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  • Writer's pictureSofiya Pasternack

Review: Spectacle

Title: Spectacle

Genre: historical fantasy

Release Date: February 12th, 2019

Series: if there's not a sequel I will eat my hat


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 I Liked

OKAY where do I even start?? I love historical fantasy, and this was definitely that. I also love Paris! So a historical fantasy set in Paris is like, directly up my alley. Set in Paris in the late 1800s, the setting and scenery are lusciously described--sometimes, like when we're in the morgue, this lusciousness is pretty macabre and visceral. The fantasy story of Nathalie and the Dark Artist are framed around a factual grisly murder: the Pranzini murders. Nathalie is herself a great protagonist, and her family and friends are all such great pieces of her life. And pain au chocolat is MY FAVORITE TOO!!

What I Would Have Liked to See

I yelled out loud at the end because I turned the page expecting more and it's not there. ARG! Give me the second book! There better be a second book.

My Favorite!

The magic of this Paris. I don't mean how the city is magical and has a life of its own, which is does, but I mean literally the magic system that Nathalie comes to discover over the course of the book. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it seems to be shaping up to be a new spin on a very popular form of magic I see a lot in fantasy these days.


Intrepid Parisian girl reporter gains the ability to see a murderer commit his horrible crimes, and too late she realizes that the murderer sees her, too.

Hey! I interviewed Jodie about this book! Check out my interview with her HERE!


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!



meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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