A darkly romantic gender-swapped modern retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, with a scarred Muse girl, a rock-star boy, and a singing competition. For fans of The Wicked Deep (Ernshaw), Wintersong (S. Jae-Jones), American Idol, or The Voice.
Mel must share her creative magic or be driven mad by it. But finding her first protégé isn't as easy for her as it is for most Lianhan Sídhe (muses of Celtic myth). Though the women of her race are naturally beautiful, she carries horrifying scars across one side of her face, inflicted by her mother's obsessive boyfriend. And Mel isn't only interested in pouring her creative energy into a man; she wants to use her musical genius herself, too. But the laws of the Lianhan Sídhe, and her own savage appearance, stand in the way of her ever singing onstage.
To relieve the painful pressure of her magic, Mel latches onto Kiyoji, a boy with a beautiful voice, and coaches him through a televised singing competition. But neither of them are prepared for the power of their connection, or for the new kind of magic that happens when the two of them sing together.
Fans of Holly Black's contemporary fantasy books (Tithe, Valiant) or Brigid Kemmerer's A Curse So Dark and Lonely will enjoy this dark, offbeat retelling with a hint of cyberpunk and a dose of Celtic mythology. The novel celebrates a broad range of music from various decades.
Think modern-day music competition mixed with a bit of the Fae for a Phantom of the Opera retelling, and you have The Monsters of Music. This young adult book is very well written, and in terms of classic retellings, it may well be one of the best I've seen. The characters are interesting and well-drawn, and the story is engaging. I don't read much young adult, but this is one that will appeal to young and old alike. This is seriously one hard to put down book, and yes, I'm being deliberately vague because short of restating the blurb, which I do not do, I don't want to go into the story and give spoilers. If you like classic retellings, or even if you liked the original Phantom of the Opera, give this one a go.