It has often been said that Gaston Leroux was confined by his genre and unable to properly explore the vast regions of a character that has more potential dimensions than, I'd wager, even he could anticipate. I tend to think that this is so with Sherlock Holmes as well. Arthur Conan Doyle's method of presenting his immortal character, in the voice of his long-time friend Dr. Watson, tends to make Holmes appear two-dimensional, in spite of Doyle's obvious storytelling ability. In this, Holmes shares a commonality with Erik, and, thus, they are a prefect match. For those of you who would dismiss this as some sort of silly Internet fanfiction you may put your doubts to rest. It is a remarkable book, well written and enjoyable.
However, in the interest of fairness I would like to voice a few warnings, for in bringing two great immortal characters together, there are some inevitable side effects.
First of all, those who explore this book as a fan of Erik's should know that this is more of a Sherlock Holmes story. He is the central character and it is told from the point of view of his cousin and companion. However, Erik's character is in no way diminished. The side effect is that everybody else gets diminished. Siciliano uses a common technique of storytellers who tackle immortal stories. Raoul, the Persian, and to a lesser degree, Christine, are all diminished to the level of base human vices. Not only that but Watson also suffers as his character is depicted as stuffy and secretly contentious with Holmes. Fortunately, however, these weaknesses, though at times annoying, can be justified as the symptoms of two such formidable personalities as Holmes and Erik coming together in a single story. They take the spotlight and everyone else gets pushed aside. Thus, in spite of all that, for sheer caliber of storytelling, I give this book five stars. It is a fantastic and ingenious spin on an idea that dates back to the 1960s. An idea that I am very glad to see in published form. As a fan of both Holmes and Erik I am very pleased.