Monday, March 11, 2019

Review: Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

SpectacleTitle: Spectacle
Author: Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publishing Date: February 12th, 2019
Pages: 368
Audio Length: 10 Hours and 56 Minutes
Genre: YA Historical Mystery
TW: Murder
Series: Standalone
Source: Audio

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.
What made me pick this book up: 
The cover caught my eye, it made me think of Jack the Ripper, who I really love reading about.

I love the cover of this one. I love the red and dark tones of it, and how you can see the killer in her back.

What made me read this book:
It sounded interesting. I love me a good serial killer book and this sounded amazing. 

What did I like the most: 
I love that this is set in the 1800's. I love reading books set then, about the style and the way of life then.

The story is a unique story about a young female writer who goes to visit the morgue for work writing for the paper. While she's at the morgue she touches the glass and all of the sudden she sees what the killer sees as if from his point of view. 

I thought the whole touching the glass and seeing what he sees thing. It's really unique to me that she can see it. She could basically help solve the murder, in theory.

I liked the MC for the most part. She was smart, curious, confident. I loved the idea of going to the morgue to be able to see the dead bodies. That's such a different concept because we sure don't do that now. Is that a real thing people used to do? I think it's pretty cool. 
I love how dark and morbid she really is. She's interested in death and blood and gore and... death. And I think that's really cool that she's not a stuck up priss and she likes this stuff. Because I like this stuff.

I definitely liked the mystery and the NEED to know who did it. Every time she met someone or spoke to someone my brain tried to think of a reason that this person COULD be the killer. 

I did like that the MC and her best friends all seemed to be strong females. And that friendship was really important to her. 

What didn't I like: 
The pace. I feel like it was all over the place. It went from fast paced to completely slow. I felt myself almost wanting to skim this book, but I couldn't because it was an audio book. I found myself zoning out a few times because it was just... slow. 

It didn't have the horror factor I thought it would. Or that something with a serial killer should have. No thriller or suspense to it really. There was one part that freaked me out and that's because it's in the catacombs. So of course it's scary.

I felt like it was very anti-climactic. It took forever to get to the who-dunnit, but at the same time they uncovered it fairly quickly. And then it spun off into something else completely. It was kind of confusing.

We never get to find out WHY she can touch the glass and see from the killer's POV. And I found that kind of annoying. Unless I missed something small and mentioned in passing it never once actually explains how or why. 

I also hate the "romance" in this book. Or the lack of it. There was a guy she ended up really liking and they flirted quite a bit. And then she found out he was engaged. Like really? Why even put this in the book. It was just kind of thrown in there and I found it kind of annoying. There was no reason for her to like this guy and it didn't go anywhere. I didn't even like the thought of them together. It felt forced and awkward, and not in the way that I usually enjoy awkwardness.

By the end I just felt like the second half of this book was a mess. Where was the author trying to go with this? All the sudden there was so many questions in  my head that didn't get answered and I feel like it was just a jumble of things I really didn't understand and that weren't answered.

It just kind of felt like there was so much that was just thrown in for absolutely no reason.

Would I read the rest of the series/more from this author?
It wasn't badly written per say. I would definitely give this author a second chance. This was her debut, it's acceptable to be a little messy. 

I'm actually really disappointed in this book. It had so much potential and I wanted it to be so much more. It just fell flat. 

“Nathalie was never afraid of the dark, even as a child. If anything, she wanted to know what was in it."
― Jodie Lynn Zdrok, Spectacle

Ripper (Ripper, #1)Dance of the Assassins (The Devil's Dances Trilogy, #1)Shadows Fall AwayA Taste for MonstersEye of the Crow (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, #1)

Jodie Lynn Zdrok holds two MAs in European History and an MBA. In addition to being an author, she's a marketing professional, a freelancer, and an unapologetic Boston sports fan. She enjoys traveling, being a foodie, doing sprint triathlons, and enabling cats. Spectacle is her debut.


  1. I saw the cover and was curious if it was another book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, but you cleared that up for me lol!

  2. Great broken down review for this!

  3. Ooh! Now that does sound intriguing...maybe not if you're the one experiencing it though... *-*
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh I would totally go for this book based on the cover too! Have you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? It's probably a story you would enjoy as well :)
    I'm glad this was a great read despite the pace, lack of horror and bad romance. SJTR has a lot more of it, and it's quite creepy too. Even though it was not my favourite book of all time, I still thought it was a cool idea.
    Great review, Ash!

  5. That’s disappointing. This is one of my most-anticipated books of 2019. I hope I like it more than you did.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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