Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson
Inkyard Press; 2021; 329 pages
Content Warnings: Self-harm, blood, murder, death of a loved one, physical and emotional abuse and manipulation, firearms, violence
About the Author: “Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home, but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her three wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. Sing Me Forgotten is her debut novel.” (Bio taken from the author’s website.)
Isda should not exist. Raised within the opulent walls of the opera house by the owner who rescued her as a baby, she hides a terrifying power to manipulate memories that would mean her certain death if anyone found out. No one aside from her adopted father has ever seen or spoken to her, and Isda is determined to keep it that way. But everything changes when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy with an entrancing voice and the key to Isda’s freedom hidden within his memories. Desperate to learn more about who, and what, she is, Isda spends more and more time with him. She finds herself longing for a life she never thought she could lead, but the price of freedom will cost her more than she may be willing to pay. To break free from the shadows and finally step into the spotlight, Isda must face the darkness within herself before it consumes her and everything she’s ever known.
Sing Me Forgotten is an enrapturing symphony of power, love, and darkness that grips you from the very first page. Jessica S. Olson’s debut is thrilling and captivating, compelling you to read chapter after chapter as you fight for freedom and the future with Isda at your side. And what a fantastic protagonist she is! Defying those who wish to keep her in the shadows, battling the darkness within herself, and making heart-wrenching choices, Isda is the fierce and oh-so-real representation of the Phantom that I never knew I needed. Olson’s writing is stunning throughout as she weaves together phenomenal world-building and a gripping plot with lyrical intensity. I found myself falling in love with sweet and charming Emeric who is portrayed so realistically that I felt as if I could walk outside and meet him on the street. This gender-swapped retelling of The Phantom of the Opera is perfect for those who enjoy fantasy novels that sweep you up and refuse to let you go until you’ve read the final line. I highly recommend this breathtaking book!
(Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change.)
PRR Assistant Director, Wendy Waltrip