Saturday, 29 October 2016

Spooktober Review: Angels of Music

Angels of Music 
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Deep in the shadows under the Paris Opera House resides Erik the Phantom, mysteriously enduring through the decades as the mastermind behind a strange and secret agency. A revolving door of female agents are charged by wealthy Parisians and the French Government to investigate crimes and misdemeanours they would prefer to keep out of the public eye. 

The toxic underbelly of Paris is exposed by Erik's tenacious women operatives as they confront horror and corruption throughout the city. But it is one dreadful murder during the 1910  Great Flood of Paris that brings Irene Adler, Kate Reed and others together for a final, deadly confrontation. 

I'm not going to lie to you guys, I completely love The Phantom of the Opera! I got to see it back when I was in school, in the West End with a brilliant cast, the same cast in actual fact, who are in the anniversary DVD! I loved it, the music, the costumes, the story, and I become completely obsessed with it for a while there. Like I knew all the songs by heart, and I watched the anniversary DVD on a loop near enough. Not the movie adaption. I don't like to mention the movie adaption. The book has been on my to read list for ages and I will get there life motto right there folks, but if there's a book that's to do with Phantom then it's a safe bet I'm going to read it and add to my mental images of the Phantom and his story all ready to be destroyed when I read the actual book! 

What drew me about this book was the mention of Irene Adler, and an agency founded by Erik. You are all well aware that I love anything original and unique and so this caught my eye immediately and I really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the concept/premise for it and I completely and utterly loved the writing style and the language used and ugh. Perfect writing is perfect. Angels of Music is so beautifully and well written, and it's funny and there's action and adventure and mystery and plenty of literary/pop culture references to ferret out which was a lot of fun too! 

I loved the setting and getting to know/see Paris through the book. I loved the characters, each brought something different and they where all interesting to read about. I loved seeing Irene multiple times as she was the character I was most familiar with. I loved seeing Erik too, I kinda wish there was more of him but then the book was about the girls and solving things so it might not have worked with Erik all over the place. Plus he doesn't really leave the Opera much. 

I've only read Drearcliff by the author, Anno Dracula is on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up and I fully intend to get to it at some point, so I'm not as familiar with Newman's works as other readers might be. BUT I have been reliably informed that some of these stories are novellas and Newman has brought them together with some new stories to create this tale, and Newman really makes it work! We have different acts, and each act has three new Angels to meet and a new mystery/crime to solve. I thought the stories where, as previously stated, well written and clever. They all wrapped up nicely within the limit they had and kept you guessing until the end. I was intrigued the entire way through, I was entertained and the fast pace meant that I whizzed through this in two sittings. 

What I loved was how each act introduces the Angels, introduces the villain and then each act builds up to the final act. The final act brings together some old faces both Angels and villains for a final face off as it where, and I loved how Newman brought all of the stories together and linked them in. The ending though...poor old Erik. I could totally go for another book if Newman decides to do so, because I'd love to see the Angels sorting Erik out and seeing more of the stories with them. 

Angels of Music is a fast paced, entertaining and well written book that is entertaining throughout and full of pop culture references that have you getting all excited when you spot one. For instance, having just read Dorian Gray I definitely got way too excited to be able to get the Sybil Vane reference! Angels of Music will be a fun read whether you're a fan of Phantom of the Opera or not, whether you've even heard of it or not! 


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