Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender | Rating: ★★★★☆
As a note, a finished copy of this novel was sent to me by the
publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my
opinions in any way.
In what would seem to be a fast track to terrible literature: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer proves us wrong in its unique story telling and vivid imagery. Don’t let the title fool you: Katie Alender sure has a knack for writing this creative story that could have gone horribly wrong if it’d been any other other.
It’s clever, it’s sweet, it’s thrilling and it’s just overall a fun read to take with you on a day off or to read in between time. It isn’t a retelling of a story like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies or Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer. Instead, it is a tail that tweaks with history and leaves readers in a swirl of shallow minded teenagers, historical secret societies, dark comedy, death and… love?
(It will, however, appeal to fans of those titles.)
And, of course, the setting is beautiful: Paris. Alender does a fabulous job describing the scenery to us, one can almost feel as though you are right there in the midst of it all.
It isn’t for the weak of heart, though.
While any of the ghost of Marie Antoinette’s victims all die the same way (beheading, of course!) and aren’t particularly of the gore genre, if you are in any way shape or form squeamish by even the slightest bit of murder, it is important to skim through the short chapters.
Our story is primarily told through the eyes of leading lady Colette, we do have breaks in chapters in which we see the final glimpses of each murder victims lives — they’re all rather similar but still a little spooky in the moments they each realize that they are going to die. It offers up a good serving of the thriller part of this and there’s just something very chilling about a murderous ghost, isn’t there?
But why is the spirit of Marie Antoinette not at rest?
This is where we have a little fun in our historical fiction side of the story. We learn of a secret society that was around during her time (Alender makes it clear that this is of her own making, and not, in fact, a part of Marie Antoinette’s history. Each of the victims who’ve been killed just so happen to be the descendents of members of this society — who were once part of Marie’s close knit circle of friends, but had betrayed her: leading to her death.
And Colette will be next if she isn’t careful on her class trip.
As for her side of the story: it’s sweet.
She grows matures before our eyes and sheds her skin, stepping out of her need for approval from her rather shallow best friends. You see a ton of growth on her part, in such a short amount of time, and it is really pleasant to see such development. Colette does start off as a bit insufferable at the start, but the further the story gets and the more she dives into the history of the city and her first encounter with the spirit of Marie, the funner she gets.
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer manages to take the typical shallow high school behavior, familiar plots of school trips, falling for someone from another country and coming of age story and blend them perfectly with a whole world of mystery and historical fun. I’ve got to admit, tied together with the thrilling elements and curiosity, this was a very enjoyable and quick read.
And the story doesn’t leave us on a cliffhanger.
Which is always a plus. Katie Alender manages to tie it all together and wrap up the story in a pleasant way that doesn’t leave us feeling underwhelmed.
Yes, the story was cute, romantic, fun and only slightly scary. It’s definitely one of the better young adult releases in recent years and could be something very entertaining for readers looking for something different and light. And who can resist a murderous and glamorous ghost, am I right or am I right?
Cons of the story: I don’t have much to say in terms of cons, only that I wish the novel itself was longer (because it was so fun!).