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A Phantom Enchantment (Unbound) Paperback – March 25, 2014
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Emma is spending her senior year at a boarding school in Paris. The only downside is that she will be miles away from her boyfriend, Gray, who is training in the Coast Guard. Still, she is thrilled about a class that gives her a chance to rewrite The Phantom of the Opera. But art begins to imitate life when Gray goes missing during a rescue mission. Emma feels a connection to Gray through an antique mirror in her dorm room, but the Gray she senses is a ghost of himself—dark, jealous, and angry. Emma finds herself caught between past and future, and caught in a love triangle between Gray and her longtime friend Owen. Though lacking in backstory, this conclusion to the Unbound trilogy works well enough on its own. The modern love triangle weaves in elements of The Phantom of the Opera seamlessly and is packed with drama, angst, and a hint of mystery. The romance is of the over-the-top variety—which ought to please readers who enjoy sweeping, swooning stories. Grades 9-12. --Sarah Bean Thompson
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In one scene, Owen and Emma are making out, and I had such high hopes for them... but then Emma finds Gray's scorpion... and my hopes crashed down to the floor. Oh Lord, here we go again!
However, it was a good, solid ending, full of promise and vision. Emma has lots of directions in which to steer herself, and that's perfect for her.
It's been quite a while since I read A Breath of Eyre... I need to go back and re-read it!
It didn't feel like Emma spent a lot of time within the story of the Phantom of the Opera, as she did as a character in The Scarlet Letter, but there were a lot of similarities between this and Gaston Leroux's classic... mirror, chandelier, fire, and of course, a love triangle.
These books have driven me crazy, but I loved that feeling! Eve Marie Mont is definitely an author to watch out for :)
Anyway, as an adult reader I found this novel pretty tedious, but to be fair this book wasn't written for adults so I don't think I should even attempt to review it as one. It's also been a very long time since I was a teen and I notice that the other reviewers seemed to enjoy it so if this work fulfills what a teen audience likes in a book I'm fine with that. And if this novel serves as a springboard to encourage it's readers to read the Phantom of the Opera-even better!
The reader will delight in reading this book on two levels: there is the challenge of solving "who's who?" in this novel about the love triangle of the Phantom, Christine, and Raoul, as well as keeping up with the new developments (romantic and otherwise) in the lives of Emma and her friends. I enjoyed meeting Elise, Owen, Gary, and Flynn again in Miss Mont's perfect, often witty dialogue. We also are drawn in to the stories of Emma's new Parisian friends, Monsieur Crespeau and Mademoiselle Veilleux, who are crucial in the unfolding of this tale.
A Phantom Enchantment will also entertain by evoking the culture, art, architecture, and food of Paris with the author's wonderful descriptions. We even visit Arles in Provence and Bruges in Belgium on short side trips!
Though this book is listed in the Teen section, I would recommend it to readers of all ages. There are many twists and turns in
the novel's plot, but at every turn I could not put it down.
As in the first two novels of the trilogy, A Phantom Enchantment has elements of the paranormal, this time with Emma slipping in and out of the pages of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. Delightful characters populate the story, as Emma makes a new set of captivating French friends. The arrival in Paris of Owen and Flynn, who are in Europe on a backpacking rock tour, spices things up for Emma. News of the mysterious disappearance of old flame Gray flings Emma, desperate to find him, on a dangerous and mysterious quest. Meanwhile she continues to keep up with a very challenging curriculum, reviving old strengths and uncovering new talents she never knew she had. An awakening of romantic feelings for Owen adds to Emma's sense of confusion and uncertainty. You don't want to miss the surprising and compelling conclusion of this engaging novel.