Pushing his face against Raskin’s, his whisper a maniacal shriek, he demanded, “Who could want to see this? Who?” –Night Magic, Charlotte Vale Allen
Initial thoughts: I was so excited to read this book. Night Magic combines two of my favorite stories The Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. This book is one of ten on my spring-summer reading list (which you can check out here). This is a difficult book to find as it is not sold by any of the bookstores in my area. Luckily, I was able to find a copy gathering dust at my local library.
A beautiful, sensitive young girl falls in love with a brilliant older man who is so profoundly scarred both physically and emotionally that he literally cannot face the light of day. Despite his deep apprehensions, he allows her to enter his world of darkness, where they communicate their love for each other through music” – Goodreads
About the Book
Title: Night Magic
Author: Charlotte Vale Allen
Year Published: 1989
Genres: Fiction, romance, retelling, contemporary
What a disappointment! The book I had been looking forward to since last summer turned out to be a horrible joke of a novel. At first, I was astounded as to why it was so hard to find a copy of this book. I now know why, it is awful.
Night Magic reads like a poorly constructed fanfiction of The Phantom of the Opera. I do enjoy a good piece of fanfiction now and again, however, I do not believe that fanfiction should be on the same wavelength as a published novel. Night Magic was also supposed to include elements of Beauty and the Beast. After finishing the book, the only thing that remotely resembles Beauty and the Beast in this novel is Erik’s deformity.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand the main characters. Erik is a whiny insecure man, who is so overcome with loathing for his own face that he refuses to believe that anyone loves him or cares about him. Meanwhile, Marisa is a selfish womanchild who refuses to grow up. Most of the book is dedicated to her tantrums. If there is one thing that I dislike when reading a novel it is unlikeable characters. Throughout the book, Erik and Marisa neither evolve nor come to some sort of understanding about themselves or the world. Really, it was a waste of time. Night Magic sucks all the magic out of the story which it is loosely based on.
Erik and Marisa’s relationship throughout the book was, in a word, creepy. Marisa, at the start of the novel is sixteen years old. Meanwhile, Erik is thirty-two. Their relationship quickly progresses from friendship to a romantic relationship. The age difference was just too strange to be taken seriously. I ended up skimming over most of the romantic scenes between Erik and Marisa which are in abundance at the beginning of the book.
After Marisa and Erik begin to develop their relationship, it feels as if the author ran out of steam. It was as if she were bored with the characters she developed. She then turns to the secondary characters in the novel and explores their romantic tension. The subsequent time lapses also made the book feel very rushed and haphazardly sewn together. Even the conclusion felt as if it lacked lustre. I couldn’t wait for this book to end.
I wish I could be more positive about this book, but I was thoroughly disappointed with it. My only positive criticism about this novel is Charlotte Vale Allen’s writing. She is a decent writer in spite of her subject matter. Perhaps I would have abandoned this book completely if it weren’t for her writing skills.
I wouldn’t recommend this book to fans of The Phantom of the Opera, nor Beauty and the Beast.
Final rating: F
Until next time,