Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: March 11, 2014Adi RUle
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book through NetGalley for review. This was a beautiful novel involving music, magic and a dark mystery surrounding the music school that our heroine attends.
Throughout the book we hear from four main POVs. The first is that of Song, a teenage girl whose mother was a famous opera singer. Song is excited to be at this prestigious music school, Dunhammond Conservatory, and desperate to prove herself. Everyone wants her to be a replacement for her mother who died during a performance of the opera Angelique. Song is battling other sopranos for a chance to play the lead in the school’s opera, which ironically happens to be Angelique.
The second POV is that of George, who ends up being the current Maestro at the music academy. We also hear from an apprentice whose name is Nathan. The last POV is that of a dark and magical thing that dwells in the forest surrounding the school, something called the Felix.
The book starts out a bit disjointed as we jump between these POVs. As the story continues you start to figure out that George’s parts much take place sometime in the past…as do many of the parts of the story told from the Felix’s POV. However Song’s portion of the story always take place in the present. As the story progresses and the reader figures out what’s going on, these three POVs really blend together and form a story that is engrossing and impossible to put down.
I loved the heroine, Sing, as well. She is struggling with living up to her mother’s memory and her father’s expectations. She is having trouble figuring out who she is and what type of person she wants to be. She doesn’t want to be super cutthroat and competitive like her mom, but she wants to sign well and please her father. Whether or not Sing actually gets to sign the main soprano part in the opera is a question that makes the story engaging.
My favorite character in the book though was Sing’s coach, the Apprentice Nathan. Nathan has some deep dark secrets that involve the woods surrounding the school. He is a very mysterious and a big part of what drives the story is figuring out the mystery behind his story and history.
The writing is beautiful and very atmospheric. Hearing from the Felix’s point of view adds a bit of a mystical quality to the story and a little ambiguity. I thought these parts were a nice balance to Sing’s very real struggle to make it as a singer.
There is a sweet little romance here too. I won’t say too much about it, except to say that initially Sing falls for an obvious choice that ends up being not what she thought it was. It ends up being the boy that she gets to know more gradually and the boy that challenges her more that is the better match for her.
Things are tied up nicely at the end of the story and I enjoyed how everything played out. There is a wonderful twist at the end of the story that I think readers will enjoy.
Overall this was a very beautiful novel involving music, magic, and mystery. I loved the characters and enjoyed watching as Sing, not only competes for a star musical role, but also struggles to figure out who she is. Nathan, the Felix, and the mystery surrounding them added a mystical feel to the story that was entrancing and really drew the reader in. Recommended to those who love music and YA fantasies.