Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Phantom by Laura Deluca.
About the Book:
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.
Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.
Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.
As a big fan of the Phantom of the Opera, I’ve been wanting to read this since I first heard it was published and finally got to it. I’m one that loves to root for the bad guy, and expected this to be a retelling of the original book. Instead, I was pleased at the different take the author took with it.
I really enjoyed the central theme of teenage love to the point I didn’t mind seeing the core theme of the Phantom used as a backdrop. Using the play as the binding force between Rebecca ad Justyn as well as a backdrop for the killings and mystery theme was well done and entertaining.
The characters were well written as Rebecca could be anyone and we all had that one person that seemed to work overtime to make our lives miserable in high school and Wendy fit that perfectly. She was as detestable as Rebecca was kind, which led to a good balance.
The one I really enjoyed was Justyn, or Lord Justyn as he prefers. I’ve always been a fan of mysterious and/or dark characters and he didn’t disappoint. His way of appearing and disappearing added the perfect amount of eeriness to him.
The one thing I do have to say is there were several times I wanted to reach in and shake Rebecca. While her actions were understandable given how everything she’d dreamed about was offered to her, but it was still frustrating. lol
I did work out who the killer was early on, but there was enough misdirections added in to force me to question my opinion, and that only made it all the more fun to keep reading. To me, that makes any mystery worth reading and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.