Friday, 11 October 2013

Through Phantom Eyes Book 1 - A Childs Guidance by Theodora Bruns Part 1

Erik is only a young boy when he first discovers his great passion for music. Just before his third birthday, he listens to his mother playing the piano, and with excitement, he realizes his life will always be filled with music. Sadly though, along with that powerful and comforting emotion, there is also sorrow. Erik's mother fears him because of his facial deformity, and he is forever scarred by her rejection. His father loves and protects him and tries to guide his young son's rapidly growing genius mind and disturbed heart. Nevertheless, Erik's soul begins to fill with loathing for the world that shuns him, causing him to wage a fierce battle between murderous hatred and compassionate love. Erik's temper erupts violently at times, endangering the lives of those around him as well as his own. Ultimately, he is abandoned and left alone to battle not only a world destined to cause him harm but also his tortured heart.

Discover the astonishing life of Erik, and journey into the private world and intimate thoughts of the man known as the Phantom of the Opera. Be with him as he struggles to balance his brilliant mind and tormented soul.

(Image and description from

Part 1...

I was intending to do just one post on this book once I had read it - after all, I thought that I couldn't really find all that much to say about a 300(ish) page book. I was so wrong! Right now I am on page 123 and I am just finding to many points that I am wanting to bring out I have decided to post an early post...

On a side note, the layout of this nook is brilliant. You see, I am a scribbler. I love to make notes in margins, to underline favourite passages and just make a book MINE by totally scrawling all over it *cough* Respect your books folks *cough* Anyway, the margins of this book are great for that very purpose. They are huge especially at the tops and bottoms of the pages - lovely big gaps.

Moving on.

I loved how the book opened with Erik's present (or semi-present) life, such as the first time that he ever saw Christine.

Oh, and talking of Christine, there are definitely extra brownie points due to this author for having a blonde, Leroux Christine and for having no weird similarities between Christine and Anne - Erik's mother. Thank you for that, because that was one thing I just found a touch too weird in 'Phantom' and unnecessary.

At the beginning, while Erik was haunting the theater and tricking Joseph and the ballet girls, I got a real feel for his sense of mischief that put a bit of a daft smile on my face and I loved! It didn't start of dead serious, with him being left alone in the bowels on the opera house or dying of love or any other of the down and depressing beginnings there could have been, and this was very refreshing!

Ms Bruns seems to have hit the nail on the head with having Erik a mixture of a genius and yet have him with the needs of a child. He possesses the naturally curious personality of a child but then partnered with his intellect he has the tendency to obsess over things until he has found out their secrets.

I think that Erik's father was wonderful. He sees his son as just that - his son. He is different sure, but Erik is his child and he loves him. Their interactions with each other are loving and caring and his father's teachings will no doubt stick with Erik through out the course of the books. Even though at some points I have felt like boxing the fathers ears and telling him to stop lecturing and let his son be a frightened little boy and hide in his room if he likes - but I suppose that would defeat the object. But I do feel like he is pressuring and pushing him a little too much at bits.

I was reserving my judgment of Erik's mother - as I know that interpretations of her differ from phantom book to phantom book as she seems to be a favourite character to shape...But right now I REALLY REALLY don't like her. Grow up women. Act the adult and treat your son like he actually matters WOMEN.

I couldn't help but applaud Erik when he 'waged war' so to speak on his mother. You go Erik!

The most heartbreaking thing about the relationship between Erik and his mother - so far that I can see - is that, although he keeps telling himself that nothing she can do can hurt him anymore he is actually lying to himself. He is continually seeking reassurance from his father and his constant reminders to himself that she can't hurt him just proves the opposite to me.

Erik's childish moments were wonderful and very touching at points. An example of this is when he hopes that his expected sibling will be a little girl so that she will be beautiful like his mother because if it was a boy he didn't want it to have his face. I wanted to cry at the show of his tender heart and childish reasoning. And then when he asked his father if he was missing his nose because he hadn't been 'finished yet'. Oh I wanted to sob for the little soul.

At the end of the day despite being a genius, Erik is still a child and like any child the more he is told not to do something the more he wants to and he has a child's inquisitiveness. So when his actions lead to his mother flipping and Erik becoming ill it leads to an argument between Erik's father and mother. Now, I am sorry, but Erik is a CHILD and his mother has to take responsibility for some things and I don't care if his mother was responsible directly or indirectly no child should be made to feel like they are responsible for arguments/raised voices or whatever between their parents. And the fact that he is just THINKING that he wants his father to be angry at him and not his mother just makes me want to cry again. Sorry I'm not expressing myself very well... This just shows to me another epic FAIL on his mothers part. Especially since he is wanting to take the brunt of his fathers anger when his mother had been an iceberg to him. There are some things that a child just shouldn't have to accept the blame for and the actions of 'mature' adults are one of those things. But then I suppose he isn't a 'normal' child. But I can still be angry at his mother all I want to be! And his father finally yelled at his mother so I got a lot of enjoyment out of that too *evil grin*.

I will point out here that I am a pacifist by nature guys OK. I don't go around screaming at people. But when it comes to mistreating children in ANY way, I tend to get very very emotional.

Anyway, I had better leave it there or there won't be anything left for me to talk about once I have finished it. I am thoroughly enjoying this take on Erik's younger years! 'Phantom' by Susan Kay was all well and good but having over 300 pages dedicated just to his young years is fantastic, and the different emotions this is bringing out in me just makes it all the better.

This was first posted to my Phantom Novel Reviews Blog 10th April 2011

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