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Angels of Music

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Deep in the shadows under the Paris Opera House resides Erik the Phantom, mysteriously enduring through the decades as the mastermind behind a strange and secret agency. A revolving door of female agents are charged by wealthy Parisians and the French Government to investigate crimes and misdemeanours they would prefer to keep out of the public eye.


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Deep in the shadows under the Paris Opera House resides Erik the Phantom, mysteriously enduring through the decades as the mastermind behind a strange and secret agency. A revolving door of female agents are charged by wealthy Parisians and the French Government to investigate crimes and misdemeanours they would prefer to keep out of the public eye.

30 review for Angels of Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Seregil of Rhiminee

    Originally published at Risingshadow. Kim Newman's Angels of Music is a fascinating novel for those who are familiar with Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910). I was delighted to read this novel and found myself enjoying it, because it was something different. If you think that reading Gaston Leroux's novel, seeing its film versions and hearing Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version is everything you need to know about Erik the Phantom, you're gravely mistaken. Originally published at Risingshadow. Kim Newman's Angels of Music is a fascinating novel for those who are familiar with Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, 1910). I was delighted to read this novel and found myself enjoying it, because it was something different. If you think that reading Gaston Leroux's novel, seeing its film versions and hearing Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version is everything you need to know about Erik the Phantom, you're gravely mistaken. Kim Newman's novel breathes new life and vigour into this classic tale. The author draws inspiration from Gaston Leroux's novel and pays attention to maintaining the mysterious and thrilling atmosphere that originally drew readers to the story, but delivers his own vision of Erik the Phantom and his deeds by adding fresh elements and humour to his novel. Angels of Music is a brilliant combination of old-fashioned adventure fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction and horror/dark fantasy elements. It is something unique for those who want to read a good and entertaining mystery novel, because it is slightly akin to Vaughn Entwistle's The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The author's way of way of writing about mystery elements is entertaining and will keep readers thrilled all the way from start to finish. Kim Newman's re-imagining of the tale of Erik the Phantom feels wonderfully fresh, because Erik runs a secret detective agency that investigates delicate crimes and misdemeanours that famous and wealthy people prefer to keep secret. He uses his talented women operatives to investigate things. I'm aware how strange this may sound, but this novel reads like a bizarre blend of The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie's Angels (it also has a tiny dash of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). It would be easy to assume that this kind of a blend would be a recipe for total disaster, but it's not - this novel is a fine achievement in engaging storytelling. Once you begin to read this novel, you won't be able to put it down until you've reached the end. This novel consists of six loosely related stories: - Act One: The Marriage Club - Act Two: Les Vampires de Paris - Entr'acte: The Case of Mrs Norton - Act Three: Guignol - Act Four: The Mark of Kane - Act Five: Deluge Each of these stories features a different case and different angels with special skills (as time goes by, the angels move on and are replaced by new angels). It's great that the angels change in each story, because it keeps the novel fresh. Here's a bit of information about how this novel begins, because the first story provides the basis for the following stories: At the beginning, three girls - Christine Daaé, Trilby O'Ferrall and Irene Adler - have been sent to Paris Opéra. They're all talented in their own ways, because Christine has a Voice, Trilby has a Face and Irene has a Mind. Their talents attract the attention of Monsieur Erik aka Phantom of the Opera. Erik nurtures their talents and teaches them to do things. He founds a private enquiry agency, the Opera Ghost Agency, which offers services to a special clientele. Soon Madame Apollonie Sabatier, who hosts a salon, asks for Erik's help. She thinks that one of her patrons, Grand Marshal Gérard, is not acting like himself and fears that he may have been "got at" in some way. Christine, Trilby and Irene begin to investigate what's going on... This is all I'll write about what's going on, because I want to avoid writing too much information about the happenings (the less you know about certain things in advance, the more you'll enjoy the stories, because the author has a few surprises in store for his readers). I can mention that each of the stories is worth reading and delivers good entertainment to readers, because they feature elements of danger, adventure and intrigue. Kim Newman writes fluently about the different angels and what kind of persons they are, because he fleshes out their personalities in a good way. His portrayal of their deeds, talents and feelings feels vivid, because he aims to entertain his readers and keeps things in motion. It was fun to read about what kind of work the angels did and how they had to act certain roles and wear disguises when they worked for Erik. I want to mention separately that I found it immensely intriguing to read about what Sophy Kratides, the Angel of Vengeance, thought of Sherlock Holmes and his abilities. It was also interesting to read about Unorna, the Angel of Magic, because she was the so-called Witch of Prague and bore the stigmata of heterochromia iridis (her eyes were different colours). The author wrote fascinatingly about her arcane knowledge and study of the occult. This novel has plenty of wittiness that I found irresistibly charming. The witty remarks and comments made by some of the characters are inventive and at times delightfully stinging. This is nice, because sharp and stinging humour has always appealed to me. Kim Newman masterfully evokes a sense of time and place in this novel, because he brings an age gone by to life with his prose. His descriptions about Paris and its various locales and different people feel authentic. I admire the author's way of easily creating a believable and thrilling atmosphere, because nothing feels forced or heavy in this novel. The happenings during the 1910 Great Flood of Paris are brought vividly to life and so are various other things, including the vampires. His descriptions of Parisian lifestyle, corruption and murders are excellent. It's great that this novel features many popular culture references and appearances by famous literary characters and historical persons, because it's fun to spot them. For example, Irene Adler, who originally appeared in "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance in this novel, and - of course - Christine Daaé from the original Phantom of the Opera novel is also part of the cast of characters. I can also mention that the Diogenes Club is mentioned in this novel. If you're a fan of classical music, you'll be pleased to know that several operas are mentioned in this novel. It was intriguing for me to read about how they were used in the stories, because I enjoy listening to classical music and find old operas interesting. For example, it was nice to see the little-known opera Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner mentioned in the second story. I sincerely hope that Kim Newman will continue to write more this kind of novels, because he's one of the best and most talented authors of intriguing fiction (he always manages to surprise his readers with fresh material). This novel provides readers proof of his writing skills, because it has everything - adventure elements, mysterious happenings, intriguing characters and good storytelling - you could ever hope to find in an entertaining novel. I think that this novel will especially appeal to those who enjoy reading historical fiction and mystery fiction. Kim Newman's Angels of Music is an entertaining and well written novel about Erik the Phantom and his talented angels who investigate various crimes and misdemeanours in their own unique way. If you are looking for a novel that will entertain and thrill you, you simply can't afford to miss this novel, because it's a veritable tour de force of imagination and storytelling. It's an utter delight for fans of engaging storytelling. My final words are: Kim Newman's Angels of Music is captivating and well written entertainment!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    It's exactly the rollicking, non stop, lurid adventure you would expect from the author of "Hound of the D'ubervilles" and "Anno Dracula", turning the Phantom of the Opera into the head of a Charlie's Angels type gang of crime fighting girls, all pulled from classic literature. I like these books, they have genuine thick atmosphere, good action and laugh out loud humour, all of which can be tough to find these days. Lots of interesting historical/literary titbits, as well as funny things like mak It's exactly the rollicking, non stop, lurid adventure you would expect from the author of "Hound of the D'ubervilles" and "Anno Dracula", turning the Phantom of the Opera into the head of a Charlie's Angels type gang of crime fighting girls, all pulled from classic literature. I like these books, they have genuine thick atmosphere, good action and laugh out loud humour, all of which can be tough to find these days. Lots of interesting historical/literary titbits, as well as funny things like making the 1870s and 1880s being reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s, complete with historical Parisian Glam Rock and Yuppies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BookWyvern

    Exactly what I expected from Kim Newman, a great adventure full of sly humour and fit to bursting with literary references. I would have liked to have seen more of Christine Daae (I've always adored the character, so to have a Phantom story with her barely in it was a teeny bit disappointing) but it's not a Phantom re-telling, it's a story set with the Phantom as it's central character. Fully recommend!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Although this is a great idea and well written, my attention wavered a bit due to the episodic structure and constantly changing cast. However, some of the sub-stories are as exciting as anything by Kim Newman, especially the one involving the Grand Guignol.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Charles Prepolec

    Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the Paris Opera. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties....now they work for me. My name is Erik... Kim Newman's latest collection stitches together some previously published novellas, with some entirely new material, and the result forms a very entertaining serial novel. The premise, typically fun and off the wall Newman, is essentially a blending of The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie's Angels. I know, it sounds corny as ca Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the Paris Opera. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties....now they work for me. My name is Erik... Kim Newman's latest collection stitches together some previously published novellas, with some entirely new material, and the result forms a very entertaining serial novel. The premise, typically fun and off the wall Newman, is essentially a blending of The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie's Angels. I know, it sounds corny as can be, but it isn't and works extremely well. The Phantom is Charlie, with the Persian as Bosley, and the Angels, who change throughout the years (roughly 1870-1910), are taken from a range of period novels and include the likes of Christine Daae, Irene Adler, Trilby O'Ferrall, Alraune, Eliza Doolittle, and so on. As with Newman's seminal ANNO DRACULA, spotting all the literary and pop culture references is half the fun, while the clever stories themselves provide the balance. Thrilling adventure, fantasy, and horror all come together in this excellent volume. If you've enjoyed Newman's ANNO DRACULA or DIOGENES CLUB stories, you'll love this. If you haven't read Newman before, it's as good a place as any to get started.

  6. 4 out of 5

    supreme commander

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Uh. I don’t like to criticise but seriously. The tone of this book is off. So sooooo far off. I was expecting Jago and lightfoot, springhealed Jack, Holmes and Watson. Murder and mystery abound with lashings of black humour and a constant clamour of greasepaint, high jinx, curtains tumbling and a nod and wink to the in - on - the joke audience. Great jumping grasshoppers was I in the wrong book. If you are going to take a character like Erik after the fact of the phantom, a) you need to give som Uh. I don’t like to criticise but seriously. The tone of this book is off. So sooooo far off. I was expecting Jago and lightfoot, springhealed Jack, Holmes and Watson. Murder and mystery abound with lashings of black humour and a constant clamour of greasepaint, high jinx, curtains tumbling and a nod and wink to the in - on - the joke audience. Great jumping grasshoppers was I in the wrong book. If you are going to take a character like Erik after the fact of the phantom, a) you need to give some context and not assume the readers knows everything about him, b) make him larger than life, c) watch the Charles Dance version of Phantom and take your cues on humour directly from there. Instead we have a shadowy overly serious figure that deals in the most ridiculous of investigations. That would be fine if the writer hadn’t made the main characters so dry, so straight. They need to be vaudeville, the need to be love never dies funny and ott for them to fit into the verse the authors created. They are sadly not. Onto the girls. Why? Why choose characters from other works? Why not go with Christine and the rats from the ballet? Madam Giry as a spy, even Carlotta? That would have worked. For me the best “Angel” was Irene Adler, But she wasn’t in it for long enough. Why in lucifers name would you put Christine into this and then barely use her? Also please, if she’s there she’d be with Erik. She’d be his lover, there’s vague hints but if you are going to keep her in the picture there is no other place for her except at Erik’s side. Gah. Do I have anything good to say. No. On the face of it I’d love to see Christine and Erik fighting side by side running an agency that deals with the macabre and weird. I’d love to see Erik teach Christine to fight and Christine teach Erik to love. I’d love to see the rats and Madam Giry be part of that story and there to be ridiculous stories in the great traditions of Sherlock Holmes and fu Manchu. Did I find that here? No. Does the author need to get a sense of humour? Yes. Do I get this book? Yes, I know what she was trying to do with the book but it’s just not this authors thing. So in signing off I will say this is worse than the phantom of Manhattan. Sorry. Not sorry.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I really love the concept of combining characters from several famous works of literature. Seeing Erik the Phantom and Irene Adler, in particular, as characters in something aside from their original books, was a really exciting concept. Unfortunately, the book didn't really follow through on all the buildup. It felt as though it dragged on forever, plodding from story to story with no real purpose and nothing much tying them together. I pushed through because I kept hoping it would get better, I really love the concept of combining characters from several famous works of literature. Seeing Erik the Phantom and Irene Adler, in particular, as characters in something aside from their original books, was a really exciting concept. Unfortunately, the book didn't really follow through on all the buildup. It felt as though it dragged on forever, plodding from story to story with no real purpose and nothing much tying them together. I pushed through because I kept hoping it would get better, but it never really did.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennie Rigg

    As usual for Newman this is chock full of clever references and beautifully crafted allusions… however: it doesn't really hang together as a novel. It's more of a series of short stories with a linking theme. Now, there's nothing actually wrong with that as a concept, but I found it immensely frustrating that just as I fell in love with one set of characters and was eager to know what they would do next, they were tossed aside and we got a new set of characters. As with all Newman it's witty and c As usual for Newman this is chock full of clever references and beautifully crafted allusions… however: it doesn't really hang together as a novel. It's more of a series of short stories with a linking theme. Now, there's nothing actually wrong with that as a concept, but I found it immensely frustrating that just as I fell in love with one set of characters and was eager to know what they would do next, they were tossed aside and we got a new set of characters. As with all Newman it's witty and cleverly written, but I wouldn't say it's essential. Pick it up if you see it, but don't go out of your way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, runs a sort of detective agency in 19th century Paris and employs the girls of the theatre as his agents. This is split into stories about the cases that his Angels work on that range from vampiric action to clockwork brides. Great fun with lots of literary and pop culture references (a rhapsody from Bohemia anyone?) with a slight nod to the old tv show of Charlie's Angels.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ananda

    Phantom of the Opera meets Charlie's Angels. As a longtime Phantom obsessive I had no chance of resisting this book, and its reimagining of the Phantom as the secretive head of a private enquiry agency headquartered at the Paris Opera delivered very well. What I wasn't expecting was the even more creative reimagining and presentation of the women in the book, from Christine Daae to Irene Adler to Elizabeth Eynsford Hill, all of whom take a detour from their source material to do a tour of duty a Phantom of the Opera meets Charlie's Angels. As a longtime Phantom obsessive I had no chance of resisting this book, and its reimagining of the Phantom as the secretive head of a private enquiry agency headquartered at the Paris Opera delivered very well. What I wasn't expecting was the even more creative reimagining and presentation of the women in the book, from Christine Daae to Irene Adler to Elizabeth Eynsford Hill, all of whom take a detour from their source material to do a tour of duty as one of the Phantom's Angels (always in groups of three, highly trained, but selected for their unique talents). But we also meet a host of ladies from less well known media, or supporting roles, of the period, and I am tempted to read all of their original stories. I didn't recognize Trilby O'Farrell as Svengali's initial victim, nor Kate Reed as Mina Murray's best friend in "Dracula", nor Rima from "Green Mansions". There are lots and lots of other pop culture and period literary tropes - the Black Bat, a wealthy individual who takes to the rooftops of Paris with his collection of gadgets ((view spoiler)[but is a serial killer! Twist! (hide spoiler)] ) and a "These aren't the ladies you're looking for" moment. Sometimes these feel a bit forced. The plots of the individual stories are fun but I wish the author had leveraged the ladies' pre-existing literary backgrounds a little more consistently. (I loved the inclusion of Sophy Kratides, the Angel of Vengeance, and her exceedingly dim view of Mr. Holmes and how he let her brother, the Greek Interpreter, down.) Recommended for fans of the 1890-1915 period and its literature and characters, and of course Phantom fans.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Landry

    Where do I start with this ridiculous book? There are apparently 6 stories in this book, each one with three different "angels" working for the Phantom's detective agency. I don't know because I finished one and threw my hands up part way through the second. Story one: a madam contacts the agency because one of her former clients got married and stopped coming to her brothel. He's an old man who married a pretty young thing named Poupée (really?) Erik and his angels decide to investigate. What th Where do I start with this ridiculous book? There are apparently 6 stories in this book, each one with three different "angels" working for the Phantom's detective agency. I don't know because I finished one and threw my hands up part way through the second. Story one: a madam contacts the agency because one of her former clients got married and stopped coming to her brothel. He's an old man who married a pretty young thing named Poupée (really?) Erik and his angels decide to investigate. What they find is some woman who claims to be a descendent of Caliostro who has parties at which rich men meet young women and marry them the same night. The only catch: they aren't really women, they're clockwork dolls. The men are hypnotised so they don't realize they are boinking metal and wax figures. GROAN! Story two: a group of professional killers who call themselves Vampires, complete with filed teeth and never going out at night, hire the Angels because some useless fop got murdered and the cops are blaming them. They insist it's really a mad in a bat mask and cape who crawls down the sides of buildings. I'm sorry that is where i draw the line. I don't see how anything could get more ridiculous. Back to the library it went.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Redsteve

    A series of short stories about the Opera Ghost Agency (a bizarre combination of The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie's Angels) set in a fantastic Paris from 1870-1910. The world resembles (and has some characters from) Anno Dracula. Until 3/4 of the way through the book, I thought that it actually WAS the same world (Act II: Les Vampires de Paris actually features Dracula's "brides" and mentions that he is in England at the time), but the alternate history in this book diverges from the events A series of short stories about the Opera Ghost Agency (a bizarre combination of The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie's Angels) set in a fantastic Paris from 1870-1910. The world resembles (and has some characters from) Anno Dracula. Until 3/4 of the way through the book, I thought that it actually WAS the same world (Act II: Les Vampires de Paris actually features Dracula's "brides" and mentions that he is in England at the time), but the alternate history in this book diverges from the events of Anno Dracula (apparently the Count stays dead in this world). A classic Newman book filled with homages to innumerable stories, books and silent films of the period, although the changes in characters between the stories makes this less enjoyable as a novel. I was somewhat annoyed that Kate Reed is a major character in two of the Angels of Music stories - since I'm used to her a protagonist in the Anno Dracula books (mostly as a vampire), her AoM timeline is different and (I feel) unnecessary since Newman could have used a different character in her place.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jason Payne

    Another winner by Kim Newman, author of the "Anno Dracula" alternate history series and the Drearcliff Grange series. "Angels of Music" is a very fun pastiche collection of interlocking stories centered around a single premise: Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, now near-immortal, basically runs a detective agency from the catacombs under the Paris Opera House. His operatives, only three very able women at a time, take on the cases that the French govt (or select very wealthy patrons) want kept qui Another winner by Kim Newman, author of the "Anno Dracula" alternate history series and the Drearcliff Grange series. "Angels of Music" is a very fun pastiche collection of interlocking stories centered around a single premise: Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, now near-immortal, basically runs a detective agency from the catacombs under the Paris Opera House. His operatives, only three very able women at a time, take on the cases that the French govt (or select very wealthy patrons) want kept quiet. His various operatives include A.C. Doyle's Irene Adler, Albert Aikens La Marmoset, and Newman's own Kate Reed (from the Anno Drcula series). And yes, The Phantom has a majordomo--The Persian--who liases with and helps the operatives. (Any resemblance to "Charlie's Angels" is entirely intentional.) The book is funny, very written, and chock full of references (both obscure and well known) to pulp fiction of the 19th and 20th centuries. Helps if you get the references, but if you don't the book is still easy to enjoy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Mesler-Evans

    Okay, so as you can probably tell from the summary, I did not go in expecting this to be great literature. I'm a huge fan of the "Phantom" musical, but I know that it's a very melodramatic, very flawed spectacle. Unfortunately, this book didn't have the qualities that made the musical work (sometimes in spite of itself). I think part of it was, I didn't know who a lot of the characters were. Most (if not all) of them come from classic literature, and I had difficulty keeping track of all of them Okay, so as you can probably tell from the summary, I did not go in expecting this to be great literature. I'm a huge fan of the "Phantom" musical, but I know that it's a very melodramatic, very flawed spectacle. Unfortunately, this book didn't have the qualities that made the musical work (sometimes in spite of itself). I think part of it was, I didn't know who a lot of the characters were. Most (if not all) of them come from classic literature, and I had difficulty keeping track of all of them. Not helping matters was the fact that the lineup of Angels changes with every section, and Irene -- who was my favorite in the first section -- was the first one out. That, combined with the writing style not really grabbing me, made it difficult for me to find the motivation to continue reading. I don't think it's a bad book, but it's definitely not for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    A very, very Newman book. Erudite, clever, weighted with references and allusions that almost nobody withoutbthe author's encyclopaedic knowledge of the dramatic, gothic, and macabare will recognise, and with a perhaps slightly underwhelming climax. A reinvention of Charlie's Angels, with the titular Angels drawn from Grand Guignol theatre and 'Charlie' a masked fellow living under Paris Opera House. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, though like some of Newman's recent work i think the plot often lo A very, very Newman book. Erudite, clever, weighted with references and allusions that almost nobody withoutbthe author's encyclopaedic knowledge of the dramatic, gothic, and macabare will recognise, and with a perhaps slightly underwhelming climax. A reinvention of Charlie's Angels, with the titular Angels drawn from Grand Guignol theatre and 'Charlie' a masked fellow living under Paris Opera House. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, though like some of Newman's recent work i think the plot often loses tightness in the author's eagerness to sneak another obscure reference in. If you're a fan of the genre that this riffs off, it'll be a huge treat.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Charlie's Angels meets Phantom of the Opera. Such a fun concept and I adored the way Newman seamlessly weaves in literary figures and historical events into the story. My biggest complaint (and it's a sizable one) is that there are too many characters and they never seem fully realized. I wish that each novella was just extended into its own novel so we could really get into the stories and the characters. Each story felt like an introduction to a novel, not a fully actualized novella, and defin Charlie's Angels meets Phantom of the Opera. Such a fun concept and I adored the way Newman seamlessly weaves in literary figures and historical events into the story. My biggest complaint (and it's a sizable one) is that there are too many characters and they never seem fully realized. I wish that each novella was just extended into its own novel so we could really get into the stories and the characters. Each story felt like an introduction to a novel, not a fully actualized novella, and definitely not a cohesive part of a novel. I liked what I read; I just wanted more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I thought the premise of this one was interesting. Sort of Charlie's Angels, with Erik the Opera Ghost as "Charlie". Unfortunately, I didn't think this lived up to the premise. The first couple of stories were fun, but it kind of wore out quickly. I think my main difficulty was that I felt as though the women didn't seem like full characters to me. They kind of went in and out of the stories and didn't leave much of an impression. And without compelling characters, there just wasn't enough here I thought the premise of this one was interesting. Sort of Charlie's Angels, with Erik the Opera Ghost as "Charlie". Unfortunately, I didn't think this lived up to the premise. The first couple of stories were fun, but it kind of wore out quickly. I think my main difficulty was that I felt as though the women didn't seem like full characters to me. They kind of went in and out of the stories and didn't leave much of an impression. And without compelling characters, there just wasn't enough here to hold my attention. Kind of a shame, because I did like the premise.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Weird, but in the best way possible. Kim Newman's story-telling style is so unique, featuring unconventionally (and conventionally) strong-willed, dangerous women, which I appreciate. There are few times where I can tell that a man wrote the female perspectives, I think only once in this novel. Overall, I think that this is a great book. It takes a little while to get into the weird atmosphere, but once you do, it is well worth it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Masterfully written, the novel evokes the flavor of nineteenth-century literature and Parisian culture and history. Amusing, clever, and inventive, this Victorian version of Charlie's Angels reinvents Erik the Phantom as leader of a clandestine detective agency investigating bizarre crimes with the help of different trios of "angels" with unusual and sometimes deadly skills. A delicious cauldron of vampires, living dolls, Grand Guignol, witchery, and bloodthirsty villains.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    DNF because the writing style felt a bit like wordy reference soup. It starts telling a story, then goes off on a tangent about one of the characters, returns to the story briefly before going off after another character... Too frustrating to follow and the story itself buried beneath was a bit silly (the original character names did not help at all). Interesting idea, but the execution didn't work for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Judd Taylor

    A bit uneven at times (I believe at least 2 of the “episodes” were novellas at first, which makes the book feel a bit more like an anthology than an actual novel), but still fun. As with many other Newman books the cast is made up of an entertaining mix of characters from books and film. A fun idea, well executed for the most part.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    It's great fun, and it reads like it was great fun to write as well. Plus it will make you want to read at least a dozen more books afterwards. It sits very well alongside the Anno Dracula series - which I think is pretty high praise.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Msoneworld4me

    I enjoyed seeing familiar characters resurface from the Anno series in this other reality and of course meeting new ones. The book features combined stories and is exactly what I expected from the author, a great adventure full of sly humour, plot twists and literary references.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    1.25 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Hale

    The Reimaginative Newman strikes again, and strikes well. A thriller fit for centuries old and new.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Spinwallah

    I couldn't finish it. I really tried as I am a fan of mr newmans' but fuck me sideways every single reference point in the book left me cold

  27. 4 out of 5

    Summer Seeds

    DNF. I barely made it through the first story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nyx

    Great story with great female lead charachters. There are alot of stories untold, lots of angels we did not meet, hopefully they are in stories yet to come.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Tarran

    I'm not going to lie to you guys, I completely love The Phantom of the Opera! I got to see it back when I was in school, in the West End with a brilliant cast, the same cast in actual fact, who are in the anniversary DVD! I loved it, the music, the costumes, the story, and I become completely obsessed with it for a while there. Like I knew all the songs by heart, and I watched the anniversary DVD on a loop near enough. Not the movie adaption. I don't like to mention the movie adaption. The book I'm not going to lie to you guys, I completely love The Phantom of the Opera! I got to see it back when I was in school, in the West End with a brilliant cast, the same cast in actual fact, who are in the anniversary DVD! I loved it, the music, the costumes, the story, and I become completely obsessed with it for a while there. Like I knew all the songs by heart, and I watched the anniversary DVD on a loop near enough. Not the movie adaption. I don't like to mention the movie adaption. The book has been on my to read list for ages and I will get there eventually....my life motto right there folks, but if there's a book that's to do with Phantom then it's a safe bet I'm going to read it and add to my mental images of the Phantom and his story all ready to be destroyed when I read the actual book! What drew me about this book was the mention of Irene Adler, and an agency founded by Erik. You are all well aware that I love anything original and unique and so this caught my eye immediately and I really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the concept/premise for it and I completely and utterly loved the writing style and the language used and ugh. Perfect writing is perfect. Angels of Music is so beautifully and well written, and it's funny and there's action and adventure and mystery and plenty of literary/pop culture references to ferret out which was a lot of fun too! I loved the setting and getting to know/see Paris through the book. I loved the characters, each brought something different and they where all interesting to read about. I loved seeing Irene multiple times as she was the character I was most familiar with. I loved seeing Erik too, I kinda wish there was more of him but then the book was about the girls and solving things so it might not have worked with Erik all over the place. Plus he doesn't really leave the Opera much. I've only read Drearcliff by the author, Anno Dracula is on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up and I fully intend to get to it at some point, so I'm not as familiar with Newman's works as other readers might be. BUT I have been reliably informed that some of these stories are novellas and Newman has brought them together with some new stories to create this tale, and Newman really makes it work! We have different acts, and each act has three new Angels to meet and a new mystery/crime to solve. I thought the stories where, as previously stated, well written and clever. They all wrapped up nicely within the limit they had and kept you guessing until the end. I was intrigued the entire way through, I was entertained and the fast pace meant that I whizzed through this in two sittings. What I loved was how each act introduces the Angels, introduces the villain and then each act builds up to the final act. The final act brings together some old faces both Angels and villains for a final face off as it where, and I loved how Newman brought all of the stories together and linked them in. The ending though...poor old Erik. I could totally go for another book if Newman decides to do so, because I'd love to see the Angels sorting Erik out and seeing more of the stories with them. Angels of Music is a fast paced, entertaining and well written book that is entertaining throughout and full of pop culture references that have you getting all excited when you spot one. For instance, having just read Dorian Gray I definitely got way too excited to be able to get the Sybil Vane reference! Angels of Music will be a fun read whether you're a fan of Phantom of the Opera or not, whether you've even heard of it or not!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    Once upon the time there were three little girls who went to the music academy.... I can't believe how long it took me to cop on to the fact that this is a riff on Charlie's Angels, with the Phantom Of The Opera as Charlie, the Persian as Boswell and a rotating cast of three angels on hazardous duties. I think it was the first time they were given their assignment by the Phantom through a mirror with the Persian beside them in good ol' Charlie's Angel fashion. I loved Charlie's Angels when I was Once upon the time there were three little girls who went to the music academy.... I can't believe how long it took me to cop on to the fact that this is a riff on Charlie's Angels, with the Phantom Of The Opera as Charlie, the Persian as Boswell and a rotating cast of three angels on hazardous duties. I think it was the first time they were given their assignment by the Phantom through a mirror with the Persian beside them in good ol' Charlie's Angel fashion. I loved Charlie's Angels when I was a kid. I wanted o be Submarina. A succession of cases, a succession of angels going together down the mean Parisian streets, following trails and foiling schemes and battling evil. There are lots of great ideas here, and I don't want to give them away, but I particularly loved the reverse-heist in the Mark Of Kane. It's he sheer quantity of female characters lining up to become angels. A remarkable and diverse selection of heroines or borderline personalities, from Irene Adler to Lady Snowblood to Eliza Doolittle. Many of them are neglected even in the works they appear in - here they're given a chance to shine and take centre stage, cease being marginalised and become adventuresses. The adventures are cracking, the setting is vivid and the pop-culture underbelly is full of weirdness and nastiness and material a-plenty for the Phantom and his Angels and their hazardous duties.

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