Hello, dear bookish folks! While you will be reading this post, I’ll be probably still inside the academy or starting to get back home.
I’m sorry that in the last days I skipped my usual posts, but academy and exam stuff were taking over and I’ve decided to give those priority.
In fact, this review was going to be published on Wednesday, but… well, some days late here it’s. *feel the author stare on her head*
But please, now give me your attention because…. hopefully soon, Jodie will be the first author I’ll host in a series of author interviews during the year! I’ll release the other names as soon as I sent out all the final questions I need to write down (only for others two authors!).
TW: gore, murder, serial killer, death of beloved ones
Author: Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Publisher: Tor Teen
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.
During the month of January I had the amazing occasion, thanks to Netgalley, to read Spectacle. It was a good choice, because it ended up being one of the best read of the month!
And I would have given it five stars if it wasn’t for certain things about the final part of the book, but let’s start gradually because you really should give this book a try.
First of all, it’s macabre. But also not that much? Maybe I’m pretty used to this kind of stuff, bodies, death and gore, but the whole novel managed to report gruesome and morbid facts without being void of taste and tact.
Also, it was so interesting to discover that Paris’ morgue was in fact open to the public. Despite what I think of it, it’s always amazing when you discover that some fact written down are actually true and not only the author’s imagination.
Second point is about France. I didn’t live in Paris or the upper zone of France, but for many years I passed three months of my vacation in south France and learned about the country, lived with its people… and I saw a bit of it inside the book.
I feel like the author didn’t focus extremely on France atmosphere and more on the main character and what was happening in the story, but I also caught details that made me happy.
But that’s not all. Specatcle has many other things that made me happy. First of all, this story didn’t have the amount of romance I was fearing? I know that I start with a little prejudice, but it wouldn’t be the first time that I read a book made 50% of romance and the other half of plot. Instead, this novel had little mention and scenes on it, while focused a lot on Nathalie’s journey to discover the truth and also about friendship, family, pride in our own work…
Also, Nathalie is a girl in the year 1887 and has to work following a series of rules. While she follow them, in the pages I didn’t read the possible and despicable prejudice the other characters around her could have shown. Instead, they were all very supportive, or nice at least! It was very refreshing but at the same time it didn’t erase or implicated the absence of certain walls women could face at the time.
Another positive note on the story is the mix I found! We really need more books that mix historical fiction with thriller, fantasy and also science. Everything I read was very mysterious and I really hope the author will give me the chance to read more about it. Maybe with anther book? Because… some things didn’t make much of sense if left like this. Like, it wasn’t enough to explain powers, but just a start.
Passing to the character, I’ve to say that I wasn’t exactly able to get Nathalie. I’m not 100% sure of how I could define her, aside from resilient, with sense of justice, moral. I liked her but she maybe didn’t strike me as one of the characters that will remain impress in my mind forever.
But one thing that remained impressed to me, is her relationship with her family. Until the quest for knowing the truth start to make things difficult between them, it’s a very lovable bond. On the other side, I related a lot to the struggling part, when discussion start to come up. I was definitely mad, just like Nathalie.
Because yes, despite not being able to place her as a character, I did found a way to go near her. Especially in her relationship with family and friends.
For some reasons I found very relatable Nathalie trying to undercover the truth, but also seek respect and understanding from people who knew her situation. Things that she didn’t get at first. I still think she deserve more respect from her beloved ones.
My only very negative point is about what was supposed to be the most juicy/important part of the story. At a certain point I had the feeling that the story was finished… before the actual end.
I didn’t feel the same interest that kept me reading the novel. And… oof, I wish to say more but it’s easy to enter the spoiler territory! The temptation is strong.
In the end Spectacle was a beautiful start of what could be hopefully a series. I can only hope and wait. It would be amazing if the author decided to keep the macabre atmosphere and touch even in the possible sequels