In books review spectacle

REVIEW: Spectacle


Title: Spectacle
Author: Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical
Release: February 2018
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

My 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. When bodies won't stop coming, and word of a serial killer starts spreading around, Nathalie is put right in the middle of this dangerous scenario. She  discovers 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 who is 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 points in the story because of the writing. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but something about the writing struck me as a little distant, which in turn, distances a reader from its characters.

However, all in all, I did end up enjoying this book a lot. 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!

*review copy kindly provided by Netgalley

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