by Heather Webb
“He was bound to love you when, he heard you sing.” These words are from the lyrics to the song All I Ask of You, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera. And all I can think of as I write this review is that I was bound to love this book the minute I heard it was about Phantom of the Opera!
I have always been a fan of Phantom of the Opera. I read the original book, written by Gaston Leroux. I’ve seen the Broadway musical multiple times, memorized the music from the show, and even saw a few movie adaptations of the story over the years. Furthermore, my husband proposed to me on one of the nights that we saw Phantom together on Broadway, and we selected All I Ask of You as one of our wedding songs. So you could say that I am intimately familiar with, and a fan of, Phantom on all levels.
So I was both thrilled, and yet a bit weary, of reading this book. I was excited about the subject matter, but was hoping that it didn’t taint my view of Phantom in any way.
I absolutely loved this book! It stayed true to the original tone and essence of Phantom and the characters, while cleverly and creatively reimagining parts of the story. Is completely told from the perspective of Christine Daae, which already makes it unique. I loved imagining things from her perspective, and seeing her as not as a damsel in distress, but an independent, strong woman who is figuring out her way in the world.
If you love opera, Paris, historical fiction, Phantom, or fan fiction, you will absolutely love this novel. I happen to be a big fan of authors that grab onto fictional characters and then re-tell a story from their perspective. It is so unbelievably creative. And this particular retelling delivers in every way.