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The Phantom of Valletta Kindle Edition
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From the Author
Though the story is set in 1874, I loosely based that dateline on the movie version that indicated 1870, rather than other versions that place the storyline somewhat later. Let's call it creative liberty. I have no regrets in doing so because the outcome of my choice proved to be a wise one. It is a perfect location and backdrop for this suspenseful mystery novel, which brings Leroux's characters on a new adventure.
However, little did I know when I wrote the book, that the location held a very passionate place in the hearts of many. I am very appreciative of the Maltese, who have embraced the story and me as an author. Even though The Royal Opera House no longer exists, it still holds a very special place and love in the hearts of the residents of Valletta. Originally opened in 1866, the interior was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1873. After four years of reconstruction, it was reopened in 1877, only to be destroyed once again in World War 2 by bombers. It was never rebuilt.
The Sunday Times, Malta, approached me and wrote a special book review and interview in August of 2010 regarding the release of The Phantom of Valletta. To read the contents, feel free to visit my author website or The Phantom of Valletta website, which contains links to the review and a special review by the University of Malta as well.
I hope you enjoy the unique setting on the dark Gothic streets of Valletta.
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- ASIN : B004QTOI0Y
- Publisher : Holland Legacy Publishing (February 22, 2011)
- Publication date : February 22, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 3473 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 225 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,132 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Another thing that bugged me was the author's writing style. It seemed sparse at times and didn't contain enough explanation. While I do appreciate that she shifted to different characters' POV when needed I still felt I didn't fully understand some of them. There were times I didn't understand Richard at all. He jumped into the situation way too readily and almost without question. He was certainly the right person for the job but I was missing something from him..... a personality maybe.
THE ENDING! No spoilers here. Such melodramatics and over-the-top emotions for something that wasn't that big of a deal. Even though I wasn't attached to Desiree I expected more from her. I thought she was stronger after what she went through but she acted more like a teenage girl seeking attention from a negligent parent. UGH! Then it abruptly ended. I kept looking for an epilogue or a hidden chapter to ease myself from the disappointment but it wasn't there.
One thing I did really enjoy was Desiree's story and why she was connected to Erik. I wasn't expecting her story and internal struggle between loyalty and forgiveness. Though there was several moments of foreshadowing I didn't expect her to have a past filled with such pain and hurt. Even then I thought the author didn't capitalize on her opportunity to help us better understand Desiree and her pain. I felt I got a general idea but I didn't live it.
This was a good story but it doesn't make my top 10 POTO phan fiction titles.
Christine is gone. Erik has freed her to marry Raoul. Now, alone in his lair, he despairs, feeling he must be dying of love, or the loss of it anyway. Then... an opportunity presents itself. The Royal Opera House of Valletta in Malta has been destroyed by fire and Erik decides to purchase it and give it, and himself, a new lease on life. Together with the Persian's servant, Darius, and Madame Andrea Giry, his long time friend, they will raise it from the ashes and he, Erik, the Phantom... will now have his very own Opera House to command!
This is a wonderfully original premise and very believable as you can imagine Erik's excitement at such a task no matter how daunting the destruction facing him. He has the knowledge as a world class architect to, eventually, bring his vision to life! Though it seems this jewel has been damaged almost beyond repair. Erik decides to do some fundraising and find investors to bring in the funds to make the hugely expensive reconstruction.
How he and his friends go about this makes for engaging reading. Will Erik forget Christine and move on with his life in this new place? Will anyone else ever take her place in his heart? Desiree', an opera house employee with an interest in learning the violin, perhaps? There are other surprises in store for the reading audience so get a copy of Vicki Hopkins' "Phantom of Valletta" and enjoy the pleasures of the Phantom's opera!
Admittedly, my initial feelings were far different. I couldn't wrap my head around a book told from Erik's point of view. I like the Phantom's dark enigmatic persona. Leroux doesn't disclosure the full history of his character and I believe that is why after more than a hundred years the Ghost still captures our interest. He is a mystery, never fully explained.
Being inside his head, essentially wearing the mask stripped Erik of his secrets. I wasn't disappointed exactly, more like disenchanted. There is nothing inherently wrong with Hopkins' interpretation but sometimes less is more. Sometimes it is not what we know but what we don't know that leaves a greater impact.
The book really takes off with the introduction of Desiree. Again I was hesitant. The idea of Erik tutoring and molding the talents of another female student seemed repetitive and trite but I was wrong. The private young woman breathes life into the story almost the moment she appears. It is through her that Hopkins' talent shines.
Valletta's Royal Opera House provides a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for the continued story of the Opera Ghost and the plot is wonderfully constructed. Once the story takes off it simply doesn't let you go. My only real complaint is the hasty ending. Every other aspect takes time to develop allowing the reader to digest it but the final scene is feels more like a drive by.
Sadly, The Phantom of Valletta is no longer free to download but the book is more than worth looking into. For fans of the story, this one is not to be missed.