Sing Me Forgotten / Jessica S. Olson / Book Review

Sing Me Forgotten

Blurb

Isda has spent all her life hidden in the catacombs beneath Channe Opera House. Born a gravoir, Isda is cursed with an illegal magic that allows her to alter the memories of those around her--a magic so strong that those like her have been condemned to die. Only Cyril, owner of the opera house, knows about her. He is the one who spared her life and brought her to live at the opera house, sequestered as she is. Isda shouldn't exist, and she knows it, relegated to the life of a ghost, wandering the halls after hours and helping Cyril to keep the opera house alive. She is content in the life--content as she can be, knowing the other option. Until the night she hears him sing. Isda has heard many singers in her years at the opera house, but none with a voice like Emeric's--none with a voice that stirs up memories as vibrant and alive as his, memories that contain something illegal: the face of a little gravoir girl, the only other of Isda's kind that Isda has ever seen. Desperate to hear more--to see more of his memories--Isda devises a plan to bring Emeric down into the catacombs where she lives, a plan to learn more about the little gravoir girl he knows, living so freely out in the world. But this plan just might jeopardize everything Isda and Cyril have built--including Isda's very life. 

Pros

  • Gender-Bent Phantom of the Opera: It is the retelling we didn't know we needed--but it definitely works, problematic plot and all. This book isn't for the faint of heart, just as its source material isn't. From the first page, it is full of a creepy atmosphere that fans of Phantom of the Opera will appreciate, and the new power dynamics created by the gender swap and the addition of mind-altering magic twist the time-worn tales in new but perfectly fitting ways. 
  • Sarcastic Banter: As a character (and a love interest) Emeric is full of sarcastic humor to an extent that I've rarely seen--and it's great. The dialogue he creates between characters is tongue-in-cheek funny, and he helps to keep the whole thing much more lighthearted than its otherwise dark atmosphere would allow. He rolls through life, and through the plot, with a lightness that uplifts every scene he is in. The book wouldn't be the same without Emeric. 
  • Creepy Setting: A chilling opera house full of twisted statues and whispering ghosts, unsettling magic that slips into the minds and memories of the audience, a crypt-dwelling girl masked to hide her scars: this book is rife with the creepy hallmarks of old tales and the twisted developments of new plotlines. Everything screams of illicit scheming lurking in the shadows, magic and chaos brimming just under the surface--leaving the reader on edge in just the right way. Jessica S. Olson's descriptions are evocative and shiver-inducing. 

Cons

  • Doubly Descriptive: Though Olson does a great job at creating a creepy atmosphere, sometimes the descriptions are too much. Specifically, a lot of passages will be absolutely overloaded with adjectives. A single noun will have two or more adjectives, and this often ends up being twice the adjectives needed. The descriptions get overloaded and end up being less meaningful because of it. 
  • Too Open To Trust: I shy away from using popular acronyms, but unfortunately, one might be warranted here. Isda might just be a little... TSTL. That is, she is too stupid to live. I hate to say it. In fact, I cringe just writing it, but it might just be true. At the least, she's right on the border of TSTL territory. She has spent her whole life in isolation because she will be killed if caught. Social awkwardness is bound to ensue, of course, but being someone who falls too easily into trust? Not likely. Isda is too quick to trust. She isn't skeptical enough, and it just doesn't make sense for her as a character unless... she is TSTL. 
  • Too Easy: There are so many points in this book where characters could be caught--where Isda could be caught--and then simply weren't. It just felt like everything went too easily except where absolutely crucial to the plot. There were no real pitfalls or struggles, and even the plot-ultimate failures had little affect on the characters. When the plot works out too easily, there's no tension, and that just doesn't make for the best of reads. 

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
6/10

Anyone who enjoyed the chillingly magical atmosphere of Janella Angeles's Where Dreams Descend should dive into this dark tale. Those who appreciated the French flare of Shelby Sahurin's Serpent and Dove should sink their teeth into this new forbidden-love story. 

Details

Publisher: Inkyard Press
Date: March 9, 2021
Series: N/A
Buy It HERE


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