Friday, September 20, 2013

Becky's View: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender


Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
♦publisher: Scholastic
♦release date: September 24, 2013
♦hardcover, 304 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦stand-alone
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.


Review: Being a ghostly horror story featuring one of my favorite historical figures and written by an author that has always been a favorite of mine put Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer at the top of my most-anticipated reads list this year.  And as with Katie Alender’s other books, I was not disappointed.  Her writing style was perfect for this, bringing in the beautiful Paris setting through the eyes of a first-timer, giving us characters that are complicated and realistically flawed, and bringing in just the perfect amount of creepiness and horror, while still leaving the real gore to be filled in by the imagination.

The main storyline finds Colette discovering that her ancestor is connected to Marie Antoinette.  They arrive in Paris in the midst of a serial killer rampage…several well-connected young people are meeting a bloody end at the hand of what appears to be the ghost of Marie Antoinette herself.   When Colette starts to see the ghost everywhere and finds she is connected to the victims, she must find out how to stop the murders before her own time runs out.

Colette is, as I said, flawed, sometimes frustratingly so.  Her dad walked out on them recently, leaving them struggling to make ends meet.  She also struggles with severe claustrophobia which lends to a few heart-pounding moments in the plot.  Both things leave her insecure and living a lie with her rich friends, one of whom she knows will cast her out if she knows Colette’s not rich anymore. While it was irritating to watch Colette make such poor choices and bend over backwards for her snotty friend, it definitely left her room to grow and left me rooting for her to finally realize her own worth and stand up to the horrible Hannah.  The ending outcome had me cheering for both Colette and her sweet friend Pilar. 

Helping her find the connection between the murders is their tour guide, Jules.  I had to love him, he was sweet and helpful and sincere, and sees more in Colette that she is able to see in herself.  I also loved Audrey and was glad she was there to help Colette with the mystery and with becoming a better person.

The setting itself is a wonderful character in the story.  From Versaille to the Catacombs, and of course a very classic scene set at the Eiffel Tower, Alender paints a gorgeous visual of the City of Lights.  The sights of Paris are woven right into the storyline, amping up the  magic and wonder and horror in key scenes.

A perfect balance between the story of a girl deciding who she wants to be and a chilling murderous ghost story---Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer gave me one more reason to call myself a fan of Katie Alender.
Find Katie Alender online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Marie Antionette, Serial Killer:  Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


12 comments :

  1. I just reviewed this one today as well! I liked it a lot! Super corny, but delightful just the same. I loved how legit she made Paris as well! Great review!

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    1. LOL, I guess there were a few corny bits, but it was just such fun to read---all the sights and dresses and ghosts and beheadings! :D

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  2. Sounds really good! I can't wait to read to it. Some times fun corny books are nice to read.

    DaydreamerN.blogspot.com

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    1. This one is definitely fun if you love a good ghost story and stories that bring Paris to life. I hope you get to read it soon!

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  3. While I like the idea of the ghost story I have to admit that I do not like the thought of Marie Antoinette as a serial killer. I've always felt sorry for her. She wasn't a wise queen but she was demonized by the press even before she was unfairly and cruelly executed. Now if the the serial killer was Robespierre...

    I'm glad you enjoyed the book and maybe I will check it out sometime anyway. I'd certainly enjoy the setting and I do like a good mystery.

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    1. Not to worry, Christina! Alender definitely did a great job portraying Marie Antoinette as someone who had been truly wronged.

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  4. Hmmm...I really wasn't too sure of this one because I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but maybe I should give it a chance. I can get it from my daughter's school Scholastic Book Club flyer for only $6 so maybe I should give it a chance!

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    1. Ah! I love the scholastic book club flyers! :D Great way to try this one out and help you school!

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  5. Ohh, I kind of love this creepy cover. It's a bit gorgeous. Glad you enjoyed the book :D The setting sounds awesome.
    <3

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    1. If you get a chance, check out the cover in person...I love the back cover even more! :D

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  6. Oooh...this one sounds really interesting! And beautiful {creepy} cover!

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