FICTION
Spectacle
368p. Tor Teen. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780765399687.
COPY ISBN
Gr 8 Up—In 19th-century Paris, Nathalie Baudin, 16-year-old morgue columnist, has a startling vision of a recent female victim's murder. She attempts to write off the experience as a hallucination, only to find herself having another vision when the next murder victim arrives at the morgue. Seeking more information about her apparent supernatural gift, Nathalie must decide whether or not to use her visions to aid the police in identifying the killer as the body count begins to rise. Buried secrets will come to light in the race to save the next girl and stop the Dark Artist's nefarious plot. Zdrok has concocted an ambitious Victorian-era story that may delight fans of suspenseful historical fiction. Intricately plotted, the story's pace burns slow before racing ahead to set up and topple assumptions about the true identity of the Dark Artist. A parallel plot involving blood experiments and supernatural powers works to explain Nathalie's visions but could derail readers who are more interested in the serial killer angle. As a reluctant hero prone to shallow introspection, Nathalie possesses a sense of perseverance that will appeal to readers. Secondary characters, on the other hand, feel thinly developed, existing in many cases simply to drive the narrative forward.
VERDICT Recommended for large collections.

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