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  1. REVIEW: Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

    Thursday, March 06, 2014

    By: Adi Rule
    Publication Date: March 11, 2014
    Strange Sweet Song

    A young soprano enrolls in a remote music academy where nothing, not even her mysterious young vocal coach, is as it seems

    Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.

    Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school's production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary? 

    Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.

    Lyrical, gothic, and magical, Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule will captivate and enchant readers.

    Erin's Thoughts

    Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Strange Sweet Song was one of those books that I read the summary and thought it sounded interesting but really had no idea what to expect. I really enjoyed the story that Adi Rule created here and her ability to weave a story within a story was wonderful. The way the opera story was linked to Sing’s story made it that much more interesting and I thought the chapters from The Felix’s point of view added value.

    Sing da Navelli is the daughter of two very famous people. Her father is a conductor and her mother was a singer – because of this, she feels quite a bit of pressure to perform and follow in her mother’s footsteps. As Sing enters the Dunhammond Conservatory, she is faced with overcoming people’s perceptions of her based on who her parents are as well as trying to figure out who she really is/wants to be.

    On her first day, Sing finds out the Conservatory will be performing her favorite opera, Angelique. This also happens to be the opera Sing’s mother was performing when she died so Sing isn't sure how her father will react when he finds out she is the understudy for the main character, Angelique.

    The voice coach assigned to her is Nathan Daysmoor. He is brutally honest with her but also sees her potential. Daysmoor also has a secret and throughout the story we find out how he is connected to the maestro. At first I wasn't really sure about this character but he really did grow on me and seeing how he was when he first came to the maestro and then present day, I was able to see understand the reason behind why he acted the way he did. I also loved seeing the change in him as he and Sing began to connect around the music.

    This book has a wide range of characters – some I liked and some I disliked a whole lot. Regardless of my feelings for them, they all added something to the story. I do have to say, at times Sing frustrated me – mostly because she was trying so hard to be like her mother at times and do what she thought her mother would expect instead of what she knew was the right thing to do.

    There is definitely more to this story than what I have told you here as I don’t want to give anything away but know that I really enjoyed this one. This story includes mystery, magic, music and a bit of romance. If you like any or all of these, definitely check this book out. I found myself pulled into this one and unable to put it down.

    Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the review copy.

    View all Erin's reviews