Have you ever wondered what happened to the Phantom of the Opera after the curtain fell? Yeah, me neither. What can I say? I always thought the guy was kind of a creep. He had too many stalkerish tendencies for my taste. The dude also killed people, but whatever. However, I must say that when this piece of fan fiction came across my inbox I was rather intrigued. A misunderstood man in Paris falls in love? Sign me up please!
If you aren’t familiar with the tale of The Phantom of the Opera, well I kind of question you as a human being, but I also recommend that you at least read a Wikipedia article about the darn thing before tackling this book. There are many references throughout to characters and events from the original, so it would probably be helpful to have a Phantom refresher course before starting this one. Now, the full title of this book is Of Seraphim and Cherubim: An Alternative Tale of the Phantom of the Opera, and I gotta say it wasn’t terrible. For me to say that about a paranormal piece of fiction is actually rather high praise. What can I say, paranormal romance just isn’t my cup of tea. Hell, I don’t even really like tea.
In this book we encounter Erik, the infamous Phantom, and his curse of living for over a hundred years. Don’t ask me how this is possible, because we never actually find out. One night he’s out for a merry stroll to go kill himself when he comes across a young damsel in distress, Sara, who also happens to be a witch. It seems our Phantom has finally met a woman who doesn’t shy away from his mask, or demand to see what’s underneath it. Now as for what’s underneath his pant zipper, that’s something else entirely. Tee hee.
I must say I really enjoyed the first part of this book. The tale of new love caught my interest, and my favorite scenes were those in which Sara tried to convince Erik to take a chance on her, and learn to love again. However, I think I would have enjoyed the book much more if Sara were just a normal average gal rather than a witch. After a while all of her Mother Goddess, worship at the altar, “I’m a Priestess” mumbo jumbo got kind of tiring. She also made several references to Kali-Ma which, I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but laugh at because it’s also what the crazy people worship in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then seriously, who are you as a human being?! Get out and watch some movies! Or just watch this YouTube clip.
Anywho, as I was saying, the fact that Sara was a witch just didn’t sit right with me. For some reason the fact that she was a witch affected her speech to make her sound like she was from the eighteenth century. Now, I understand why Erik’s speech would have been behind the times (sort of), but that doesn’t explain why she isn’t up-to-date with all the new lingo the kids are using nowadays. I mean, OMG, like totally WTF man? JK. I’m also not sure how I felt about the fact that in this tale of the Phantom he has an alter ego which he had named Adrian who basically represents all of the dark and evil living within him. Call it what you want, the guy is schizo and needs a really good therapist. Any therapists out there willing to travel to Paris to counsel a guy who roams the streets at night wearing a cape and carrying a whip? Anyone?
As I said, I really enjoyed the first part of this book where the two characters come together and fall in love. Then they encounter a little speed bump, which is quickly resolved. Then they come across another obstacle, which they take care of. After another few chapters they encounter a pretty big problem, which is kind of resolved at the end, but not really. And then we are left with a cliffhanger? Wait a minute. This book has a sequel? Crap, should have looked into that ahead of time. I almost wish this book had ended after they fell in love and overcame their first little obstacle. But then it kept going, and going, and then I had to start and finish another book in the middle of this one just to move things along a bit…and then it kept going. I think there were about two or three story lines too many in this one, but there were also moments throughout the book where I just couldn’t put it down. Overall not a bad piece of fan fiction, but not my favorite either.
*An ARC of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Yes, book 1. Will I read book 2? Eh, maybe. I always hate to leave a series unfinished.
Should you read it? If you are a fan of paranormal romance you will probably like it a lot more than I did. Warning though for all you romance readers who are tired of the billionaire theme- Erik has a ton of money.
Smut Level: The Phantom has actually learned a few tricks of the trade over the years, but nothing too dirty. He is a gentleman after all.
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