The Show Must Go On
Where to begin? There is just so much good stuff protruding from this work that it leaves me a little lost for words. To start with the protagonist, Kayla Abbots is an incredibly fine character. She is not average or typical and gives the story bouts of energy. It is a refreshing sight to see someone like her, meaning not another opera singer or a rival to Christine (or even replace her) in that sense, and her background certainly adds to the overall benefit. Her development as the plot progresses is another thing to be valued. Kayla Abbots's modern knowledge, behavior, and personality greatly stimulate the difference between her and the rest of the characters yet she is still able to connect and befriend them. I thoroughly enjoy that you extended her involvement in the story on both ends- not just in the setting of the movie. The survivor aspect of her continuing on after the events in the musical are heartwarming. At the current time we can only wait and see what comes in chapters 60 and beyond (I read 58 and 59 on FanFiction.net).
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The setting from the 2004 movie universe maintains a clear image of the story. The somewhat fourth wall breaks to the real world from Kayla Abbot's perspective keep the connection with the reader. The scattered Easter Eggs (so to speak, little hints or nods to real world) are enticing and further the freshness and engage the reader. Such as acknowledging the actors/actresses of the characters. Even if the reader has experienced numerous Phantom stories this one brings it back for more and more newness.
Fleshing out the story and setting by adding several original characters support the stand alone personality and distinguishing feel it carries. From the little ballet rats to the senior stage crew members and extensions of La Carlotta's family- everyone is recognizable and an individual design. While these secondary characters have a presence in the narrative you are able to bridge the gap and secure balance with the main ones too. The Managers, Madame Giry, Monsieur Reyer, Christine, Meg, and Raoul retain their significance. Since the Phantom has become something of an anti hero there had to be an antagonist somewhere, and it was made to be Raoul. While I believe his actions are fit for your ideas and the place of the work, I also feel that when in comparison to the other side of the spectrum it does not fit the Viscount very well. That is besides the point, just my side opinion, it does not deteriorate from the story and you as the writer may take any directional step you so choose.
The approach of the time spent between movie events is well done. The interactions have a very distinct tone of realism. It is very believable and true aside from the fact I'm staring at a computer screen. This also allows for time to build the relationships and strengthen foundations.
Anyways, I recommend this to anyone who does not mind profanity. As the work progresses I shall add more to complete my review.