Reviews

Phantom, by Susan Kay

gnomescottage's review

Go to review page

5.0

Phantom’s story begins with Erik’s birth to a very young and very beautiful girl named Madeleine. His mother lived a sheltered and happy life up until several months before his birth when both her parents and her husband died. Faced with the birth of a “monstrous” child, she is unable to handle her life or her new son. He is left to his own devices in a house where his mother cannot even bring herself to kiss him.

Madeleine’s story begins the tragic saga of Erik’s life. Through a series of narrators, Erik’s story is told as he travels the world and learns architecture, magic tricks, and how to kill. Sadly, no matter how skilled he is at his job or how lovely his voice is, he can never escape the fact that others will always wonder what is behind his mask and be frightened once they suspect or know the truth.

Erik can deal with the world’s dismissal of him. He, however, has tremendous difficulty accepting with the fact that he believes he will never experience love. This issue only gets harder for him when he first sees the lovely and talented Christine Daae.

I loved Susan Kay’s take on The Phantom of the Opera story. It’s been a long time since I read the Gaston Leroux novel, but the musical was very much in my mind as I read Phantom. The songs kept playing through my mind as turned the pages. I have never been a huge fan of the musical, but this book added another level to the story that I had never clearly pictured before. I can’t wait to go back now and watch the musical. I feel I have a new understanding of the characters and their actions.

Susan Kay’s back-story for Erik finally made him a tragic hero for me. When I read the original book and watched the musical, I merely found Erik interesting and, okay, attractive (depending on the actor playing him), but I never felt overly sad for him. He was fascinating, sure, but not real enough in my mind to evoke any commiseration from me. After reading Phantom, he went from being merely a charismatic fictional character to having a three-dimensional almost flesh and blood persona in my mind. When the final act came in the book, I truly felt for him because I understood why Christine was breaking his heart by asking him to kill a spider and why his stories had such significance to him.

Susan Kay’s writing was wonderfully vibrant overall. She created a beautiful, immersive world for Erik and I loved exploring it with the various viewpoint characters. If I had one issue to bring up with the novel, though, it would be the fact that the story is told in first person and yet all of the narrators sound suspiciously similar. Occasionally, that fact would distract me from the story, but for the most part, the characters and the storytelling were strong enough to overcome that weakness.

If you’re a fan of The Phantom of the Opera (whether book or musical), I would give Phantom a try. I surprised myself by absolutely falling in love with this novel. Its story is beautiful and sad, and I would say that it’s definitely worth your time.

cuddlesome's review

Go to review page

4.0

Trigger warning for discussion of child abuse, death, attempted rape, animal death, drugs, and probably a bunch of other things that I'm forgetting because this book is packed with so much dark content.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL but I have a lot of thoughts.

I guess as with a lot of reviewers here I have to agree with the general "They had us in the first half, not gonna lie" mentality. This book started off with a bang and maintained that momentum for the first few hundred pages or so.

I really enjoyed the dark slice of life setup of Erik's childhood/teenage years. If the entire novel had been just that I would've been golden. There is not a single moment where your heart doesn't break for this kid. His mom doesn't come around to truly caring for him until it's too late, his dog gets murdered, he nearly gets sexually assaulted (thankfully he kills the near-rapist), etc.

I had to physically put the book down and just take a breath a couple of times. By and large my favorite sad part was when Erik's one request for a birthday gift was having his mother give him kisses. When that was referenced again towards the conclusion of the novel my soul shattered.

I also really enjoyed the entire part of the novel where Erik worked for Giovanni. It allowed him some true happiness, at least for a while, and damn it if he didn't deserve that. Of course it all came crashing down eventually, inevitably, when he was forced to reveal his face. But you know what they say: "Without the bitter the sweet isn't as sweet."

My one big gripe with that bit is that Giovanni quite suddenly sided with his daughter when it came to Erik taking off his mask after MONTHS of not saying anything about it. It felt abrupt.

Still, these sections were by and large my absolute favorites and kept me very engrossed. Erik is massively talented, yes, but he's also awkward and hostile and just struggling to survive. He elicits total sympathy from me.

Then he grew up and it started to lose me.

Oh, the writing is still great in the second half, captivating, that's why I'm rating it so high despite my qualms, but the content takes a complete nosedive. Erik goes Anakin Skywalker for a bit and is just immensely talented at everything he does and it's a lot harder to sympathize with him when you feel like he can walk on water.

Ironically, Nadir aka the Persian aka daroga, who was by and large my favorite character in the Leroux novel, grated incessantly on me in this one. I can't quite put my finger on why. I think it might have something to do with having to relive the "Whoa, Erik is both terrifying and amazing" reaction from a narrator for the third time in a row. Like, yes, we get it, he's great, move on.

Only when Erik is finally getting to be older and relies heavily on morphine as a pain reliever did I start to feel bad for him again. But man oh man if he didn't continue to try my patience with how he treated Christine. Their relationship is pretty toxic from square one no matter which version you look at, excepting perhaps that 90s miniseries with Charles Dance, but this really took it to another level. Pro tip: if you want me to continue to like your titular character, having him contemplating raping his love interest isn't a great help.

Also, brief intermission from ranting about Erik and Christine; he has a cat? And I love cats as much as the next person, but that was the one instance where I felt that the "too fanficcy" criticism I've seen levied at this novel was really justified.

In my humble opinion, there was no need to see Christine and Erik's relationship presented in this story. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Their relationship in both Leroux's original novel and Lord Andy's musical adaptation is more than good.

I was not mentally prepared to be subjected to a twenty year old woman continuously being compared to a child and the insistence that she needs a husband who's also going to be a daddy to her. How in the world has the characterization of Christine backslid so much since the original novel when this was written a near century later? It feels demeaning to have her wailing to herself, "OH I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DOOOO I AM JUST A DUMB CHILD" and have that further reinforced by Erik's fatherly language towards her. It's one thing for ALW Erik to occasionally croon "child" and another for Kay's Erik to just point and go, "Look at this dumb idiot infant."

Then there's the whole "she looks like Erik's mom" thing. Despite not finding it all that disturbing--after all of the far more distressing content it was difficult to do more than just shrug and go, "Yeah, okay, Oedipal complex is here now."--I was bothered nonetheless. Mostly because it felt entirely unnecessary. Instead of adding another dimension to Erik and Christine's relationship I just felt that it took away from them. It cheapens his devotion to her as her own person.

ALL OF THAT BEING SAID, I still enjoyed some parts of Erik and Christine's interactions. It's really impossible not to enjoy the sharp contrast between them. The kiss that combined both the Leroux "kiss on the forehead" and the ALW "repeated mouth kiss" was REALLY fantastic. Suddenly all of the BS I went through felt justified for that moment alone. It's heart-melting.

When Erik willingly gives Christine up to Raoul it was actually really sweet. I liked that a lot.

Annnnd it would've been even nicer if Raoul actually consented to his wishes instead of refusing to send the damn wedding invitation so Christine wouldn't run back to the opera house to fuck a dying Erik.

To quote Adam Driver as Abraham H. Parnassus,"Filled her belly with my festering seed and soiled your boy, he is my final revenge."

My only other commentary on that ending is that it's a better "Erik is the baby daddy" ending than Love Never Dies but that's not exactly hard to do.

So, overall, still really happy I read this book, happy that I own two copies of it (I bought a second one because I wanted that bookmark from the first printing... yeah, I'm that kind of a collector) but when I return to it it's probably going to be for that first half and a few choice pieces from the second half. It's very intense and beautifully written and I can see why it's still a topic of conversation in the Phandom so long after the fact.

beholder's review against another edition

Go to review page

slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
Before we start, I must say that, for me, a good book is the one that makes me want to either hug and worship the author forever, or slap him/her cross the face for eternity. This book made me want to do
both. It's genious.

Since it's a really huge book, with many details, I will simply comment on each part of it.

I also must say that I never read 'The Phantom of the Opera', by Leroux. All my previous knowledge about this story came from the 2004 movie adaptation (which I loved) and an adaptation the school asked me to read (adaptations, ugh).

Madeleine
Wow. Heartbreaking. It's definitely a brilliant start, that shows us an Erik full of innocence and curiosity on life, and it's impossible not to love him or feel sad for him, and his mother... You hate her, but you completely understand her. And the end of this part, I thought it was cruel when I read it.

Erik
Just let me say that every single sentence on this book contributes to show the reader the character development. It's been so long since I read this that I don't remember what I felt. I believe it was a feeling of revolt and compassion for Erik.

Giovanni
This part didn't really touch me. We see Erik trusting and being happy to learn again and growing up. And then shit happens. The interesting thing about this story is that there is no one to blame. It can be summarized in "shit happens". The characters react accordingly to what destiny had planned, and that is it. The "problem" here is destiny, and can you blame it?

Nadir
It was the hardest part for me to get through. It doesn't have a very encouraging beginning, I guess, full of words I had no idea what they meant. And I wasn't really interested in this dude, but he was point of view on Erik was crucial for the reader to understand where his character was going. Later, Nadir became a friend to me; someone I understood and liked, respected. The end of this part is quite beautiful.

Erik
This part was cruel. I loved seeing Erik's sarcastic side rising, but when he discovers about his mom's death... Simply depressing. Again, destiny's fault.

Counterpart: Erik and Christine
As any good fan of the 2004 movie adaptation, this was the part I was waiting most for. I hated Christine for leaving Erik. I hated Raoul even more for getting in the way of my pairing! Was she plain dumb? She was perfect for Erik!

This, folks, was the most extraordinary, brilliant, genious, revolting and son of a bitch portrayal of an abusive/co-dependent couple I have EVER seen. This part is the most... Not important. Significant, maybe? Extraordinary, for sure. It is the story itself, you see. The reader becomes Christine. From the very beginning of this part, you KNOW you love Erik. It's a fact, your love for him. And then he meets Christine and everything changes, for both, as it is expressed here, "I knew then that there could be no turning back. Wherever this shadowed path might lead, we were both irrevocably commited to follow it to the end".

He begins kidnapping her, talking about his lust for her (and notice that he refers to her a lot as "child", and her age is not revealed, so I was literally getting pissed, because I was actually involuntarily comparing 'The Phantom of the Opera' to 'Lolita')...

And at first, I was so disappointed. I was hating it, to the point of reducing the review to 1 star only. Christine seemed plain stupid and devoid of any intelligence or sense, and Erik was so not like his usual self, controlled by his desires, and not the other way around... He was getting on my nerves. There are two quotes that I must put in here because they made me see what the author wanted me to see.

"I'm beginning to realize how much of a child she really is, how terrifyingly immature and vulnerable... even unstable. There's a fatal flaw running through her, like a hairline crack in a Ming Dynasty vase, but that imperfefction makes me love her with even greater tenderness. [...] Whoever marries Christine is going to have to be prepared to play the father as well as the lover; if she lives to be eighty, she may never be more than a child at heart, a lost and frightened little girl bewildered by the demands of reality".

"I dared not think how near I had been to losing control, how terrifyingly easy it would have been in that moment to rape her". (This was the moment in which I closed the book because I needed to reevaluate my life.)

The first quote showed me that Christine was not in her right state of mind. That made her different from everyone else, as Erik said, and capable of reacting very differently than the normal human being that bumped in Erik in the Opera would.

The second one represents all their relationship until that point. The following words came into my mind, "it is not romantic, it's not beautiful". BOOM. That's it. It's not romantic or beautiful. It's tragic and sick, and the reader grasps that idea with shock (at least, I did), because it is a new concept. Something that seemed so good for both of them in the beginning of the relationship, with the Angel of Music drama, has now become a nightmare??

Yep.

Oh, and it gets worse. Because Raoul.

As Erik, I felt so, so, so annoyed by his presence! Christine never helped, really, but once you put in your head that her relationship with Erik was an abusive one, it gets much easier to understand, or try to understand, all her choices. Why she accepted and loved Raoul but kept going back to Erik and feeling jealous of him? The author was a professional when it comes to making the reader understand the character.

I don't know if you can see it, but at this point, I was a ball of nerves. I couldn't stop reading, even if I tried. Even if I wanted to. There were points, such as the the scene in which Christine is jealous of the cat, that I thought were ridiculous and hated because it was childish! But I couldn't stop reading.

I realized that it was a kind of metalinguistic experience, as if I was reading an opera about an opera. As I read about the counterpart, I felt the change in me. I felt what Christine felt. I didn't know what to feel or think of Erik, but I couldn't leave him; he had changed me forever.

And the writing was his music; a great way to express the only art I couldn't picture.

And the final scene. The one when she pleads and begs for Raoul's life...
I curled up in a ball and cried as the hole in my chest got wider and my heart was punched with the feels. Words. Why. So. CRUEL???

Raoul
Perfect ending. Perfect. Ending. I even symphatized with Raoul, now that the fella suffered and all, and felt like I could accept his relationship with Christine at last. I understood it, and why it was the best option, and I will never be able to see this story or its characters with the same eyes ever again. Thank you, Susan Kay. Thank. You.

(I sure suffered as hell while reading this book, but everyone must read it.)

P.S.: A++++ to Erik's sarcasm. It's a gift from God.

kaylyncatherine's review

Go to review page

3.0

Although I was not a fan of Kay's style and voice, I did appreciate this novel. Susan Kay is well versed in Phantom of the Opera, more than I expected from Leroux's original work itself.

However, when Kay began to pick up where Phantom of the Opera begins, I lost interest. Phantom of the Opera is my favorite novel..let's say I have that story down to a T. I did not appreciate the creative license she took with the characters, warping their relationships mildly and straying from the original novel.

I must give her credit though, she created a marvelous, emotional back story to Phantom that Leroux kept hiding from us.

frostbitsky's review

Go to review page

5.0

This is a review I had wrote long ago, before I had a Goodreads account. I read this book in May 2006.

These were the notes I made (I didn't proof read it. I will, but not right now. Sorry for the typos.)


Madeleine- Her cruelty was inexcusable. Sure the world can be harsh but it's shouldn't have started with his mother. I cried when she refused to give her son a simple kiss when he asked. And who tells their son they hate them :mad:
I wish Marie could have taken him in.
Father Mansart I thought was alright till he performed the crazy exorcism. At least he didn't wish to kill the child at birth like Madeleine.
It was poetic justice that when she finally learns that she loves her son and chooses to remain with him that Erik runs away

Erik - all I can say about his time as gypsy attraction is thank God he escaped before Javert raped him :( What a horrible end to innocence.

Giovanni - The most uplifting part of the book. Finally man who could see past the face/mask and nourish his artistic genius. Too bad crazy delusional Luciana had to ruin everything. Not that Erik planned to stay forever but it could have ended better.

Nadir - The Persian :) This I was looking forward to since he is in the original novel. He's like Erik's conscience. It was exciting to read about their friendship and Erik embracing his dark side. The khanum was a sick Sadistic bitch. Good thing Erik was oblivious to her lust for him.

Erik - his return to home was something I was looking forward to. I wanted to learn of Madeline's fate and for Erik to get some closure. Good paced overview of the building of the Opera house and Erik's involvement but I must say it was the slow part of the book since you are anticipating his love story with Christine. But his journey into a lonely life and how he comes to manipulate the Opera managers and build trap doors and live a lonely life under the Opera house was an essential part to understanding and seeing Erik's character development.
Erik's first encounter with Christine was ... perfect. Love at first sound. I did like this quote "It was like listening to an extraordinarily talented zombie."

Erik/Christine - My favorite part. The story of the nightingale and the white rose was so ironically heartbreaking.
How weird that Christine looked like Erik's mother. Poor guy has a sick twisted Oedipus complex. And his mother died the same year Christine was born makes it sound like a strange incarnation.
After reading about Christine's "pleasing" reaction to Don Juan good thing it was never played in public. I do regret that we didn't get a counterpoint of when they conceive Charles before Erik dies. I guess that part was to personal for the reader but still. I wanted their POV too.

Raoul - Not the one dimensional pansy Leroux made him. I pitied this Raoul for loving a woman who loved Erik more and raising a son he knew wasn't his. Strange how Charles was named after Erik's father when Raoul didn't know that fact. Come to think of it do we ever learn Erik's last name? Does he have any knowledge of his father? Charles isn't mentioned again after his death.
Charles, Erik's son, was much like his father, only handsome. I liked his comment about how girls should come to hear the music not to swoon over him. Would he feel the same way had he'd seen his father's face? From the sound of his character I'd like to think he'd love his father no matter what he looked like. And to learn from Erik would have been interesting.
I started crying when Charles put on a recital and Raoul says, "I squeezed her fingers very hard while out eyes shared a knowledge that could never be voiced. Ironically the very thing which should have driven us apart became the link that soldered us together."(p448)
The red rose Raoul gave Christine on Charles's birthdays and the white roses she added had me bawling. I had trouble reading through the tears. Loved this quote: "I had held her in your trust for seventeen years until death chose to reunite her with the one to whom she truly belonged."(p452):bawl:
Raoul and Charles' pilgrimage to the Opera house was a perfect ending.



Phantom was a sad and beautiful take on The Phantom of the Opera. Kay gave the characters life and more dimension. I liked her version better than Leroux's. Phantom has become one of my favorite books ever and I will save it to read again one day.

5 out of 5 masks

constantki's review

Go to review page

4.0

Phantom reads like fanfiction of the ALW musical. Someone was unhappy with the ending and decided to rewrite it, changing the attitudes and personalities of main players in the original to suit their fantasies. This book was written remarkably well (though, if I read the phrase "beyond imagination" or "beyond comprehension" again. . .) and is a very believable glimpse into Erik's tortured mind. However, Christine and Raoul's characters are completely awful. They are warped beyond recognition from the original and are just stupid and bland and terrible. Kay's Erik works because he is passionate and insane and violent; he's interesting, but he's not a lovable character. He's sympathetic, you want the best for him, and you root for him, but you don't like him as a person. I saw the ending coming from a mile away but it still angered me so much. Erik abused Christine and wanted to "possess" her, and even so she was so in love with him, it was disgusting; I had no idea where she was coming from. I have no problem with the concept of giving Erik a happily ever after, or changing Christine and Raoul's personalities in principle, but I think it was done rather confusingly and poorly.
That being said, this was a really really good book. It was dark, melodramatic, and romantic and obviously well thought out and researched. Honestly I enjoyed it so much that I'm tempted to give it 5 stars, but I don't think I can truly overlook how shallowly Kay portrayed Christine and Raoul.

scarlettg12's review

Go to review page

4.0

So Phantom of the Opera has been my favorite movie since it came out in 2004. I’ve seen it countless times, I literally know all the words to the whole movie, I listen to the soundtrack on a regular basis. I’ve also seen the play at least two times. You could say I’m a fan.

But while the Andrew Lloyd Webber version (both play and movie) is the most popular and well-known version of this story, the [b:book|480204|The Phantom of the Opera|Gaston Leroux|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327867727l/480204._SY75_.jpg|2259720] is SO good and underrated. I’ve read it twice and own 3 copies (one of which I actually purchased at the Paris Opera House). As is usual, the book has so many more details and is a good bit darker than the movie and stage version. I LOVE the book as much as I love the movie but for different reasons.

So I thought this was an amazing concept for a book. [a:Susan Kay|16674953|Susan Kay|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] says it perfectly in her author’s note: “The main bulk of his novel—indeed all screen and stage versions—had dealt only with the last six months or so in the life of a man who must have been about fifty. I began to feel that the tale we had come to know as The Phantom of the Opera was perhaps only the magnificent tip of the iceberg, and that somewhere beneath a huge, human story lay waiting to be told.” She mentions the last three pages of the book that briefly mention the Phantom’s history, and that’s what this book builds on.

I think this book did an excellent job expounding those few paragraphs about where Erik came from, from his birth to his travels and how he came to know all the incredible things he knew. It is quite a story to claim that this one man is a master at music, illusions, architecture, languages, and more, and yet this book truly details how he came to have all of this knowledge in such a realistic way. A lot of natural talent combined with some extensive traveling and the Phantom becomes who is is. I think my favorite part was the explanation of the friendship between Erik and "the Persian," who is just as mysterious of a character in the original as Erik is. I thought this really explained why the Persian is completely aware of how terrible Erik is and yet is completely devoted to him. Their friendship seemed realistic and genuine.

Truly, this book completely sucked me in and consumed me. I did not want to put it down and felt like I couldn’t think about anything else while I was reading it. The writing style was so faithful to the original too, I felt like [a:Gaston Leroux|9057|Gaston Leroux|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1207312409p2/9057.jpg] could really have written this prequel. It was incredibly well done.

If I have one complaint though, it’s that the book should have stopped before the beginning of the original. That way this would be a true prequel. But the last approximately 1/4 of the book was the exact storyline and time period as [b:The Phantom of the Opera|26469971|The Phantom of the Opera|Gaston Leroux|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|2259720], only condensed and not told as well or in as much detail. Although to some extent I enjoyed seeing events through the eyes of Erik and Christine as opposed to the original which is told more from the perspective or Raoul and the Persian, I still feel like to read that part of the story, you might as well read the original. And yes, I can understand why this author didn’t want to stop her story there because that part is very interesting, and she did add or expound on a few things, but again, this part of the story is the whole point of the original book. Why tell it over again in a worse way? I was bored with this part and kind of ready for it to be over. However, the ending of the book really redeemed itself when it picks up years after the end of the original. I loved that part and am glad it was included. The last few pages even kind of made me tear up.

All things said though this is an awesome tribute to the novel that I love that is so different from the movie that I love. It really brings Erik to life and makes you feel for him, and be afraid of him, in even more detail than you do from reading the original novel. I highly applaud [a:Susan Kay|16674953|Susan Kay|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] for this and I definitely recommend it to fans of any version of this incredible story! (Although if you’re only a fan of the Andrew Lloyd Weber version, for sure read the incredible [a:Gaston Leroux|9057|Gaston Leroux|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1207312409p2/9057.jpg] version before you read this book).

Now I’m off to reread the book and watch the movie for the hundred millionth time!

lavender0menace's review

Go to review page

3.0

I love Phantom of the Opera more than... a lot of things. In fact, I'd say that it is my all-time favorite "love" story/musical/production/movie (2004) ever. I have no shame in the fact that I'm literally obsessed with POTO. But, of course, there are a few problems. I think this book a phenomenal retelling of the origianl work, and I appreciated how she attempted to stay (somewhat) close to Gaston Leroux's, and I enjoyed learning about Erik's past, whether or not it was true. I had some problems, though, with the blatant Christine x Erik pairing. Personally, I don't like the two of them together, and I don't believe that they would ever be together. The ending was also hard for me to appreciate with the boy probably being Erik's and with Christine dying so soon after Erik. I felt like Kay almost didn't give Christine enough credit - she made Christine weak and fragile, the damsel in distress. While, yes, I would agree that she is the damsel in this novel, it was frustrating how no one seems to realize that Christine kissed the Phantom in order to save Raoul, and I feel like that was kind of a major downfall for me? Like that she still insisted on making Christine be in love with Erik. That was such a small portion of the book, though, and I definitely think the rest of it was amazing. I loved Nadir's relationship with Erik, especially, and his love for Nadir's son.

greyzonepages's review

Go to review page

4.0

This novel seems to flawlessly set up every mysterious bit of The Phantom of the Opera, only to then proceed to fix every "mistake" of the story. At first I was baffled by how diligently Kay wove the tapestry of Erik's only life to scream "screw you!" at Leroux directly after.

I'll be the first to admit it - I have never finished the original novel; however, I do consider myself a connoisseur of the stage show, and know enough of the work it's based upon to realize just how many liberties Kay decided to take with the classic work.

If you read Phantom with no prior knowledge of the story it's paying homage to, it would still be a good novel with character development and plot and good pacing. But what amazed me as a fan and Team Erik member for five years was the new depth that Kay managed to give to Christine and the Phantom. She royally ignored every other character such as Giry, Meg, and Raoul; although, the work done with those such as Erik's mother and the ones involved early in his life - the ones who shaped him into the twisted man we see when the show begins - makes it okay in the end.

Questions I have had burning on my mind have been answered. Even if they aren't "official," they still bring light to the situations left as mysteries, along with giving motive to what seems as pure madness in previous tellings.

Along with that, I've talked with many people who wonder why in the world Erik loves Christine. She comes across as a pretty bimbo with no personality or emotions or depth. And yet, Kay tackled this problem head on. We see her through a lens in Erik's mind that actually makes sense, but then again, Kay did alter major plot points, so who knows?

One issue for me personally was Erik's child narration occasionally reading too much like an adult, making it hard to stay invested in what was happening in the story. He is a prodigy, but I do feel as if he could have sounded more like a highly intelligent boy rather than a man. Pushing aside the voice, his childhood was interesting and well planned.

All in all, I think this is a good read for any Phantom fan. Reading this work, it feels as is Kay enjoyed the ideas, people, and themes of the work but reconstructed what happened to her own liking. It bites its thumb at the original, yes, but the added dimensions to the characters doesn't make this seem like too much of a loss.

perse_reads's review

Go to review page

5.0

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this, mostly the ending.
I've been a huge POTO fan since I was a very young girl, till this day I always wanted to play Christine! But I'm not a very good singer so that dream is dead now.

Anyways, I've enjoyed 75% of this book. As other reviews have mentioned, it should have ended where the musical/movie begins. I didn't recognize Christine when all the ish went down. I found the ending to be very out of character for both Erik and Christine. However, I can gloss over it since I enjoyed majority of the story and most likely gonna buy a physical copy of it. The writing was definitely my jam. I enjoyed reading so much about Erik's life. There were times where I fell in love with him and other times where I was so afraid that I couldn't even handle how dark his mind was. I was hopeful only for him to destroy it completely.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this adaptation and I'm happy to finally read it. I think people who are not as dedicated to the story and the characters will love this.