A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge...
CHANDELIER is the genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy-romance novel follow up of Michael Leon’s 2019 fantasy-romance book, PHANTOMS.
A century has passed since the fabled Phantom ruled the Garnier Opera House. Technology has advanced, and AI has evolved beyond human knowledge. They reside in a virtual Earth, free from the ravages of an environmentally damaged Earth where humans and post-humans live under AI’s qualified governance. CHANDELIER follows one AI sentient’s journey, Benny, whose loyalty for a famous opera singer, Madame D’Arenberg, sets him on a dangerous course, entangling him in The Phantom of the Opera’s deadly web.
This week's blog provides an excerpt from Chapter 6 of Chandelier, Erik and Carlotta. In the first book, Phantoms, Erik has escaped the police, who had closed in on his reign of terror over the Garnier Opera house a year earlier. He has sought refuge in Italy, where he undertook facial surgery to change his appearance. Whilst healing, he hatches a plan to again control the Garnier Opera company, this time legitimately as a company director, working with the artistic director. His plan includes winning the friendship of Carlotta, the most famous Diva in Europe and the company's majority owner. Passionate lovers a year earlier, they ruthlessly seized control of the Garnier before losing it all.
It had been a decade since Erik walked through the gothic doors of the Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur, the famous church overlooking Paris from the summit of Montmarte. Ambling through its quiet pews, he made time for prayer, wishing Rose happiness in her next life. She deserved more in her short time, but he'd failed her. Erik looked up to the morning lit gothic windows, admiring the coloured hues that shone through stained glass. It reminded him of the unique light that adorned his home beneath the Garnier, where he plotted revenge for Rose. A tide of anger built in him, threatening to overrule his new purpose. In that dark mood, Carlotta was his enemy. He stood up from prayer, fists clenched, wanting to scream out to the empty chamber. "Help me understand," he cried, looking up to the rays that shone through stained glass windows. A dim light danced across the light before circumnavigating the church like a flock of crows. Erik followed the shadows, but they disappeared as if a phantom controlled the Basilica's lighting in a blink. The event startled him enough to stand and leave. Erik walked to the viewing area, not turning back, fighting old notions that invaded his mind. Phantoms he could not let go.
Erik deflected the slight, pointing to the view. "We are in luck. It's a perfect day to roam Montmarte."
"There have been many blue skies this last year," Carlotta replied, admiring the view and avoiding his gaze.
"Has it been a year?" Erik replied, drawing a stern glance from Carlotta.
"A good friend would know how long it's been."
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About the author:
Michael Leon is an explorer, writer and author of the new novel, Sentient. Professionally trained in international trade, Michael has spent the last decade reading and writing SFF novels about new worlds to be explored in the future. His latest work, Sentient, imagines Earth in the year 2120. His next novel, Chandelier, will be released in 2022. Michael has travelled extensively around Europe, walking the paths of his characters, from the famous European opera houses in Phantoms to the mountain tops of Switzerland in Emissary.
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