Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Shelf: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

21st century girl. 18th century ghost. Heads will roll!

The city of light just got a little darker. . . .

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 in danger. . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this tale of revenge, betrayal, intrigue -- and one killer queen

More info on Goodreads......


Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender was a lush and at times unsuspecting ghost tale set in the beguiling city of love and is awash in history and French culture.

Receiving a copy of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer was a bit of a surprise for me. I’d never heard of it before, but once I read the premise I was really excited to read it; I mean the ghost of Marie Antoinette killing people in Paris? Yes, please!

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer follows Colette Islan, an American teenager on the journey of a lifetime to Paris, France who finds her sightseeing plans thwarted when some of the wealthy elite, and who’s who of Paris start being murdered in what can only be described as a grisly manner; bye-bye heads. Unexpectedly Colette finds she might have a connection to the murders and soon discovers more about her family’s history than she could have ever imagined, including their connection to the famous Marie Antoinette, dead queen of France.

Katie Alender does a really fantastic job with the setting and overall atmosphere of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. From the moment our main character Colette steps off the plane in Paris you can practically smell the croissants and baguettes. The atmosphere is brilliant and this is something that transpires throughout the entire novel with Alender maintaining the authenticity of the book from beginning to end. Katie Alender’s attention to detail enhances the reading experience and as Colette races to learn just what is happening, Alender’s descriptions and inclusion of some famous French monuments….Versailles, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre and of course the Eiffel Tower only make it more addictive; I felt like I was living vicariously through Colette.

For the most part I liked Colette, but she did irritate me at times. I felt she was shallow, and though I understand the purpose of this within the story, witnessing how much importance Colette put on money, social status and popularity was a bit much at times. I couldn’t believe how Colette let those around her, most notably her "friend" Hannah, treat her; Hannah was manipulative, selfish and cruel and Colette was so desperate to be her friend that she allowed material things to be more important that friendship and kindness. Colette was so driven to be popular that she was willing to be whatever Hannah wanted her to be, even if she didn’t feel the same way.

Luckily over the course of the book, with the help of the enigmatic Jules and confidant Aubrey, Colette does grow, learning what it really important and learning to stand up for herself against the likes of Hannah. Alender blends together sweet romance with chilling danger as the ghost of Marie Antoinette runs rampant in Paris.

Featuring a unique and fresh premise, Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a good all-round read, that will make you feel like you're literally in Paris as main heroine Colette races to stop the ghost of Marie Antoinette from taking any more lives.

Source: Sent for review by Scholastic Australia (Thank you Sarah!)
Format: Hardback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: If you want a different ghost/mystery story with plenty of culture, this is for you!
Cover: I think this cover is awesome!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is a standalone novel but I wouldn't hesitate to read more by this author.

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