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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Stars May Rise and Fall is a modernization of a classic tale, reinvented and penned by author Estella Mirai. Focused on the glam-metal music scene of early 2000s Japan, Mirai retells the gothic love story of The Phantom of the Opera through introducing us to young ingenue Teru. Teru comes to Tokyo with all of the looks and appeal to make it big, but his songs just don’t cut it, and it looks as though his career might be over before it begins. It’s then that Rei steps in, a disabled and disfigured composer who can skyrocket Teru’s talents when they combine with his. But with forbidden romance looming, one kiss could take it all away.
If you’re looking for an intense, intelligent and inventive LGBTQ love story, there isn’t a more perfect book on the market right now. Author Estella Mirai takes us to the slick streets of Tokyo with cinematic description that leaps off the page, guiding readers through twists and turns of a plot which is classic in places, then elevated for the modern day audience in many others. Loving the original Phantom as much as I do, I was delighted to see so many elements redeveloped for the character of Rei, who didn’t lose either his charm, talent or darkness in the process. Teru is an improvement on the original Christine, with a more solidified emotional depth and vehemence about his dreams and desires. Overall, The Stars May Rise and Fall is a superb book and highly recommended.