Monday, July 14, 2014

Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard Blog Tour and Review

Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard
Publication date: March 1st 2014

Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.


My Review!

Can I be honest here? I've watched The Phantom of the Opera movie once but don't remember much about it. I don't even think I liked it. Haven't seen the musical either. *gasps* I know, I know. Probably shouldn't have decided to read this (since it is a retelling), but I really enjoyed it even without knowing practically anything about the Phantom.

Rating: 3.5 Stars!

So I guess I can't really judge the retelling of the story. *looks it up on Wikipedia quick* Haha, but I enjoyed the modern setting and how it wasn't opera but ballet that centered around the characters' lives. And I liked how she kept the characters' names the same as the original, and even a little bit of who they were. Again, I can't judge the retelling of it, because I'm not an expert on The Phantom of the Opera.

I enjoyed the main character's voice! Christine was a likable protagonist who is seemingly a great dancer, though she doesn't feel like it. She constantly wonders if she's good enough to have a career in ballet and often thinks of quitting it. She feels pressured to be at her best and to work as hard as she can while sacrificing friends, a social life, and other hobbies. Pretty much, ballet is her world. I kind of wish that she'd stepped away from it a bit, kept up with the hip-hop that she learned through street dancers. Maybe even decided to quit. I don't know; I just felt like she had zero development as a character. I liked her enough; she was sweet but God, she was so naive and oblivious to everyone around her. I wanted to smack some common sense into her most of the time! But it made it believable that she'd fall into traps. I liked the strong woman who came out of everything in the end, but it sure took a long time for her to get there.

The secondary characters weren't much more fleshed-out than Christine, but many of them were important to the story. I loved the relationship Christine had with her parents, even if they were having problems and she was caught up in them. They truly loved her and only wanted the best for her. I loved Jenna! I thought she was funny, sweet, and a great best friend to Christine. Raoul was a pretty flat character. I thought he was a good boyfriend, but he just didn't have any true personality. Their romance was sweet but a little too quickly developed. 

The plot was pretty fast-paced and filled with an underlying mystery revolving around the theater and Erik. He was a very complex character, and I never knew what to think of him. (Should have known he wasn't so good). But the author wrote him in such a way that you never knew what he was going to do, say, or how he felt toward Christine. He was shrouded in mystery, and his obsession turns him into a madmen who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. I think the balance of Christine's life, the romance, and her secret meetings with Erik was good. I just wish there'd been a bit more than that, though. I would have loved more interactions with Magdalena's dance crew! Oh, and that ending? Genius.

Phantom's Dance was a modern retelling of The Phantom of the Opera with ballet instead. It was shrouded in mystery and the creepy sense that something bad would happen. It kept me turning the pages, and I really enjoyed it!


I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

Author Links: 


  1. Great review, Holly! I like how you describe Erik he sounds like a really compelling characters - I love them complex and unreliable. I'm glad you liked it overall :)

    1. Thanks, Giselle! He was a well-written character, and I'm glad I did too. :)

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  3. Hi, Holly! Popping in to say thank you for reading and reviewing Phantom's Dance. I had to laugh when you said you're not really a fan of the Phantom but you decided to read it anyway! Too funny. Lucky for me you did, though. It's a great review and lets me know that even a non-enthusiast can enjoy a little Phantom every now and then.

    1. Sorry about the double post. I realized too late that there was no photo, and since Phantom's Dance is under a pen name you might not know it was me. LOL.

    2. This book made me want to watch the movie again and see if I would like it this time! :)


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