Praise for SPECTACLE
"Clever and full of murder, Jodie Lynn Zdrok's Spectacle had my eyes glued to the pages as the body count rose, and mystery stacked upon mystery as our heroine closed in on a killer who seemed miles ahead of the Parisian authorities. Fans of serial killers and criminal investigations will find much to love, and fascinating passages about morgue tours will appeal to the morbid rubbernecker in us all." ―Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series
“With a fierce heroine, grisly 19th-century murders, and a mystery that left me on the edge of my seat, Spectacle is an immersive, Parisian, YA From Hell that I absolutely devoured!" ―Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and #MurderTrending
"Zdrok explores the universal fascination with death, set among the darker corners of 1887 Paris, and the very idea of the morgue viewings (to which parents brought their children) is chilling...Grisly, plot driven―and very creepy. Fans of historical thrillers that invoke the enduring spirit of Jack the Ripper will have fun." ―Kirkus Reviews
“Hints of the murderer’s identity are subtly and intriguingly folded into the story, and unresolved plot threads pave the way for future cases, during which Nathalie can discover more about her powers. The blend of history, mystery, and fantasy makes this debut novel a good pick for fans of Libba Bray’s Diviners series or William Ritter’s Jackaby books." ―Booklist
“The book seamlessly brings several threads together: the mystery of the murder and the horrors of the killings themselves; the beauty, bustle, and darkness of nineteenth-century Paris (the killer’s pursuit of Nathalie through the catacombs is thrillingly described); the bizarre but historically based practices of morgue viewing and blood transfusions for magic; and the destructive nature of family secrets and their generational effects. ...the tension amps up to a gasp-worthy climax.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Zdrok has concocted an ambitious Victorian-era story. ...Intricately plotted, the story's pace burns slow before racing ahead to set up and topple assumptions about the true identity of the Dark Artist.” ―School Library Journal ―Publishers Weekly
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Note: This review may contain spoilers
Spectacle is a riveting mystery, where the main character Nathalie Baudin is brave, fierce, and compassionate. Although she wants to reject her visions of the murders happening in Paris, she takes matters into her own hands at the risk of her own safety. In the beginning, Spectacle launches its reader into Nathalie’s life as a morgue reporter and immediately introduces us to her visions, wherein she sees the murder from the killer’s point of view, but in reverse. This not only starts the story but forces the reader to find intrigue as to what is happening. The start of the story has Nathalie walk to the morgue, where corpses are put onto display for the public, along the way she buys a small bouquet of flowers. To the reader, this seems like she is simply mourning and respecting the dead with a common offering, but this small detail helps unlock the beginning of Nathalie’s murder mystery.
From her job with Le Petit Journal, her conversations with her mentally ill aunt, her friends, Simone, Agnès, and her employer Monsieur Patenaude, every detail to Nathalie’s life adds onto the suspense of Spectacle. There are many layers to Spectacle that makes Nathalie’s life richer and the story dangerously dynamic and given the historical aspects of 1887, death is all around. From her morgue journal, her visions, the murders, Nathalie uncovers secrets about her family and who the killer is. The only downside to Spectacle is that the story may be slow as Nathalie processes the events that connect her to the murders and handles her relationships with her loved ones. Jodie Lynn Zdrok weaves a delicate mystery that leaves me stunned at every turn. Overall, while reading, it kept me on edge and wonder who the killer would be.
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