Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Monday, January 9, 2017

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 432

Summary (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.

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

RoseBlood is a fascinating modern day retelling of the Phantom of the Opera with a paranormal twist. After getting into some trouble at home, Rune Germain is sent to a French arts conservatory. Rune has a gift for opera music even though her performances leave her drained and physically exhausted. It's her mother's hope that by sending her to RoseBlood, Rune will overcome her "stage fright".

RoseBlood has a little bit of a thriller/mystery feeling to it. The school is renovated from the opera house that was said to be the original stomping grounds of the Phantom of the Opera from the stories. When Rune arrives at the school, she sees a masked man in Victorian era clothing, hears things in the vents, and sees figures behind the mirrored walls of the school. Is the Phantom still lurking about the opera house? On top of all that, someone is also playing pranks on Rune.

Rune is obviously the main character. I really enjoyed her as a character. She's kind, brave, talented, selfless. She has a bit of a sad backstory. She's still dealing with the loss of her father from a relatively young age as well as the aftermath of when her grandmother came to stay with her and her mom afterward. After arriving at the school, she wants to learn more about herself and her family's history to perhaps learn more about her gift.

The only thing that really bothered me about Rune is that she acts like she doesn't even know how to have friends. At one point she is trying to help one of her friends, but goes about it in what I felt was a really dumb way. She says something mean to like push her friends away and make them not like her or something and I'm not entirely sure why that was something that she needed to do to accomplish her goal.

Other than that, I really liked Rune. She was fun to read about.

The other main character and the other point of view of the book is Thorn. He is probably my favorite character in this book. He's swoony, sweet, caring, and brave. He has a super sad backstory and generally hasn't had a wonderful life. But he is a very interesting character and just because of Thorn I wish this book wasn't a stand alone. I want more of him.

Obviously the Phantom is a character in this book as well. All I really want to say about him is that he has a sweet, nurturing side as well as a more sinister side. I feel like I'll say too much if I say more than that. You'll just have to read the book if you want to know more about him. And you should want to know more.

Okay, so even though this book takes place in a school, it isn't really about Rune's school experience. It's about her exploring her family's past and learning about the Phantom and how all of it affects her and her gift. I say this because I feel like a lot of characters in this book are irrelevant.

When she arrives at the school, Rune doesn't even really want to make friends. But she ends up making four. But I don't feel like they add anything to the story or really even help Rune grow as a character? I'm not saying she should have been a friendless loser or anything, but I don't feel like the friends needed to be so... present? And that is not only because I thought they were annoying!

She also promptly makes two rivals. And I just don't feel like they're relevant enough to be mentioned as much as they are.

That's probably the biggest thing about this book that bothered me. But it's definitely a me thing.

I loved the romance in this book. Thorn and Rune are a really good couple. They have a really interesting history. I wish that there had been MORE of the romance, but I loved the slow burn of what there was. There is no love triangle in this book, which is good because it's a stand alone and there wouldn't be nearly enough of this cute romance if it was.

There is also talk of human-trafficking in this book. So if that's something that bothers you, maybe you would want to skip this book? I mean, it's not nitty gritty details or anything, but like you know what they're talking about.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you like dark retellings, mystery/thrillers, horror, the Phantom of the Opera, or paranormal stories, you will definitely like this book!


  1. This just looks amazing, and great review! Glad you enjoyed it :) I need to read this!

    1. It is really amazing! It had a twist that I found super odd, but I still enjoyed it. I hope that you get the chance to read it soon!


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