Spectacle
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 Details

TitleSpectacle
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 12th, 2019
PublisherTor Teen
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Spectacle Review

  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Nathalie Baudin writes the morgue column for Le Petit Journal, which is all the more impressive considering she’s a sixteen-year-old in 1887. Though she longs for a more challenging journalist position, she dutifully attends morgue viewings each day without incident. That is, until the body of a murder victim is displayed, and Nathalie has a vision of the killing in brutal detail. Soon, Paris is in a panic as more bodies are discovered and someone begins taking gleeful credit for their demise— t Nathalie Baudin writes the morgue column for Le Petit Journal, which is all the more impressive considering she’s a sixteen-year-old in 1887. Though she longs for a more challenging journalist position, she dutifully attends morgue viewings each day without incident. That is, until the body of a murder victim is displayed, and Nathalie has a vision of the killing in brutal detail. Soon, Paris is in a panic as more bodies are discovered and someone begins taking gleeful credit for their demise— the Dark Artist. Nathalie realizes, with the aid of her newfound visions, she might might be the only one able to find the killer’s identity and bring peace to city, even if she risks becoming a victim herself.Great books, in their opening pages, totally transport readers to a different time and place. Here, readers are plopped into a stunning portrayal of 1880s Paris, and it’s due to the careful direction of author Jodie Lynn Zdrok. She opens with a bang, expertly twisting the start around Nathalie attending a crowded corpse viewing at La Morgue and then suffering a psychic vision. It’s doubly unexpected, but sets the tone perfectly— here’s a society obsessed with death, and it’s about to get even more macabre.But then Zdrok pulls back, letting some slack in the pacing. She takes her time building the mystery, building the characters, and, ultimately, crafting an engrossing world. The payoff is immense. This glimpse into Paris feels real, and there’s an ever-present danger— after all, there’s a killer on the loose. But it’s not immediately evident how this directly affects Nathalie. Zdrok dangles each reveal carefully, dropping new twists that draw Nathalie in and propel the action forward at the most delicious times.Really, there’s perhaps no better character to follow around 1880s Paris as she stalks a murderer than Nathalie. She’s cool, determined, and complicated— everything a main character should be, and more. She’s helped along by a brilliant cast of friends and family. Scenes with her mother are highlights, and Zdrok, with finesse, navigates the complications of a mother-daughter relationship as Nathalie moves to the cusp of adulthood.At its core, this book is a mystery, but it certainly isn’t a standard one. In fact, it tosses out the formula entirely. There’s more introspection, with Nathalie constantly questioning her role in the sleuthing process. Her detective work is just as much about her journey as it is about the case, which clicks. It’s a character-driven process, with clues and red herrings taking a backseat at times, but Zdork merges these two narratives in such a satisfying way.All of this is not to suggest there isn’t a bit of fun to be had. Nathalie’s best friend, Simone, works in a club and adheres to some mysticism, providing both fun and tricky subplots. And there’s some mild flirting with Christophe, an inspector. Refreshingly, romance is not a major element of the book, and their interactions feel sweet and perfectly natural.That’s the beauty of Spectacle. Sure, there’s a serial killer on the loose and some paranormal aspects that are being kept hush-hush, but everything feels natural. That’s an amazing feat on Zdrok’s part, and it’s resulted in a brilliant debut.Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.
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  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    "Nathalie was never afraid of the dark, even as a child. If anything, she wanted to know what was in it." Oh how I wanted to love this one.  It was right up my alley - historical fiction, strong feminist character and a cool mystery.  Unfortunately, this one feel a little flat in places for me.Spectacle starts off very intriguing.  Set in Paris, in the 1880s, there is a man running around killing young women ala Ripper style that the press have named The Dark Artist.   Our main protagonist, "Nathalie was never afraid of the dark, even as a child. If anything, she wanted to know what was in it." Oh how I wanted to love this one.  It was right up my alley - historical fiction, strong feminist character and a cool mystery.  Unfortunately, this one feel a little flat in places for me.Spectacle starts off very intriguing.  Set in Paris, in the 1880s, there is a man running around killing young women ala Ripper style that the press have named The Dark Artist.   Our main protagonist, Nathalie works for a newspaper company, writing the morgue column (dreary much!).  The morgue happens to be displaying dead people (including the murder victims) for all the world to see.  Kind of like a side-show attraction.  Nathalie frequents this place often to write her column and when she comes face-to-face with the first victim of the killer, she feels the sudden urge to touch the glass - showing her a vision of the murder taking place.  Obviously, she is scared of what she saw and if it's even real and what's more it seems that she can't figure out who the killer is, but the killer just might know who she is.I first want to say that I did enjoy this book.  I probably went in with too high of expectations because I love this type of story.  It had lots of potential and lots going for it.  The main character was a strong female - she was 16 and talked much older but that is pretty normal in YA books, so that didn't bother me.  She's inquisitive, brave and ahead of her time and I really enjoyed her as a character.  I also loved that their are not one, but two different strong female/female friendships.  The friendships are beautiful to read and they weren't about boys.  I love seeing more and more of this in YA - I really do hope it becomes the norm, because it's wonderful to read and really connects me to the characters so much more.Another wonderful thing was the author's beautiful writing and descriptions.   I could imagine Paris in that time because of her lovely writing and there is enough talk about French pastries that I had to go get a snack while I was reading (ok, a couple snacks, but who's counting!).  I also loved that the author chose to throw some French in here and there, it just really adds to the atmosphere and getting lost in it.Ok, so what was my issue with the book? The pacing - the pacing wasn't just slow, it was repetitive.  I felt like I spent half the book, at least, reading about the main character not accepting her ability.  It really slowed the story down and didn't offer a ton, it should've been wrapped up quicker, in my opinion, or we should've been getting more in-depth useful information while she went through her whole ordeal.  Although, many of the descriptions are well written and beautiful - the back stories and learning about key information (such as experiments) weren't really fleshed out enough. I wanted more of that type of writing and less French pastries.There was also a very small love interest story that seemed a little pointless, but maybe it comes into play more in the second book.  The mystery was interesting, but I wanted some kind of cool twist, which didn't happen at all.  I do think that the end set up the second story to be much more exciting though and hopefully answer a ton of unanswered questions.Overall, I enjoyed the story and will likely try the second one.  I had no idea this book wasn't a stand-alone when I went into it but I'm fine with that.  This is Jodie Lynn Zdrok's debut novel and I think her writing is very strong and certainly an author to watch.  If you like stories like Stalking Jack the Ripper then you might enjoy this one.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think!Thank you to netgalley and Tor Teen for an earc, in exchange for my honest review. 
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  • Sh3lly (grumpybookgrrrl.com)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF 25%, no rating. I think this one is just not for me. Murder mystery in which a teenage girl discovers she has the paranormal ability to witness a serial killer's murders backwards after she sees the bodies in the morgue. It takes place in 1800s Paris. I am not connecting with Nathalie. The writing is good and I am sure others will like it. Release date is February 12, 2019.I received a copy of this from the publisher through Netgalley. Thank you very much!
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  • Kaya
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this! That cliffhanger was SO cruel though...Full RTC to come!
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    1887 historical fantasy. Paris. magic caused by pseudoscience. weirdness. I'm fucking ready.
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, this is so delightfully messed up! I mean it, it is sometimes downright gruesome, so if you can't handle death and morgues and such... might want to skip it. But if you can handle it, this was a really good one! Let us discuss why! •Nathalie was morbidly curious, yet still relatable. I mean, I don't frequent places of death personally, and I imagine most of you don't either. But I u You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, this is so delightfully messed up! I mean it, it is sometimes downright gruesome, so if you can't handle death and morgues and such... might want to skip it. But if you can handle it, this was a really good one! Let us discuss why! •Nathalie was morbidly curious, yet still relatable. I mean, I don't frequent places of death personally, and I imagine most of you don't either. But I understood Nathalie's inquisitiveness too. Especially since apparently, this was a legit pastime in France. (Can we please have another shout-out to how delightfully strange old-timey France was? Love it.) Plus she isn't like, messed up- just interested in death and the macabre a bit more than the average bear. No shame, girl. •The mystery kept me on my toes. I cannot tell you how many times I wrote "wait maybe it was him!" in my Kindle notes. I was usually wrong, so sue me. That's the good part though- I was wrong, because the mystery was good. I love a good whodunit. And this was one. •It was thought-provoking. So many questions about death, and choices, and more stuff that I can't talk about because it would probably be spoilery, but I loved it. •Friendships FTW! I love me some strong female friendships, and they were front and center in this novel! Again, I don't want to give too much away because they are important to the story, but the relationships felt really authentic. •It tugged at my heartstrings a bit! That was unexpected, actually. It's not often that a murder mystery gets me teary, but here we are. (Also, does the fact that I list "crying" as a positive make me a complete masochist, or...?) My only real qualm was that I would have liked a bit more from the ending? It definitely answered some questions, but then others were left more open. I assume there's a chance this will get a sequel? I do hope so, as I'd definitely be reading it! Also, it's pretty much romance-free, which isn't exactly a negative, but I wouldn't turn one down, either! Bottom Line: Pretty messed up, but in the good way! A mystery that kept me guessing and characters I enjoyed make me hope this doesn't end up being a standalone!
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  • Kaya
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!This was spectacular. YA mysteries are far too often filled with petty drama, unlikable characters, and predictable twists. Spectacle, however, was none of these things. The author did a beautiful job of balancing gorgeous French phrases and historical buildings with just a touch of magic.This follows a reporter named Nathalie, who, while visiting the morgue for an article, touches the viewin Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!This was spectacular. YA mysteries are far too often filled with petty drama, unlikable characters, and predictable twists. Spectacle, however, was none of these things. The author did a beautiful job of balancing gorgeous French phrases and historical buildings with just a touch of magic.This follows a reporter named Nathalie, who, while visiting the morgue for an article, touches the viewing glass and gets a glimpse of the murder. In reverse. So she's obviously shook, and is trying to reconcile what she knows about the world around her and the secrets everyone has been keeping from her. Meanwhile, the killer? Yeah, he knows who she is...Jodie's prose paints pictures in your mind, it plants thoughts of true depth to be pondered upon at a later notice. That's a more fancy way of saying I LOVED HER WRITING *flails foreverNathalie was definitely a strong female character in many ways. Her dedication to being a reporter was actually rather inspirational, so don't blame me when I run off to join the online newspaper. I will say that I sometimes felt like her personality wasn't always steady. Sometimes she'd make choices I didn't think went with choices she would otherwise make? And sometimes her actions would annoy me but that's probably because I get impatient. And want the answers.This was ridiculously twisty? Like, I THOUGHT I saw a couple of things coming but haha no. So many tiny details come into play later, but in ways I never expected. Of course, there were a few moments where I thought NO FORCED ROMANCE but I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, I thought that the plot was a little scattered but I was honestly too caught up in everything to care.And the magic was too perfect? Like, it's magic/science and it's so flipping cool. The way it's integrated into the story is pure brilliance. THAT CLIFFHANGER THOUGH. I also really appreciate that Nathalie actually has a family? Which for some reason is rare in YA.I'd totally recommend this to fans of Stalking Jack The Ripper! While it lacks the wonderful sass of Thomas Cresswell, it DOES have a female character placed in a "traditionally male role" in historical fiction, a murder mystery, and awesomeness. Except that this has a touch of magic, and a more well-thought out mystery!4.5Review to be posted on my blog closer to release date!
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    I'M GETTING SJTR VIBES AND I NEED THIS. RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW.
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I come away from this book with a sense of frustration; I’d like to be rating it higher. There was a lot of glimmers here and there of strong writing, a dark and tense atmosphere, and an intriguing, shadowy alternate version Paris, yet so much of this book was bogged down by things that could have been fixed easily with a stronger edit.The story follows sixteen year old Nathalie, who writes a column for the newspaper on the bodies in the Paris morgue. Things change when Nathalie has a vision of I come away from this book with a sense of frustration; I’d like to be rating it higher. There was a lot of glimmers here and there of strong writing, a dark and tense atmosphere, and an intriguing, shadowy alternate version Paris, yet so much of this book was bogged down by things that could have been fixed easily with a stronger edit.The story follows sixteen year old Nathalie, who writes a column for the newspaper on the bodies in the Paris morgue. Things change when Nathalie has a vision of the last moments of a girl in the morgue’s grisly murder, prompting Nathalie to go on a journey to discover the killer’s identity and source of her own newfound power.With vibes similar to Stalking Jack the Ripper and The Diviners, I really do think this book could have been phenomenal if it had committed to its darkness and abandoned some the YA tropes and tendencies, such as the “girl disguises herself as a boy” trope that adds nothing to the story.The examination of death and the terrifying nature of the serial killer known as The Dark Artist was my favorite part: To go to the morgue was to poke the grim reaper in the ribs, to tell him he was riveting. Because if he was riveting, he wasn’t scary. Death was for other people....The anonymity added to the callousness of it. The girl with the blood-stained dress, the victim; that’s all she was to anyone right now....Nathalie was never afraid of the dark, even as a child.If anything, she wanted to know what was in it. A few other things that worked well was the usage of a female friend group and the Paris setting, though the usage of French lingo and dialect was inconsistent enough to be a bit questionable for me.By far the biggest fault of this book is the pacing. It’s one of those books that feels like it didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. Though the beginning is exciting, what ensues is essentially 200 pages of the main character whining and questioning her powers rather than embracing it. The book as a whole just ends up being way too long, especially with the ending being as lackluster as it is (view spoiler)[(the resolution to The Dark Artist plotline felt out of left field for me, and that last chapter was honestly pure garbage - it’s simply there to set up for a sequel and not even passable for an ending) (hide spoiler)].Though I can’t say I would recommend Spectacle at this moment, I actually think Jodie Lynn Zdrok is a talented writer who could become a much loved author in the future. I look forward to following her writing career!
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    ohh this is giving me stalking jack the ripper vibes
  • Amber (The Book Bratz)
    January 1, 1970
    The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Thank you NetGalley and Tor Teen for the opportunity to review Spectacle!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 bigges The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz Thank you NetGalley and Tor Teen for the opportunity to review Spectacle!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.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I read an early copy of Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s novel SPECTACLE, and I still have chills! In 1887, the main character, Nathalie, is an ambitious 16-year-old journalist tasked with viewing and writing about the bodies laid out in the Paris morgue. She approaches her duties in a clear, understated manner, which lends an even more sinister air to the story when describing the murder victims on display and the injuries their bodies sustained. When she experiences a strange, seemingly unexplainable, magic I read an early copy of Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s novel SPECTACLE, and I still have chills! In 1887, the main character, Nathalie, is an ambitious 16-year-old journalist tasked with viewing and writing about the bodies laid out in the Paris morgue. She approaches her duties in a clear, understated manner, which lends an even more sinister air to the story when describing the murder victims on display and the injuries their bodies sustained. When she experiences a strange, seemingly unexplainable, magical connection to the very first victim, the story spirals even wider, delving into the murders as well as the science (and the secrets) behind her newfound power…and the consequences that come along with it.This is the kind of book in which certain scenes are so unexpected that I wanted to tell someone else about them immediately, if only to say: “Can you believe that just happened?” And the ending, which successfully ties up the different threads of the story, also leaves the reader with the expectation that there is still so much to explore.
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  • Kelly Coon
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of fantasy, thrillers, and historical fantasy are going to absolutely love SPECTACLE by Jodie Lynn Zdrok. I was astounded by the turn of events 75% of the way through. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. I thought I had the whole thing figured out, but Zdrok proved to be a masterful storyteller. She got me!!! Her writing is dark--the detail of the bodies in the morgue is haunting--and the descriptions of Paris in 1887 made me feel like I was right there with Nathalie running through the Catacombs or Fans of fantasy, thrillers, and historical fantasy are going to absolutely love SPECTACLE by Jodie Lynn Zdrok. I was astounded by the turn of events 75% of the way through. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. I thought I had the whole thing figured out, but Zdrok proved to be a masterful storyteller. She got me!!! Her writing is dark--the detail of the bodies in the morgue is haunting--and the descriptions of Paris in 1887 made me feel like I was right there with Nathalie running through the Catacombs or enjoying a pain au chocolat in a cafe. Highly recommend!
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  • Rae
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest reviewYou can also find this review and others on the blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...Another historical fiction! I never seemed to enjoy this genre much before because I felt that they were either too dense or too slow. And while this book was a tad on the slow side, it was also really interesting and quite an adventure! After falling in love with the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year I’ve been dying for an ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest reviewYou can also find this review and others on the blog here:http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev...Another historical fiction! I never seemed to enjoy this genre much before because I felt that they were either too dense or too slow. And while this book was a tad on the slow side, it was also really interesting and quite an adventure! After falling in love with the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year I’ve been dying for another gory old timey mystery and when I read the blurb for this one I was so hopeful that I had found just the right book to bring my search to an end. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading Spectacle, there was also something that kept me from truly loving it.Spectacle is also one of the many books set in France that I have read here lately. I seem to have a theme I am chasing in my book selections lately. Or maybe its the authors that have been on a theme to their writing lately. Did the chicken or the egg come first? The world may never know.. But I digress, the setting, while familiar also took a peak at the darker more dangerous side of Paris. It wasn’t all cafe life and trips to the Eiffel Tower. This book was filled with murder, serial killers, and danger. This was a side of France that didn’t thrive in romance and wealth.This book is about a girl named Nathalie who after her mother is injured and her dad leaves on business, she must find a job through her fathers connection at the local newspaper to help provide for her family. Missing out on a summer away with her best school friend, Nathalie is the new journalist for the local morgue column. Her job entails daily visits to the morgue to deliver the news on the latest passings of life. But on one strange visit while studying the body of a young girl close to her own age, she just happens to touch the glass only to be trapped in a vision through the eyes of the murderer. From that point on Nathalie must decide if this strange new power is real, or if she is losing her mind like her poor aunt Brigitte. And is she willing to accept the consequences of using such power? Is finding the murderer of these girls worth possibly becoming insane?I really liked the bond of friends and the focus on family and the relationships between them and the main character Nathalie. It all seemed real and honest, there were hardships yes, and regret, but it also showed the real range of emotions one might go through if stuck in a tough position like Nathalie was. She experienced so much death and fear at the hands of this psycho killer and no one person would ever come out of something like that unchanged. It was also refreshing that while there were hints of romance and flirtation, it wasn’t the main focus of the book. While this is normally what I live off of in books that I read, it was nice to know that even though there wasn’t a romance per say, it was still an engaging and interesting read.My main complaint would be the ending. I don’t want to give away too much as to spoil anyone, but I don’t think its even fair to call it a cliffhanger. The ending was more like missing the top step while climbing the stairs in the dark. One minute you’re trekking along thinking everything is fine and normal, and then whoof, no step. No more stairs to climb. Totally unexpected. Just like the ending to this book. It just hits you out of nowhere, almost feeling like its right in the middle of a sentence. I kept flipping pages thinking, there’s no way that’s how this ends. It feels completely unfinished and that is the worst feeling in the world at the end of a book. I’m not sure if there is another book in the future to continue on with this story, and if there isn’t then I would say don’t even bother reading this because you will never have closure in your life again. Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic, but still. YOU CAN’T JUST END A BOOK LIKE THAT! In the meantime I am going to believe that there will be a Spectacle #2 otherwise this will just make me even more angry.In summary, this was a really interesting and captivating read. I was extremely interested in finding the killer and found it to be a really well written book. Although I didn’t care much for the ending, I would continue reading this if it ever becomes a series. I’m starting to like more of the historical fiction genre here lately, its fun branching out to find that you do actually enjoy some different styles of writing than what you might be used to reading. Because isn’t that what reading is supposed to do, take us out of our norm, break us out of our shells to experience what we normally wouldn’t? I’d like to think so.
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  • Wing-yee (bibliomeds)
    January 1, 1970
    thanks for being nice to me for once, netgalley
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    I think I need to adopt a Marie Kondo style to my reading. If it does not spark joy within the first quarter, quit it. And after turning the last page of Spectacle, the title feels a lot like a misnomer. This wasn't a spectacle by any means, but rather a bit of a snore. This book could have been incredible, but alas. Its biggest flaw was in its pacing. The best mystery/thriller/suspense novels I've read are fast and snappy. Before you've even recovered from the last plot twist, you're sent reeli I think I need to adopt a Marie Kondo style to my reading. If it does not spark joy within the first quarter, quit it. And after turning the last page of Spectacle, the title feels a lot like a misnomer. This wasn't a spectacle by any means, but rather a bit of a snore. This book could have been incredible, but alas. Its biggest flaw was in its pacing. The best mystery/thriller/suspense novels I've read are fast and snappy. Before you've even recovered from the last plot twist, you're sent reeling by another. Then another, another. The most definitive thing I can say about Spectacle and its pacing is that there are only so many times you can read at length the main character getting on this Omnibus, getting off this tram, lamenting how far she has to walk. About 200 pages were spent detailing Nathalie's near every move and her constant complaints of the power she has. Bearing in mind that I've only read an ARC, this was a story that could have benefited heavily from a good edit and a slashing of about 100 pages. I believe then it would have held up well and really snared my attention.As it were, I did think the mystery itself was quite intriguing. What initially drew me in was 19th century Paris. I'm an absolute sucker for that era and city and I found it to be portrayed really well here. Visiting the iconic spots of Paris, such as Notre Dame and the Catacombs and seeing inside every day with the morgue was wonderful if a little morbid. Despite the overloading of details and events, I still did not know whodunnit until the main character figured it out herself. Something I am immensely grateful for. I thought the writing was quite impressive as well. There were a lot of hidden gems of description and thought that nailed down the dark atmosphere this story and world was meant to evoke. The magical angle was interesting, rooted as it is in science and blood. Learning about Insightfuls and in turn figuring out what is happening to Nathalie and her own ability was neat. Little snippets were fed here and there that kept me reading through the sometimes long-winded conversations and internal dialogue. How it led into the mystery and the whodunnit was also interesting. Sadly I think it's full potential was never reached. There were a few other elements aside from the pacing that didn't sit well with me and made it difficult to enjoy. 📚 As interesting as Nathalie's magical ability was, I found there to be a glaring hole with it. (view spoiler)[Namely that whenever she touched the glass of the morgue window it would activate. But only ever with the murdered girls. Never with the other people lying on the slabs. It irked me because I doubt she is able to be selective, and certainly not at a distant. Especially when at the end she touches someone else and sees how they died. (hide spoiler)]📚 The execution of her memory loss was very poorly done. See, on several occasions in the beginning Nathalie will suddenly be made aware of the fact that she can't remember doing something, such as writing the letter she just mailed to a friend. That shock doesn't sit all too well with the reader when they just sat through a rather boring chapter of her writing the very letter. When the reason for this comes to light it makes sense, but the delivery is poor. 📚 There were several tropes that just didn't land. For instance, Nathalie works at a newspaper, but as the only woman she must dress as a boy whenever she delivers her column. My only response is why? What purpose did it serve for the story? Absolutely none other than perhaps an author self-indulgence. Another aspect that was lost was the inevitable romantic feelings Nathalie develops for another character. The way it all went ... why even bother? 📚 Finally, (view spoiler)[what the hell was that ending? It fell so soft and yet makes one believe it's a cliffhanger for a second book. I sincerely hope not. (hide spoiler)]There was definitely potential with this, but it fell flat of my expectations. For more:https://leahtesch.wordpress.com/2019/...2.5 stars, rounded to 3
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  • The Book Valkyrie
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that Parisian Fantasy/Historical Fiction just isn't my jam.After the disappointment that was Grim Lovelies (a slow-paced, trope-filled book that came out last August) I was reluctant to give this genre another chance... But, I thought that perhaps Spectacle would be all the things Grim Lovelies wasn't: Engaging, interesting, and well-written.Alas, it was not. I have two primary issues with this book.For starters, the characters. Nathalie, our protagon Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that Parisian Fantasy/Historical Fiction just isn't my jam.After the disappointment that was Grim Lovelies (a slow-paced, trope-filled book that came out last August) I was reluctant to give this genre another chance... But, I thought that perhaps Spectacle would be all the things Grim Lovelies wasn't: Engaging, interesting, and well-written.Alas, it was not. I have two primary issues with this book.For starters, the characters. Nathalie, our protagonist, had absolutely no depth or complexity to make her stand out amongst other fictional characters. She lacked any personality whatsoever and had no interesting qualities about her. And, as you might already know, dry and bland characters lead to a dry and bland book... Which, sadly, was exactly what Spectacle was.My other problem with this book was the pacing. Seriously, it was SO. TEDIOUSLY. SLOW. Sometimes I found myself unknowingly skimming through pages due to the book's boring and action-less content. Oops. Overall, Spectacle was a huge disappointment for me. With one-dimensional characters and pacing slower than that of a turtle, it was, to say the least, not a five-star read....Thank you to Tor Teen Publishers and Jodie Lynn Zdrock for giving me the opportunity to read this novel! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
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  • Kayla Gallup
    January 1, 1970
    Spectacle is a young adult murder mystery that takes place in 1800's Paris. Beautiful young women are being brutally murdered by a serial killer who believes the way he mutilates the bodies are a work of art. Nathalie writes a morgue column for a newspaper and when the first victim is brought to the morgue and displayed, Nathalie accidentally touches the pane of the viewing area and receives a vision of how the victim was murdered. She thinks it must have been a hallucination or some type of flu Spectacle is a young adult murder mystery that takes place in 1800's Paris. Beautiful young women are being brutally murdered by a serial killer who believes the way he mutilates the bodies are a work of art. Nathalie writes a morgue column for a newspaper and when the first victim is brought to the morgue and displayed, Nathalie accidentally touches the pane of the viewing area and receives a vision of how the victim was murdered. She thinks it must have been a hallucination or some type of fluke. However, when the next victim is brought in, she touches the glass again and once again receives a vision of the woman being murdered from the murderers perspective. Why is she receiving these visions and how did she receive these powers? Do other have powers or is she just an anomaly? Could these visions help solve the mystery of who is murdering these young women?The writing in this novel is fast paced and beautiful. It left me wanting more. The world building and character development was done well. The visions were really unique to this novel, which made me love it anymore. Now, what I really want to know is if there will be a sequel due to how Spectacle ended.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this! The mystery was really well done and there was a lot of interesting subplots and side characters and complexities. I also loved that there wasn't really a romance? There were hints there, but it was very minor to the plot. The main mystery wrapped up a little early for me, but there were added components to help the story not feel like it's dragging on. I'm also intrigued because where it ended left room for a second book and I'm curious what would be done with that.
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  • Helenasghost
    January 1, 1970
    So Nathalie is a girl of 16. Unlike today's 16 year olds however, she is smart and street-wise, knowing when to push and when to let things go. While her friends are off learning how to be a lady and a fantastic wife for the men they will soon court and marry, Nat is attending the coroners office every day so she may report on societies demise. Being female, she has a hard slog. Noone would actually want to advertise that they have a female writer, so instead she writes from the shadows, accredi So Nathalie is a girl of 16. Unlike today's 16 year olds however, she is smart and street-wise, knowing when to push and when to let things go. While her friends are off learning how to be a lady and a fantastic wife for the men they will soon court and marry, Nat is attending the coroners office every day so she may report on societies demise. Being female, she has a hard slog. Noone would actually want to advertise that they have a female writer, so instead she writes from the shadows, accrediting her work to a made up man. She's a trooper, unwittingly facing the Dark Artist and his lady friend on multiple occassions, none the wiser until the final pages. I liked her but something was off, I couldn't quite put my finger on it to be honest.Her friends, Agnes and Simone, are polar opposites of one another. Agnes is a lady, writing letters to Nathalie while on holidays and bringing her back gifts from the seaside when she returns. Simone on the other hand is brash and feels kind of judgemental of everything Nat does (she's kind of mean but everyone has that nasty friend they just adore). I feel the dichotomy of these two characters really helped to expand Nathalie's persona, allowing her to be better understood by the reader.The token love interest within the piece, was well placed and a little unexpected. I was so very happy to find that while it is mentioned and there is a sweet moment or two, after his admission that he is taken, Nathalie backs off and it is never mentioned again. In recent years, the 'love interest' trope seems to have become a must have in novels and I found it refreshing that in Spectacle, it was such a minor occurrence that it had absolutely no effect on the story (To you Ms Zdrok, I raise my glass for going against the stream).Now, as I said earlier, this novel is set in Victorian era Paris. There is a public viewing for every corpse that comes the coroners way. There's dank, dark underground tunnels. Some filthy streets add to the ambience of the whole thing. It is basically a setting deserving of any good Penny Dreadful novel of the era. Add in a Jack The Ripper-esque villain in The Dark Artist and you have the makings of a fantastic novel. Everything is spot on, mostly...Here is where I wish to mention the down sides. It felt a little like I had heard it before. As I said in the previous paragraph, it has all the eerie setting and mass murder you would expect to see in a Penny Dreadful. And I am partial to a good Penny Dreadful story. Alas instead of feeling fresh and new, it felt a little like a retelling of Jack The Ripper rather than a whole new tale. Yes there were different aspects thrown in (I got to around 75% through and THOUGHT it was over but turns out it wasn't), but at its core it felt a little like I had in part read it before.Second, I want to point out the language. It has French which is all well and good. But the amalgamation of English and French, Spanglish-style, made me a little irritated. Then a little more until I got to a point where i skipped large chunks of the dialogue in one specific part (I had to go back and read it again because it was kind of important. Oops). While it is a seemingly small annoyance, it distracted from a fairly evenly paced, slow burn of a novel.So, as a whole, I enjoyed Spectacle. It was well paced and oozed ambience. I liked the MC and loved her relationships with her friends. The villain of the piece was sinister at every turn, getting to be so self assured, he flouted his expertise in advance letters to the coroner by the end. While it had a very Jack The Ripper vibe, the Dark Artist brings his own sense of mischief, seemingly wanting to be caught whilst also wanting to stay in the shadows. The dialogue was a little too back and forth for my liking and the arc of the story felt a little cliched but overall, I found it an interesting read.I recieved an advanced reading copy from Netgalley and the publisher Tor Teen. All opinions are that of the author and have in no way been influenced by the publisher or its affiliates
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  • julia
    January 1, 1970
    FULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG HEREMy initial interest for this book spiked because the premise reminded me a lot of one of my 2018 favorites, Stalking Jack the Ripper. Upon reading this, I realized the two are actually quite different!What is this book about?Spectacle centers around the young reporter Nathalie, who writes for the Parisian newspaper. Her job requires her to make continuous visits to the morque. Nathalie discovers that she has the ability to see visions about the victim's death, and is FULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG HEREMy initial interest for this book spiked because the premise reminded me a lot of one of my 2018 favorites, Stalking Jack the Ripper. Upon reading this, I realized the two are actually quite different!What is this book about?Spectacle centers around the young reporter Nathalie, who writes for the Parisian newspaper. Her job requires her to make continuous visits to the morque. Nathalie discovers that she has the ability to see visions about the victim's death, and is thus pulled into a murder mystery about the Dark Artist killer terrorizing the streets of Paris. Mystery, magic and mayhem ensues!What did I think about this book?First of all, let me say I liked the concept of this book well enough, while not a major fan of the crime/mystery genre, I was so intrigued by the premise and the setting of historical Paris (I blame you, The Gilded Wolves!) to give this a chance. I think the plot is very original in that sense and the book wasn't as comparable to Stalking Jack the Ripper as I initially thought.Character-wise, I also really enjoyed the main character and her personality. The way Nathalie goes against societal constraints, the way she handles her newfound ability and her job as a journalist are nothing but admirable and everything I tend to look for in a strong female character. I think the writer really did her a solid.The aspect where this book loses points for me, however, is the writing. The writing is kind of too to-the-point, and the pacing, I find, could be kind of off in the sense that things happened a little fast sometimes. I normally like a fast-paced book, but this in combination with the writing left me a little 'meh' at some times. I also sometimes had trouble connecting to the main character at certain scenes, because of the writing. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but something about the writing struck me as a little distant.However, all in all, I enjoyed this book. The plot-twists in this were plot-twists you ACTUALLY didn't see coming, which is also a plus when you normally guess every single 'plot-twist' in history ever because they tend to be predictable. The mystery aspect in this was so well done, I, who is normally not a mystery lover, ended up loving the mystery in Spectacle. Aside from the occasional very sporadic and to-the-point writing, I ended up giving this book a solid 4 stars which makes this a good debut novel in YA fantasy. 4/5.*** Review copy provided by Netgalley ***
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Sixteen year old Nathalie writes the daily morgue column for a newspaper in 1887 Paris. Everyday she goes to the public morgue and describes the anonymous bodies on display, hoping to sate the public want for the macabre. One day while she is there, Nathalie touches the glass as she looks at the mutilated body of a young woman - and is promptly thrown into a vision. She watches the murder occur, through the eyes of the killer. As more bodies accumulate, Paris is thrown into a panic with the real Sixteen year old Nathalie writes the daily morgue column for a newspaper in 1887 Paris. Everyday she goes to the public morgue and describes the anonymous bodies on display, hoping to sate the public want for the macabre. One day while she is there, Nathalie touches the glass as she looks at the mutilated body of a young woman - and is promptly thrown into a vision. She watches the murder occur, through the eyes of the killer. As more bodies accumulate, Paris is thrown into a panic with the realization that a serial killer is on the loose, and Nathalie must decide if this newfound ability is worth pursuing in the name of helping to catch a murderer. This is a very original story and the main character is a strong example of a young woman going against societal expectations to do something she loves. The tension is well done and the twists are unexpected. I was real excited for this book - it sounded like it was firmly in my wheelhouse. Magical ability? Check. Serial killer? Check. 1880s Europe? Check. Sadly I was pretty let down. The writing is very clunky; there's a lot of repetition of similar scenes. Nathalie explaining her visions to people is basically repeated with the exact same unrealistic response from everyone she tells (her boss, her parents, multiple friends, the guy she has a crush on, etc). The story itself was interesting, but I think the storytelling was very wooden. I think the background story that was the basis for so much of what was happening in Spectacle was honestly more interesting than the story we were supposed to be following.I get that its supposed to be in the vein of magical realism, but there is no way that so many people would think Nathalie's visions were a "gift" as they all call it. Its 1880s Catholic France - this girl would be considered to be touched by the devil, or batshit crazy (especially since her aunt is already in an asylum for similar reasons). The story could have ended 75 pages sooner, but even though it didn't, so many loose story points were never addressed. It just ends. Is this the start of a series? If it is, sadly I don't think I'll be tuning in.
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  • Joanna Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    eARC provided by publisher through NetGalleySpectacle follows a sixteen-year-old named Nathalie Baudin who writes the morgue column for a journal in Paris. Murders start happening and she soon starts seeing visions of their murder through the eyes of the killer. She can only hope that they will be enough to help catch the person responsible before its too late.When I found out I was approved for this I literally screamed. I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper and needed more murder mystery in my life eARC provided by publisher through NetGalleySpectacle follows a sixteen-year-old named Nathalie Baudin who writes the morgue column for a journal in Paris. Murders start happening and she soon starts seeing visions of their murder through the eyes of the killer. She can only hope that they will be enough to help catch the person responsible before its too late.When I found out I was approved for this I literally screamed. I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper and needed more murder mystery in my life. This book was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Although it may be similar to the previous book mentioned, the author adds a dash of paranormal and magic that lures you in and gives it its own spin.From the first page you are swept into this eerie plot. There were no slow spots for me as it left me engaged and guessing the whole way through. Although I had my suspects, I wasn’t expecting the outcome and its always refreshing to be surprised!Nathalie is a wonderful character that grows a lot throughout the book and really tries to find out who she is. Some of the other characters weren’t as fleshed out as some but it didn’t deter me from enjoying the back. One thing that stood out for me was that there was no romance. Nathalie may have liked someone but they were never together and not much was said about it and its great to find a book that doesn’t need all that for a great plot.Nathalie’s visions are a unique way at looking at the murders and add a more eerie feel to the book. There is some background to her visions and how it may be tied to her family but for the most part the magic (not sure what other word to use) is subtle with most other characters and hopefully there will be another book that delves more into it!Overall, this was a wonderfully fantastic read and I can’t wait to see what comes next from this author!
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this book & I’m so glad I was able to read it early! This story is AMAZING. I loved every second of it! It was dark, mysterious, & kept the mind going! Just when you’d think you know what will happen next there’s a twist and it goes in a completely different direction! Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s writing is great and I really enjoyed reading her work! She created this great story with characters that were all enjoyable! I really liked the Insightfuls idea and how they exist among I won an ARC of this book & I’m so glad I was able to read it early! This story is AMAZING. I loved every second of it! It was dark, mysterious, & kept the mind going! Just when you’d think you know what will happen next there’s a twist and it goes in a completely different direction! Jodie Lynn Zdrok’s writing is great and I really enjoyed reading her work! She created this great story with characters that were all enjoyable! I really liked the Insightfuls idea and how they exist among society unknown to the general public. I think it’s interesting how each have different abilities. Nathalie is a good main character and I really liked her. Even when faced with this new ability to see the murders of these young women instead of running away from it she tries to help, especially after Agnès murder. The fact she had the stomach to write the morgue reports for a newspaper is crazy. Me personally could never do that. It’s funny watching this sweet young 16 year old writing about something so grotesque. I really never was able to tell who the real mastermind behind the murders was! As weird as it sounds I liked the fact that it was a female serial killer in the end. We don’t often see it being a woman, mostly just men. The Dark Artist did help her out, but she was the mastermind behind it all. I really enjoyed this and could definitely see myself re-reading Spectacle in the future for sure!
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for review through NetGalley and I was so excited to read it. I loved a lot about this book: the history, the location, and the mystery of it and I was not disappointed. As a fan of historical fiction and fantasy, this book satisfied all of my cravings regarding both genres. My favorite part about this book was the realistic way that Nathalie's powers could have arrived, it made it that much more easy to comprehend and digest with the relatively realistic setting. The one th I received this book for review through NetGalley and I was so excited to read it. I loved a lot about this book: the history, the location, and the mystery of it and I was not disappointed. As a fan of historical fiction and fantasy, this book satisfied all of my cravings regarding both genres. My favorite part about this book was the realistic way that Nathalie's powers could have arrived, it made it that much more easy to comprehend and digest with the relatively realistic setting. The one thing I did have a problem with this book were patches of disconnect. Moving from the middle to the end was a bit of a struggle and I found myself unsure of the reasoning. The ending seemed kind of unnecessary to me, but that could be from that disconnect. I will not forget that ending though - it makes me want to read the sequel immediately! Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I loved reading Nathalie's story. I can't wait for book 2!
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  • Cindel Van Der Valk
    January 1, 1970
    Extremely well set in time and place. I loved the descriptions of 19th century Paris and the ways of living during this time. At the same time, it is not a normal historical novel. Nathalie has a natural magical ability, which allows her to have visions of murders. This incredible murder mystery is intricate. Sometimes a little to intricate for my taste. This was the only slight downside to the story for me. However, I read the book in one day, because I was completely pulled into the murder mys Extremely well set in time and place. I loved the descriptions of 19th century Paris and the ways of living during this time. At the same time, it is not a normal historical novel. Nathalie has a natural magical ability, which allows her to have visions of murders. This incredible murder mystery is intricate. Sometimes a little to intricate for my taste. This was the only slight downside to the story for me. However, I read the book in one day, because I was completely pulled into the murder mystery and life of Nathalie in 19th century Paris.
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  • Megan (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I liked a lot about this, but it did sometimes feel too long. I enjoyed the setting, the murder mystery, the pseudoscience, and the psychic aspect of it! Full review to come soon!
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  • LaRonda (Flying Paperbacks)
    January 1, 1970
    Full RTC in the new year*I received an eArc of this book from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*12/30-- Idk, murder mysteries make me feel smarter
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Spectacle is one of those historical fantasy books that is able to serve up the right story with all the flairs of the past. If you've been searching for a book that is full of mystery, mysterious powers, and power that can be both a blessing and curse. I knew I was going to really enjoy Spectacle from the beginning. What I wasn't counting on, is how obsessed I would be. Whether y (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Spectacle is one of those historical fantasy books that is able to serve up the right story with all the flairs of the past. If you've been searching for a book that is full of mystery, mysterious powers, and power that can be both a blessing and curse. I knew I was going to really enjoy Spectacle from the beginning. What I wasn't counting on, is how obsessed I would be. Whether you're in the mood for a story about a girl discovering her powers (and struggling with the question of using them), or a good murder mystery, you're in for a treat.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Bridget Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    My 12 year old self is SO HAPPY with this book. It has everything you need, plucky heroine, gory details of a beautiful and intriguing historical location, mystery, supernatural fun. And the adult reader in me is impressed with the authenticity of the main character within such an elevated setting. Nathalie feels like a real girl which just makes everything better.
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