Review: Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

2:27 PM

Get ready for your next mystery...


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 by Jodie Lynn Zdrok | Rating: ★★★☆☆(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.

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!

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