Book Review: The Phantom’s Apprentice

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Title: The Phantom’s Apprentice
Author:
 Heather Webb
Genre: Historical Fiction
Version: ARC – eBook (Uncorrected Proof)
Page Count: 350
Publisher: Sonnet Press
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: A stronger reimagining of a beloved female character
Recommended Readers: Those interested in trying a new Phantom of the Opera retelling
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you, NetGalley, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book held so much promise for me, but man, did it let me down in the end. The cover’s so gorgeous, too. Why must the pretty ones do us so dirty?

I’m a big fan of The Phantom of the Opera. I think the only major retelling I’ve yet to experience is Susan Kay’s Phantom (it’s on my to-read list) and that godawful The Phantom of Manhattan that Love Never Dies is based on (hard pass on both of those). The Joel Schumacher film with Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler was my first exposure, followed by the Gaston Leroux novel and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage production. And the fanfiction! Don’t get me started on the fanfiction…

Each time I’ve visited the Paris Opera House, I’ve felt more and more enamored with this gothic tale, of the characters, the pageantry, the music, and, of course, the haunted, doomed relationship between Christine Daaé and her Angel of Music.

The Phantom’s Apprentice by Heather Webb promised another magical take on the classic tale, one where Christine Daaé does not remain passive and allow all these men who have asserted themselves into her life to control her. A Christine who is a talented soprano, yes, but whose passion lies elsewhere: in illusions and conjurations. At last, this was a Christine with some agency, who could face the Phantom, Raoul, and everyone else and say, “No. This is who I am. Take me or leave me.”

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