Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Phantoms: Latest Review


Latest Review

This was a brilliant new take on the Phantom of the Opera. As a fan of the original story, I’m absolutely thrilled at how well Leon and Anthony brought new life to a classic story. The characters had beautiful depth, and I felt like I was stepping straight into the story. The story moved along smoothly, with plenty of twists to keep the reader engaged. The intertwining of Macbeth above with the Phantom below was wonderful. Highly recommended for fans of the original phantom! 


Review by The Faerie Review

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The Avid Reader

Kit ‘N Kabookle

Gina Rae Mitchell

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Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog

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Phantoms (Book One of the Phantoms Trilogy)

Phantoms is an adult fiction novel that tells the story of Erik Destler, a latter day Phantom of the Opera. Erik sets out to take over and rule the Palais Garnier, with La Divina - the diva Carlotta Caccini, as his queen, but at each turn, is seemingly thwarted by his nemesis - the original Phantom of the Opera, now the Opera Ghost. Phantoms is set in that same famous Paris opera house, amidst the staging of Verdi’s Macbeth, one hundred years on from the first appearance of Le Fantôme de l'Opéra in 1910. 

Click the cover to see Goodreads reviews.

Chandelier (Book Two of the Phantoms Trilogy)

CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS. A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.

Click the cover to see Goodreads

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Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. His next novel, Chandelier, will be released in 2022. Michael has travelled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.






Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Phantom of the Opera: A Brief History

Classic literature consists of a league of timeless works that captivated the global imagination. So too, modern classics will become ageless as their written works are re-imagined and re-told to future generations. Our current age is conceivably the most significant for the Earth's future survival, given accelerating environmental change. The severity makes it incumbent on the 21st-century writers to take account of past human viewpoints, re-imagine those endeavours and recast those stories in imaginative new ways.

Leroux's classic 1909 novel, Phantom of the Opera, itself adapted from ageless works, ranging from Greco Roman storytelling to the Gothic novels by twentieth-century novelists such as Victor Hugo, is one example. He told of eternal human themes such as the tragedy of romance and the suffering of a societal outcast.

In 1925, new communications technology of that era enabled Leroux's work to come to life on the screen as a silent movie. Some argue this adaption remains the most accurate interpretation of Leroux's novel. As a result, many movie adaptions have followed.

In 1962, Herbert Lom played Erik in a Hammer film production, a typically darker Hammer re-make, conveying the gothic glamour of Leroux's novel. Then in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber introduced the most influential adaption since the 1925 silent movie. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman played Erik and Christine in a more sensual musical version of the story. Again, Erik is a musical genius, but he's also a manipulative sociopath cast into the shadows due to his grotesque physical affliction. Thirty-five years on, it remains the most influential adaption.

More re-makes followed in the next three decades, ranging from the stomach-churning gore starring Robert Englund (1989); to baroque romance with Charles Dance (1990); to the visually sensual feast featuring Gerard Butler (2004).

I have a personal fascination for Leroux's work, re-telling his work, in my 2019 novel, Phantoms. I'm releasing the sequel in early 2022, Chandelier. Chandelier imagines how Leroux's novel will be re-told a hundred years from now, in an age of rapid technological change, global environmental degradation and the emergence of superior intelligence - AI. How would Leroux's masterpiece be interpreted in a post-singularity era of 2121?

Do you have a favourite film adaption?