Review #136

Title- Sing Me Forgotten

Author- Jessica S. Olson

Series- standalone

Rating– 4.8/5

Genre- YA fantasy

POV- first person, present tense

Trope- phantom of the opera retelling

Steam level- 1/5

Cover– gorgeous and representative of story/genre

Comps– Phantom of the Opera, The Beautiful

Plot/Blurb-

Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

First chapter-

Chapter 1- wow! What an opener! I’m brought back in time to the opera house & can hear the acoustics, feel the vibe & see the shadows. The prose are perfection & I’m super jealous of this author’s skills already. The story has captivated me instantly. I’m wondering if Isda is a ghost or human or other. And why she has these special memory powers. What happens if others remove her mask? Why is it so bad if they see her? Is Cyril the ultimate bad guy despite saving her in youth? Who is this mysterious tenor and will there be romance?   

Characters- I loved Emeric and his caramels and dimples.

Best part- poetic prose of the musical elements

What I would change- Page 136- she makes it sound like she’s trapped in the opera house for 17 years but she went outside to climb the tree and now is across the town on her own… she’s not truly trapped

Quote- “They think they can keep me here. That the iron and stone will intimidate me. That the darkness will break me. They forgot I was raised in the darkness, that I’ve been imprisoned my whole life. They can threaten me with blade or poison or death, but they cannot make me afraid. Not anymore.”

Setting- In the Opera house the setting was strong, outside it was average

Prose- stronger than most novels

Character goals/motivations- clear and evolving as plot changes

Theme- true love verse being used/manipulated for power, all humans are monstrous in some ways despite what they look like, on the flip side, all humans have positive traits no matter what they look like, sacrifices for love, acceptance and wanted

Vivid sensory descriptions- yes, the musical component was brought to life despite not being able to hear a thing while reading.This would be so awesome to experience with a playlist in the background while reading.

Dialogue- strong

Diversity- Includes characters with body scarring and facial deformity. No obvious descriptions of characters of color or LGBTQ.

Ethics/morals- murder, wiping memories, abuse

Conflict/tension/obstacles- Obstacles were relevant and had enough power to them that Isda had trouble overcoming them, but still succeeding without tiring the reader. She showed great agency

Pacing- medium

Thoughts while reading-

Page 26- I’m unsure what these terms mean, but I bet they’ll be explained in due time: fendoirs, gravoirs. Is Isda one of the descendants of Les Trois without knowing it? I am super excited to learn more about the elixir and how memories impact their society and culture. Sidenote: I love that every fantasy story has some sort of necklace or pendant.

Page 113- I’m excited to say this story could go a variety of different ways/paths.

Page 132- I applaud the author for giving Isda so much agency. Also, convincing me to be on board with her morally gray decisions

Page 160- halfway through. And let me say… stupid mask ruined the scene I wanted lol. Emeric is adorable especially with his humor with Alfred

Page 172- I love that Isda is teetering the balance of evil and sweet, and almost becoming more toxic as it goes on.

Page 192- game changer!

Page 206- I like how the memories feel like present moment. Which is important because there’s so many of them.

Page 259- the action felt slower than I think was intended because there was a lot of descriptive narratives about the movements. It seemed like with the lack of dialogue for so long it slowed down. The ticking time clock was helpful but kind of backfired with the prose style for fast scenes 

Ending- Page 325- warning: not a romance ending

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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