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Spectacle

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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 visio 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.


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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 visio 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.

30 review for Spectacle

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    "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. 

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This was a disappointment. The historical details of Paris were a pleasant change of scene, so I’ve rounded up from 2.5 to 3 stars, but the story seemed all over the place. It was neither a satisfying ending nor a lure to the next book (if there is one).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Loves Books and tea

    Spectacle is a fantastic historical murder mystery with elements of the paranormal set in Paris, 1887. The main character Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes a grisly column for the local newspaper describing the unidentified bodies on display in the morgue, however one day while viewing the body of a murder victim she has a frightening and graphic vision of the girl’s murder. When a second girl is murdered Nathalie again has a vision of her death but realises her visions are from the perspe Spectacle is a fantastic historical murder mystery with elements of the paranormal set in Paris, 1887. The main character Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes a grisly column for the local newspaper describing the unidentified bodies on display in the morgue, however one day while viewing the body of a murder victim she has a frightening and graphic vision of the girl’s murder. When a second girl is murdered Nathalie again has a vision of her death but realises her visions are from the perspective of the murderer himself! As more girls are murdered Nathalie reluctantly decides to use her visions to help discover the killer and she is soon drawn into a complex and intricate mystery involving medical experiments, individuals with special powers and her supposedly mentally ill aunt who has been incarcerated in an asylum… I absolutely adored this book for many reasons. Firstly, I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and I thought the pacing and plot development were perfect – there is a lot going on but she connects all the different plot strands together beautifully. Also the mystery aspect was really well done – I had no idea who the killer was until the reveal and I was suspecting every character at one point. The author was obviously inspired to some extent by Jack the Ripper especially with the letters that the killer sends to the newspaper and the murders themselves are quite gory and gruesome. There is also a strong sense of menace running throughout the novel as you worry that Nathalie or one of her friends could be a victim. The 19th century Parisian setting was very enjoyable and the writing and descriptions were very evocative of that time period. The characters were also very interesting and multi-layered and full of surprises. The ending was quite sudden and mysterious so I am hoping that there will be a sequel. I would really recommend this if you like historical murder mysteries and I would read more books by this author. E-Arc received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kaya

    Hi friends! I'm posting all the main points of my review, but if you want my cheesy jokes and rambling weirdness check out my blog review (link in bio!) 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 Hi friends! I'm posting all the main points of my review, but if you want my cheesy jokes and rambling weirdness check out my blog review (link in bio!) 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… 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. 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 forever. Even if the flow was a little bit choppy, I found the entirety of it to be rather impressive for a debut author. Nathalie 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 NOOOOO, FORCED ROMANCE but I was actually 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! So all in all, I was really, really happy with this one! I had so much fun with it and while I can see that some people won’t like it, this was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. And I know that some of you will feel the same! Tell me: are you excited for this? What’s your favorite YA mystery? A HUGE thank you to Tor Teen and NetGalley for providing me with this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    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!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok is a pretty fantastic debut YA historical fantasy mystery set in fin de siècle Paris. I enjoyed all of the historical detail that's gone into the story, like the construction of the Eiffel Tower for example. I also particularly enjoyed getting to know Nathalie. She's a great protagonist. Her curiosity (things get a bit morbid, fair warning), determination, and dedication are quite refreshing. All that I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok is a pretty fantastic debut YA historical fantasy mystery set in fin de siècle Paris. I enjoyed all of the historical detail that's gone into the story, like the construction of the Eiffel Tower for example. I also particularly enjoyed getting to know Nathalie. She's a great protagonist. Her curiosity (things get a bit morbid, fair warning), determination, and dedication are quite refreshing. All that said I was also hooked on working out the mystery surrounding the fantastic abilities Nathalie has discovered she has while working on her morgue report for the newspaper and a Jack the Ripper-esqe killer behind a recent string of murders in the city. Plus, I just have to mention that I appreciated the female friendships and the scenes between Nathalie and her mother. Honestly, this was almost a five star read for me, but sometimes the pacing drags and that ending was a bit cruel. Fingers crossed that Zdrok's upcoming release, Exposition, is going to be a sequel because I need to know more. I highly recommend Spectacle to fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and Penny Dreadful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review You 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 review You 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    I'M GETTING SJTR VIBES AND I NEED THIS. RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    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!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zoë ☆

    *3.5 stars! I really enjoyed it but it wasn’t mindblowing! It was fun, but I felt like it was missing something? I don’t know 😂 THE ENDING THOUGH, how can you leave it like that damn it 🙈🙈

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    For fans who loved Stalking Jack the Ripper for the mystery and thrill...and also love a little of the spectacular.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    I remember the day I started that book I was like "Let's read a few chapters there and there to at least actually be reading something". When I finished chapter one I was hooked. It really only took me one chapter to be hooked. I needed to know more, I wanted to know more. I was in the old Paris, very dirty and kinda dark. The smelly Paris where murders were not an unusual thing, where watching bodies was normal. I loved the atmosphere so much! I love the writing style and the main character! Nat I remember the day I started that book I was like "Let's read a few chapters there and there to at least actually be reading something". When I finished chapter one I was hooked. It really only took me one chapter to be hooked. I needed to know more, I wanted to know more. I was in the old Paris, very dirty and kinda dark. The smelly Paris where murders were not an unusual thing, where watching bodies was normal. I loved the atmosphere so much! I love the writing style and the main character! Nathalie was a strong female character. I loved how she handled things and how she acted. The only thing that bothered me is the use of French. I mean I understood everything, I speak perfectly French, but I found it useless and even more as some parts where not even translated. But let's be honest, that didn't stop me from devouring that book, I adored it! The pacing was perfect for me. Not slow but not fast at all. It gave us the opportunity to really understand what was going on and to connect things at the same time than the main character. We were investigating with Nathalie. And the twists? Didn't see them coming haha I thought it would be "oh boring I expected that to happen" but not at all...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    (3.5) I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form. Also found here at Booked J. In simple terms? Spectacle was breathtaking and intriguing. If you are a fan of main characters with strong and individual voices and questions for days, this is the book for you. Further, if you like the above to be mingling with historical settings and supernatural vibes, this is bound to be your cup of tea. What I liked m (3.5) I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form. Also found here at Booked J. In simple terms? Spectacle was breathtaking and intriguing. If you are a fan of main characters with strong and individual voices and questions for days, this is the book for you. Further, if you like the above to be mingling with historical settings and supernatural vibes, this is bound to be your cup of tea. What I liked most about this book, aside from its characters and delectable prose, was the fact that Jodie Lynn Zdrok throws readers straight into the thick of it quite quickly. A lot of authors struggle with the build of the first quarter but this is not one of those books--it is vivid and fast, drawing us into the atmospheric prose instantly and holding us in place. Sometimes, the plot slows down as it continues but it does pick itself back up. Which feels very intentional and almost like the calm before the story. Not only are her characters beautifully crafted, so is her setting and mystery. This isn't to say that there aren't weak spots (there were some questionable choices re: history, in my opinion, but this doesn't take you out of the story), or that Spectacle will be for every reader, but it is damn enjoyable and kept me on the edge of my seat for the evening. Which goes without really saying: this was compulsively readable and is the type of story that demands your devotion. Once you pick it up, you are locked in place for the day. Spectacle takes familiar story elements, such as mystery and paranormal traits, and twists the plotlines to tangle together uniquely. A good story teller takes the familiar and makes it their own, and this is what Jodie Lynn Zdrok accomplishes with Spectacle. I was really quite impressed with Spectacle and while it wasn't what I expected when picking it up, it was a thrill ride that I'd highly recommend. Pro tip: read this book on a rainy night in. It amplifies the experience all the more!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    3.5 Stars - This book gave me a lot of same vibes as YS Lee's The Agency series... historical setting (this time gilded age Paris), intrepid girl professional (this time a reporter on the morgue beat... yeah, that's a thing in this time period), and MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY (this time a serial killer). There's also an element of the supernatural, which I thought was handled well. Additionally, I appreciated that this is the rare YA novel that truly feels aimed at teens in terms of reading level and wr 3.5 Stars - This book gave me a lot of same vibes as YS Lee's The Agency series... historical setting (this time gilded age Paris), intrepid girl professional (this time a reporter on the morgue beat... yeah, that's a thing in this time period), and MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY (this time a serial killer). There's also an element of the supernatural, which I thought was handled well. Additionally, I appreciated that this is the rare YA novel that truly feels aimed at teens in terms of reading level and writing style - not to say it is simplistic, but I do think that it is not one of those YA's that is specifically written with an adult audience in mind. All in all, enjoyable, but be ye warned -- there is quite a cliff hanger at the end of this one

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nadhira Satria

    ohh this is giving me stalking jack the ripper vibes

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amber (The Book Bratz)

    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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading this one, though to say I loved it and that this is highly recommended from me would be a stretch. Nathalie is 16 and she writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal and I find that really fascinating. Our MC is really badass and I enjoyed being in her mind. I also love the friendships she has throughout the book. But I must admit sometimes I find her voice so mature. She's only 16 but that's not a major complain of mine. I just think it would be better if I ex 3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading this one, though to say I loved it and that this is highly recommended from me would be a stretch. Nathalie is 16 and she writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal and I find that really fascinating. Our MC is really badass and I enjoyed being in her mind. I also love the friendships she has throughout the book. But I must admit sometimes I find her voice so mature. She's only 16 but that's not a major complain of mine. I just think it would be better if I experienced her as a teenager because she's really young. But then again, she's already writing a column about deads and the plot of this story is not really for the young at heart, Nathalie gotta have mature thinking. Speaking of the plot, it was fine. I think the blend of suspense, mystery, paranormal and the characters' charm and wit are the right blend for this book. But still, it's not enough to make me engrossed in the story. It's either it's lacking something or there are so much going on. I can't really pinpoint where this book goes meh. The setting, Paris in the 1800s, was amazing though. The author has a talent for making the setting alive. Overall, this is an okay read and will not be the last book I'll read from the author. I was provided a copy by the publisher/author via Netgalley. Thank you.

  19. 4 out of 5

    The Book Valkyrie

    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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Coon

    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!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    I had the extreme pleasure of reading an ARC of SPECTACLE and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world so I have more people to squeal about it with! I loved the historical details, the pseudo science, and all rollercoaster of plot twists! Such a fun book to curl up with!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)

    Well well well that didn't go like I expected. This was very creative even though some of the middle was a bit stretched out. But man I need book two badly! Review is now up on the blog: https://metalphantasmreads.wordpress....

  24. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Milliner

    Wow! This is a fun, fast-paced page-turner that will keep you up long after you should be asleep. Then again, you won't WANT to sleep because: a) you will want to keep reading; and b) you may have nightmares. Warning: there IS a sequel. Second warning: it's not out yet so you'll have to wait!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    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

  26. 5 out of 5

    TheYALibrarian

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rating 3 Stars This book gave me major Jack the Ripper vibes but I appreciate the author trying to delve away from that by creating her own serial killer the Dark Artist and having it set in France instead of England. But the ending of this book left a lot lacking and if I think it was written differently this might have had a five star rating from moi. Nathalie Baudin is a sixteen year old girl living in Paris in a time most women did not have a decent education, a job, or respect really. They we Rating 3 Stars This book gave me major Jack the Ripper vibes but I appreciate the author trying to delve away from that by creating her own serial killer the Dark Artist and having it set in France instead of England. But the ending of this book left a lot lacking and if I think it was written differently this might have had a five star rating from moi. Nathalie Baudin is a sixteen year old girl living in Paris in a time most women did not have a decent education, a job, or respect really. They were just considered to marry well and to birth many children. But Nahtalie has been given a opportunity to be a journalist and for the morgue column no less. In this age the morgue is open for all passerby's to see all the corpses laid out on slabs. When Nathalie touches the glass after a particular gruesome murder of a woman she sees a vision of the woman's demise but silent and in reverse. While in this trance it is later found out that whatever the killer says she repeats out loud and she loses some of her memory as well. This leads to her saying the victim's name and causing suspicion of the morgue director Christophe. More woman are found brutally murdered and every time Nathalie has a vision when she touches the glass. She begins to fear this gift as it gets the killers attention who starts to write letters to the Le Petit Journal signed The Dark Artist and one of them is addressed specifically to her. But her friend Simone encourages Nathalie to use her gift to hunt the killer but for a while Nathalie can't bring herself to touch the glass again after more women are found dead. During all this Nathalie finds more information about herself and that she is not the only one with a gift. She is an insightful and her own father is one too with her gift of healing. Even the head of the journal that gave Nathalie job has his own gift of being able to detect the truth through what someone says either on paper or out loud. It is discovered that Nathalie's aunt is an insightful as well with her premonitions in her dreams but has been locked away in an asylum for acting out violently through these vision. She also communicates with her friend Agnes who is away on vacation during this time and when Agnes returns she is unfortunately killed by the Dark Artist due to her connection to Nathalie. That changes the gears and makes Nathalie realize she must embrace her gift to avenge her friend's murder. With the help of Christophe, Simone, as well as Simone's beau Louie they try to find out the killer before he can claim more lives, putting Nathalie's life in danger in the process. But a shocking discovery is made that the Dark Artist himself is another corpse laid out in the morgue but someone continues to prowl the streets of Paris and threatens Nathalie's life. It turns out that the Dark Artist's beau named Zoe had murdered him who was an accomplice in the murders. She did this to try to infuse her Beau's blood into her own body to make it stronger for he was an insightful as well as many other of the victims. She wanted Nathalie's blood to retain her own gift but is torn apart by an angry mob before she could do so, leaving the streets of Paris now safe but at a high price of Nathalie losing her memory of several weeks after touching Zoe's corpse. Historical Fiction is a favorite of mine and I think the author depicted it well. I listened to this on audio and the narrator was fantastic with adding the french accent and also pronouncing the words that were in French perfectly. This novel kept me riveted with the body count piling up and the heart wrenching plot device of Agne's death to help drive Nathalie's character development forward. I also appreciate there being no romance even though it seemed inclined that way for a bit but Christophe made it thankfully clear that he is engaged and only sees Nathalie as a friend. But the ending was so anti-climatic I couldn't help be so disappointed that the main villain is taken out by a angry mob. Also the cliffhanger ending is confusing since I thought this book was a stand alone but maybe there will be more but it is left uncertain. Overall not a bad take on Historical Fiction.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan (YABookers)

    Disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Every day, sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin visits the public morgue in Paris. She writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize the day’s new arrivals. But one day, as she touches the glass case, she has a vision of the newest body. She sees the young woman in her last moments as she is getting murdered. But one thing about the vision chills her to the bone – she sees in from the Disclaimer: I received this free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Every day, sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin visits the public morgue in Paris. She writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize the day’s new arrivals. But one day, as she touches the glass case, she has a vision of the newest body. She sees the young woman in her last moments as she is getting murdered. But one thing about the vision chills her to the bone – she sees in from the perspective of the killer. When more and more bodies show up, Nathalie is determined to investigate and her search for answers sets her on a dangerous path, and one that catches the attention of the killer. Spectacle was an enjoyable read. There were a lot of aspects that I really enjoyed, such as the setting, the murder mystery, the pseudoscience, and the psychic aspect of it. The reason I’m giving this three stars is purely because it felt like a very long book and it wasn’t but the pacing really dragged in the middle and the plot sort of stagnated. But enough of that, I’m going to talk a little bit more in-depth about the stuff I did enjoy. Spectacle takes place in Paris in 1887 and Zdrok managed to create an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. It is great because Zdrok shows Paris as a city that is fascinated by death, from the public morgue which the citizens treat as a form of entertainment, to the catacombs that are both frightening and invigorating for the public, and finally, to the serial killer and that the public treat gleefully as a fascinating story. For Nathalie, the threat is very real and very disturbing as she stalks the killer and inevitably catches his attention but even she finds the chase alluring. Nathalie is a formidable protagonist, as she was inquisitive and determined, but I did also love that she had flaws. She had some really great interactions with those around her, especially her Mother. When the pacing slowed in the middle, Zdrok did rely on her characters, rather than the mystery, to move the story and I personally don’t believe she was all that successful and I would have preferred if she kept the faster pace up, but each to their own as I know some people enjoyed the slower pace. Spectacle also has an interesting psuedo-science and psychic aspect that I enjoyed too! Overall, Spectacle was a book that I did enjoy that was mainly a hit, but did also miss the mark a little bit too. If you are looking for a slower paced historical murder mystery then Spectacle is one I would recommend you check out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Gallup

    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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wing (bibliomeds)

    love the narrator's voice, the kind of story telling I like the most!

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