Monday, October 14, 2013

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
Release Date - September 24, 2013
Publisher Website - Scholastic 
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.
The city of romance, a murder mystery, a historical connection. This book seemed to have everything I could possibly want. A well researched, interesting premise that didn't quite leave me wowed.

A novel like this is made by it's research. The amount of time the author spent researching the history of Marie Antoinette, and Paris itself is evident. She also manged to put a fun twist in the story that combines perfectly with the historical facts presented. The setting comes to life, as does it's history.

The characters were, for the most part, rather underdeveloped. What I found out about them, I certainly was interested in. I just wish I had learned a little more. The realistic family dynamic between Colette and her newly struggling family was nicely written. The sibling bond between Colette and her brother rang true for their situation. Her friendships, and reasons for hanging on to them would be recognizable to many teens. The connection was there, I just wish it had gone a little deeper.

The overall plot of the story is fairly predictable, and evident after the first couple murders. The reason behind what is happening is believable. I don't want to any give spoilers but I do wish that this particular aspect had been fleshed out more. The historical aspects relating to the whys of the murders was only lightly touched upon and would have a great impact if we had gotten to know these characters. The grief, betrayal and sadness would have resonated more deeply if we had a larger connection to this part of the story.

The message of the book is plainly clear. It's almost over exaggerated for effect. I do think this will appeal to the younger end of the young adult spectrum than the older readers. It's reminiscent of the Christopher Pike novels I read when I was young teenager, and I feel that age group would appreciate this more.

The pacing felt off to me. Things were happening fast at the beginning, and slowed right down in the middle, only to feel rushed at the end. The end climax where everything is revealed, and our main character is in danger lacked urgency. It didn't feel like they were in danger, and I felt it was resolved rather easily and quickly.

The romance was one of the stronger aspects of the novel. There is no instant love. There is no declarations of forever. This is a rather sweet, fun vacation romance. Each knows that it may not amount to anything, but there is a connection and they both just want to spend time together. It read exactly the way it should have. A whirlwind, epic date in a city that is brimming with romance. A cherished memory that is not tainted by expectations.

A novel that had some amazing research backing it, a well plotted premise that just didn't quite join together to be as cohesive as I would have liked. An enjoyable, but not overly engaging, read that didn't quite meet my expectations from it's fantastic premise.

1 comment:

  1. I've read several reviews about this book, and most are less than happy with it. It's too bad the pacing is off, and that you don't really get to know the characters all that well. And if the plot is predictable, I would be very frustrated while reading. Great review, Kathy :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews


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