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Monday, July 4, 2016

Book Review: Phantom: The Immortal By Mitzi Szereto

Phantom: The Immortal
by Mitzi Szereto
174 pages
February 10, 2016
Sexual desire and soul-searing need fuel this contemporary erotic sequel that relocates the original character from Gaston Leroux’s classic novel The Phantom of the Opera to present-day Paris…

While attending an auction of music memorabilia, young soprano Christine Delacroix bids on some letters written by another young soprano, Christine Daaé, who lived during the 19th century. Here she meets the handsome Compte Rezso Esterhazy, who immediately sets out to court her. Despite his attentions, Christine becomes obsessed with the Daaé letters and her namesake’s mysterious “Angel of Music”—a masked man who lived beneath the Paris Opera House.

Seemingly immortal and frozen in time, the Phantom is condemned to life below the opera house and in the shadows…until Christine Delacroix auditions for a minor role in Faust. Convinced the Christine from his past has been returned to him, he sets out for her to have the lead female role. He visits her in her dressing room to give her singing lessons, all the while remaining hidden from view. Insanely jealous over Christine’s budding romance with the Compte, the Phantom abducts her and takes her to his underground lair, where the singing lessons continue. Only this time they are far more depraved and sexual in nature.

A debut writing collaboration from bestselling authors Mitzi Szereto and Ashley Lister!

While at auction, nubile soprano Christine Delacroix finds herself enraptured by a packet of letters written by a soprano, like herself, named Christine. The letters, amusingly assigned ‘Lot 69’ – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – find their way into Christine’s eager possession. From then, Christine is akin to a sexually awakened zombie set on finding Christine Daaé’s elusive, ingenious, and dangerous, Angel of Music. For his part, the Phantom embraces Delacroix as Daaé reincarnated. He becomes fanatically obsessed with the ingénue and history, inevitably, repeats itself.

Delacroix isn’t a contender for literary heroine of the year. She’s a satisfactory foil for a cast of dysfunctional characters including her two suitors, the Phantom and Compte Rezso Esterhazy. Flamboyant costumer/phantom confidant Giry is a character highlight.

As a life-long Phantom fan, this book’s premise is both intriguing and unsettling. It’s a virtual re-telling or modernization of Phantom with a steamy twist. Phantom: The Immortal is a work of erotica steeped in social dysfunction. To enjoy this telling of the Phantom of the Opera, you need to be able to compartmentalize your social conscious. It’s a fantasy through and through; a sinful guilty pleasure.

Four sentimental sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, has her own blog “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” and is creator/presenter of the Web TV channel “Mitzi TV”, which covers the “quirky” side of London. Her books include Rotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) and Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) – both part of the cosy mystery series co-authored with her celebrity sidekick bear Teddy Tedaloo; Phantom: The Immortal (co-authored with Ashley Lister); Love, Lust and Zombies: Short Fiction; Darker Edge of Desire: Gothic Tales of Romance; The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray; Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire; Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying for It: Tales of Sex and Death; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series; Silk Sheets: Collected Stories of Mitzi Szereto; and The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005. Her books and short fiction are also available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iTunes as well as audio. She has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and mainland Europe, teaching them from the Cheltenham Festival of Literature to the Greek islands. She’s also lectured in creative writing at several British universities. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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