sing along no matter how hard she tries and afterwards she’ll feel physically drained. She has little no no flaws and is not a relatable character, and as a result comes off as annoying and bland most of the time. The relationships she makes with people in the school all seem superficial and unrealistic, the friends themselves are only defined by two dimensional characteristics.
Don’t even get me started on the romantic interest, Thorn. His backstory is extremely unrealistic and his whole personality is just mysterious and brooding. Nearly every interaction between Rune and Thorn lacks genuine emotion and chemistry, the writing is so cringey that whenever they interacted in any romantic way, I would be skipping pages just so I wouldn’t have to read it.
While the story is severely lacking in character development and interaction, the plot and premise is really what carries the book. The plot itself is pretty well written and is rarely ever boring, the main idea is interesting and the author does do a good job of writing suspenseful and exciting scenes. Just the premise of having a modern paranormal twist on the Phantom of the Opera was enough to make the book enjoyable for me. I was obsessed with the movie when I was in first grade and rediscovered my love for it right before reading this book so I went in hyped for anything remotely related to the film.
As a book, the story is riddled with paranormal cliches, just one after another, with forgettable characters and a grandiose romance that has no actual emotional base or standing to it. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read and I had a fun time reading it. I would recommend this book, but I don’t applaud it for its profundity.

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