Sunday, November 25, 2007

#63 Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of The Opera by Colette Gale

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

I'm a huge Phantom fan. I've seen it on stage several times, read the original book by Gaston Leroux, have the movie version on DVD in my collection, and have the original Broadway production soundtrack on CD. So I guess you can say I know my Phantom. ;) For the other Phantom fantatics out there, know that this book is based on the Broadway play and movie version, not the original Gaston Leroux book. However, this is probably the version most people are familiar with anyway.

I read through the reviews over at Amazon and was surprised at the number of negative reviews complaining about the sex. Sheesh, it's an Erotic novel people! That's why the word is part of the subtitle even! Though from that same vantage point, I actually found the sex scenes a little lukewarm and only mediocre for my taste. This wasn't the spicy hot erotica I usually find like in Ellora's Cave or Black Lace books. Granted they were explicit, but in my opinion, more along the lines of what you find in an erotic romance as opposed to full-out erotica. But I suppose that's how she got published with a major publisher instead of an Erotica-specific one such as Ellora's Cave or Black Lace. I'm not faulting her in any way for this, simply stating the facts.

I really did enjoy this take on Phantom though, taking it at face value. Sure, I think it could've been a little hotter on the sex as I already stated. ;) But I enjoyed the fleshing out of the various characters: Christine DaaƩ, Madame Giry, and especially Erik. I loved how the author really made you feel for Erik! She also managed to make the Comte de Chagny, Raoul's brother Philippe, look like a real asshole, while leaving you with a sort of indifferent attitude towards the Raoul himself. So her words and story did a good job of evoking plenty of emotion. :)

The pacing of the story was quite good as well. There was a good mix of action with the sex scenes placed appropriately throughout. Going in, I was afraid the sex would seem contrived, randomly inserted and disjointed from the rest of the story, but that wasn't the case at all. All the sex was woven in with the rest of the action, which in turn was woven into the standard Phantom story we all know and love.

Most excellent work, Ms. Gale! Bravo!

BookCrossing journal page for this book

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