ARC Review: Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Title: Spectacle 
Author: Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery 
Source: Tor Teen via NetGalley
Publisher: Tor Teen 
Publication Date: February 12th 2019
Hardcover, 368 pages

A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris. Paris, 1887. Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day's new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered--from the perspective of the murderer himself. When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie's search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie's strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer's identity--and she'll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.
Spectacle was quite different then what I was expecting. Though I did have my issues with Spectacle,  I was nonetheless blown away by Jodie's writing style and the dark themes she wrote about in her debut novel. Spectacle was a page turner with characters that were easily likable and a series of grisly murders that you couldn't help but want to know more about. 

My biggest issue with this book that by the way it is described I was expecting a blood soaked murder mystery that was going to send chills down my spine. Though it do that at many points, the murders and who the murderer is seemed to be a sub plot rather then the main plot. A big part of Spectacle was Nathalie trying to piece together where she got her ability to see the murders from and uncovering secrets from her parents and aunt's past. 

Spectacle had a lot of potential and at certain points it felt like it just fell short of it. Important parts of the story were brushed past and I wish Jodie had taken more time to describe the experiments that gave people their magical abilities and a deeper view into the things that led Tante down the road to an asylum. I knew enough that everything made sense, but not enough to be emotionally invested. 

I really enjoyed Nathalie's growth from the start of Spectacle and to the end of it. The story takes place over a few weeks worth of time and you can gradually to see the change in how Nathalie begins to act and think towards certain things. The friendship between Nathalie and Simone warmed my heart and I found it very similar to some of my actual relationships with friends, so I was able to feel her pain when her Simone would have disagreements. I don't thing Spectacle needed a romance aspect, it worked pretty well with out it. But Jodie did tease us with Christophe and Nathalie's interactions and by the end of the novel their relationship was very up in the air. 

Spectacle did end very open ended and I can see the potential for another novel about Nathalie and her adventures since not everything was clarified by the end of Spectacle. Though I didn't love Spectacle, it was an enjoyable read and I am eager to see what is in store for these characters next.

1 comment

  1. I skimmed the last half of this book. We definitely agreed on most of the points but I gave it 1 star. I really feel like this wasn't a historic thriller because the reveals made no sense. There was no actual foreshadowing and what "clues" we put together in the end weren't significant enough to even be considered a clue. I was blown away by the reveal and not in a good way at all.


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