ARC Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

Posted on August 26, 2016 by Regina | 0 Comments

ARC Review: The Architect of Song  by A.G. HowardThe Architect of Song Published by self-published on August 15, 2016
Pages: 425
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.

*Sings in A minor to my Russian Blue cat using an operatic voice, “Why? Whhhhyyy didn’t I love this book- the book release of my obsession!?!?”*

When I saw the cover of A.G. Howard’s newest novel, The Architect of Song, I instantly coveted it. So, obviously, I was thrilled when I received a digital ARC for review. Despite my excitement for the novel, I made sure not to raise any ridiculous expectations that might ruin my reading experience. I have not read the author’s popular Splintered series yet, so I also did not know what to expect from her writing style.

To put it briefly, A.G. Howard’s writing is beautiful. There were sentences and descriptions in TAoS that dazzled me with their lyricism and poetic overtones. Her writing conjured images of jewel-toned velvets, Gothic architecture, and fairy-tale settings. Lovely descriptions made the story pop.

Crimson Peak is full of decadent eye candy and Howard's descriptions reminded me of the beautiful imagery from this film.
Crimson Peak is full of decadent eye candy and Howard’s descriptions reminded me of the beautiful imagery from this film.

Unfortunately, the romance at the heart of the novel fell completely flat for me. If I had rated this book on that aspect alone, it would have been 1.5 stars. I am a die-hard otherworldly lover/love triangle fan, but neither of these aspects drew me in or held my attention in TAoS. The dynamic between the characters was cheesy to me. It was like rushed lust that masqueraded as love by the end of the story. When I think of a gothic romance, I anticipate the wonderful yet torturous build up of passion and romance between the love interests. I didn’t really get this from TAoS.

Also, I feel like the title is a tad misleading. I thought music or singing was going to play a bigger role in the book, but it doesn’t. The music fan in me was disappointed by this.

I am still completely in love with the idea of this book and series, and I look forward to the next book in the Haunted Hearts Legacy to see if there has been any improvement in the development of the romantic thread.

Just for fun:

If you are into paranormal romances and Victorian era settings, than I highly recommend C.J. Archer’s Emily Chambers Spirit Medium series and The Freak House series. Both trilogies are to die for, but The Medium trilogy comes closest to TAoS. C.J. Archer does an amazing job of building up romantic tension between the human and ghost love interest, and is an absolute master of writing about the Victorian time period.

The Medium new cover

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Classical music nerd by day, freelance writer and blogger by night. When I review books, I don't dish out and rehash every character and detail. What's the point of reading a book if you give most of the deets away in a review??? My reviews are more about my impressions and over all experience with the book. I am also a world-renowned armchair psychologist, and love to psychoanalyze authors.
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