Sensational

Sensational

Jodie Lynn Zdrok's Sensational is the thrilling follow-up to Spectacle in which a killer haunts the Paris World's Fair of 1889.The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months...so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybebut someone is celebrating...

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Title:Sensational
Author:Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Sensational Reviews

  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    I quite

    , and found 

    to be a good follow up. It takes place a couple years after book one ended, which I think was a brilliant choice for the sake of realism.

    The funny part is, it's taking place during the world's fair, which you'd expect to be an upbeat atmosphere (and it was!) all while trying to find a

    I quite

    , and found 

    to be a good follow up. It takes place a couple years after book one ended, which I think was a brilliant choice for the sake of realism.

    The funny part is, it's taking place during the world's fair, which you'd expect to be an upbeat atmosphere (and it was!) all while trying to find a

    messed up serial killer/beheader. Talk about a stunning dichotomy that ended up being played out exactly right!

    I feel like she 

    these friends in her life, and I am so glad that she has found them. I won't say more because book one spoilers, but this is just so necessary for her. She also comes into this book with a beau in tow. Again, I can't say much more than that, but it's a thing. Also, she's still close to her parents, which I loved. Especially as she's a young woman who could feasibly be striking out on her own, she still realizes the importance of a good familial relationship. Love it.

    I mean, this was one heck of a well-plotted mystery, meticulously detailed in all its gruesomeness. The littlest details were simply fascinating and horrifying and I wanted to know 

    .

    She's had to go through 

    in these past few years, and really she needs to come to terms with who she is, along with all the terrible stuff that has befallen her. Figure out what she wants, who she wants to be, etc. I love that sort of character journey!!

    Hard to fully express this without spoilers, but yeah. It ended satisfactorily, in the sense that you won't be filled with any such rage, and plot is resolved and such. But I just wanted more out of it, perhaps in terms of shock factor, or level of difficulty? 🤷‍♀️ I hope that is helpful, sorry I can't say more.

    Definitely a solid follow up that will for sure answer your questions, but also give you a batshit mystery in the gorgeous backdrop of the Parisian 1889 Exposition Universelle.

  • Melissa

    I really like when magic happens in a known period of time and environment. I liked how I could live the Exposition Universelle throughout Nathalie experience, discover the Eiffel Tower when it was built, and live with her the challenges of her gift.

    Even if I predicted half of the intrigue, I was really surprised by the ending of the book.

    Many thanks to Tor Books for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  • The Kawaii Slartibartfast

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    This second book in the series is so good! I knew it was part of a series but this one stands alone just fine!

    There are some nicely creepy moments and I really liked Nathalie.

  • Stacey

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really liked the first book in this duology "Spectacle". So I was eager to dive into the follow up "Sensational". Its a couple years after the first book. Nathalie is still writing her column for La Petit Journal and helping the morgue with her gift of being able to see the deceased last moment's alive. She is now dating another Insightful named Jules who also helps at the morgue. He can hear the

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really liked the first book in this duology "Spectacle". So I was eager to dive into the follow up "Sensational". Its a couple years after the first book. Nathalie is still writing her column for La Petit Journal and helping the morgue with her gift of being able to see the deceased last moment's alive. She is now dating another Insightful named Jules who also helps at the morgue. He can hear the person's thoughts when he touches their head. Nathalie and her friends become involved in another murder with a backdrop of the World's Fair. I loved the location and all the descriptions of the fair. I feel like I learned quite a bit about old time Paris from these books. The new killer is beheading his victims and with each murder Nathalie senses changes to her gift. Along with this she discovers something about her aunt and begins to try to learn more about what happens to Insightfuls. I enjoyed this one just the slightest bit less than the first book but I really enjoyed how the mystery unraveled. It was a satisfying duology and I'm disappointed that there are only going to be two books. Zdrok's series is very entertaining and I could see the potential for the series to go on a bit longer.

  • Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)

    *I won an ARC of this book from a giveaway by the author herself. But all thoughts and opinions are my own*

    This was a fun sequel to Spectacle! This gets to the action with a bang and I kept turning the pages to see what happened. I also like seeing how Nathalie grew from the first book and I liked how things turned out for her. I did like the mystery much better in tht first book, but this is a fun series that people need to pick up if you like historical fiction and murder mysteries. An author

    *I won an ARC of this book from a giveaway by the author herself. But all thoughts and opinions are my own*

    This was a fun sequel to Spectacle! This gets to the action with a bang and I kept turning the pages to see what happened. I also like seeing how Nathalie grew from the first book and I liked how things turned out for her. I did like the mystery much better in tht first book, but this is a fun series that people need to pick up if you like historical fiction and murder mysteries. An author interview and review are coming very soon to the blog!

    Review:

  • USOM

    Sensational is....truly sensational. I love the world building which combines historical fiction, magic, and sights of the Eiffel Tour. Zdrok has created a world of Insightfuls - those gifted with magic which comes at a cost. For Nathalie she can see murder scenes, but it always takes her own memories away. In Sensational she is struggling with these consequences more than ever

    Sensational is....truly sensational. I love the world building which combines historical fiction, magic, and sights of the Eiffel Tour. Zdrok has created a world of Insightfuls - those gifted with magic which comes at a cost. For Nathalie she can see murder scenes, but it always takes her own memories away. In Sensational she is struggling with these consequences more than ever before, as well as the guilt from Spectacle. Her powers come at a price and in Sensational we are able to meet more Insightfuls whose relationship to their powers vary.

    We are asked not only what would we do for our power, but what we do to rid ourselves of our power? There's a distinct cost and responsibility which is explored in fascinating and ethical ways in Sensational. At the end we're all humans underneath our powers. In Sensational there are many different levels of mystery and intrigue which will captivate you till the end. Who can we really trust and is no one safe from the consequences of Nathalie's powers?

    full review:

  • Jessica | Booked J

    :

    : ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

    : ★★★★☆ (4.5)

    |

    |

    | Review can also be found here at Booked J.

    Wow.

    is truly an accurate title for the second installment in

    . This series is so enjoyable and undeniably sensational! Fully compelling in its plots, action packed and engaging. If you

    :

    : ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

    : ★★★★☆ (4.5)

    |

    |

    | Review can also be found here at Booked J.

    Wow.

    is truly an accurate title for the second installment in

    . This series is so enjoyable and undeniably sensational! Fully compelling in its plots, action packed and engaging. If you thought

    was pure intrigue, you'll definitely appreciate the tone behind

    . Jodie Lynn Zdrok ups the tension and adds new layers through each chapter, building onto the suspense.

    This was a nearly perfect sequel that, somehow, blows the first installment right out of the water.

    The comparisons to

    may still be present in some ways but readers should not think too deeply on that. It ruins the experience.

    is a completely different series, with its own story-arches. And, I'll say it again:

    Rich with history, striking in its exploration of topics and mysteries, this installment is genuinely enjoyable.

    You won't want to put it down.

    Ever since finishing

    , I've felt questions of what happens next. There's a quality to these characters, the mysterious plotline (and its conclusions) and settings, that makes you want to know as much as possible.

    One of the best parts of its predecessor was how easy it was to slip into the narrative and get lost in all its suspense, history, mystery and magic.

    embraces its uncanny ability to get lost within a story, fully engulfing readers in a new set of questions. And I think it truly benefit from the time jump (it takes place a couple of years after the events of

    ) which sets the course for a new chapter.

    I loved the tone and all the ties that connect

    and

    . It felt like Zdrok did a wonderful job of refreshing our memories as well as diving into something undeniably new. As always, there's a balance in plotlines (and twists) that are deeply satisfying. The historical aspects, too, are, as always, on point

    I've grown even more attached to her in

    and felt that the way she has been portrayed is a standout to the series. From her missing memories, her abilities, to her strengths and her guilt, there is something so engrossing to how Zdrok continues to write her.

    Ultimately, I adored

    and can firmly state that it is one of the best book sequels to come out in 2020. (I read it in 2019, I know, but sh.) This is the type of read you can't look away from. Beautifully written, enthralling and so worth the read.

  • Bon

    I thought Id give the end of this duology a shot, since I didnt particularly enjoy the first one, but the premise was intriguing enough that I wanted to try again. To my dismay, the same thing happened. Others seem to have genuinely enjoyed the series, so this was probably a just-me situation.

    I think the biggest issue with this particular protagonist, plot and setting is that it could have been executed really well, with a change

    I thought I’d give the end of this duology a shot, since I didn’t particularly enjoy the first one, but the premise was intriguing enough that I wanted to try again. To my dismay, the same thing happened. Others seem to have genuinely enjoyed the series, so this was probably a just-me situation.

    I think the biggest issue with this particular protagonist, plot and setting is that it could have been executed really well, with a change to any of those big aspects. I never connected well with the protagonist, who came off one-dimensional except when she had amusing moments of relatable pettiness; the “Insightfuls” were reminiscent of Libba Bray’s Diviners, but without sufficient series length to be brought to full fruition; late-1800s Paris did not feel like a plausible setting where a teenaged girl, only 18 in this book and only 16 in the first, could have been running around unescorted and doing so much.

    There were some aspects I really enjoyed; there were some good lines, and several characters vibe-check Nathalie’s pettiness and privilege a few times, something I really felt was needed. There were cats in the book, something I can always appreciate. The side plot of the aunt in the asylum, and Nathalie’s ever-present fear that ‘something’ will be found amiss about her mind, leading to her being committed herself, was something I found fascinating and relevant to the time. Women in particular were often victims of asylum committal – and most often for no other reason than they were too outspoken or an inconvenience to have around…

    Again, though, plot aspects felt too thinly-developed. Nathalie randomly has a beau at the beginning of the book whom we’ve never met, who sticks around, but she is making eyes at Christophe, the detective (who also like…has a weeks-long vacation planned that is set to occur during a murder investigation?) the whole time. The murderer was again, not someone we’d really seen around or become invested in, and his methodology, a cheesy enactment of a play through his murders, just never took off for me.

    All in all, this only provided middling enjoyment for me. It had a great premise that could have been better fulfilled, so for that I'll give it three stars.

  • Camilla (ReaderintheAttic)

    Sensational. A book that I was waiting to read with an incredible joy and squealed when I saw the book on Read Now, ready for me, on Netgalley. Too bad it didn't work out for me.

    Yes, I gave three stars as a rating because I still had my fun, the book didn't make me drop out of it, nothing reading-horrible happened. So... it was okay, but some things really need to be discussed, at least from my point of view.

    I ended with a good dose of a sense I call "just why". And sadly, as much as I hate be

    Sensational. A book that I was waiting to read with an incredible joy and squealed when I saw the book on Read Now, ready for me, on Netgalley. Too bad it didn't work out for me.

    Yes, I gave three stars as a rating because I still had my fun, the book didn't make me drop out of it, nothing reading-horrible happened. So... it was okay, but some things really need to be discussed, at least from my point of view.

    I ended with a good dose of a sense I call "just why". And sadly, as much as I hate be negative about female protagonist (they get too much unjustified shits over nothing), I couldn't help to roll my eyes at Nathalie sometimes. But let's go with order.

    In confront to Spectacle, there are few things that I didn't perceive to be at the same level in Sensational. I didn't want something identical but another great impression that's for sure. 

    I felt like there was very little at stake. I'm not sure where to put my finger, but maybe here lacked the fact that Nathalie was learning about her powers? Or it wasn't personal enough? Yes, when things started to unreal, we, as readers, realize how much everything was near to the protagonist but... I wasn't emotional about it. I didn't go "oh" or I was shocked. I wasn't in the first book neither, but I felt the rushing to discover the culprit to be much more intense. 

    As I write this review, I realize that maybe I'm confronting too much the two books, but... I don't know, I was waiting for so much but it didn't happen.

    Another example is about the magic. Okay, one side it's interesting to see how randomly it works from people to people, things that start to happen to Nathalie too and it will leave a big shadow on her family. But we had some interesting characters being inserted in the narration and I felt like a more closure was needed. 

    I can say that one thing I really appreciated in Sensational is that there are actual consequences that links the two stories. It's pretty clear if we observe Nathalie. She's definitely stressed, her powers and their consequences taking a tool on her, she talks much less with her loved one about such things, and she's still grieving for her losses. It was particularly pleasant to see this, because many series tend to forget that things may drag for more than one novel. 

    Sensational did a great job in this.

    Now, arriving the the main protagonist, I liked Nathalie but, in this book, she really made it difficult for me to don't roll my eyes. A lot. 

    It's clear that negative sensation is getting the best of her through a lot of the story, which isn't the bad thing. What I found very absurd was the fixation over a character while being with another. Long from me to judge realizing to have done a complicated choice, feelings aren't linear, but being irrationally irritated (if not angry) at someone having gift from their bothered ones and other manifestation of jealousy....  All of these after two years of something that can be barely qualified as a crush.

    In this point, I saw characters as Jules being almost sacrificed. Did we really need him? To see him make bad decision and Nathalie being rightly angry, only to exhibit her massive privilege when he exposed her? I think that losing a great part of the forming romance played against the story. In fact, the relationship is already going on between Nathalie and Jules. I would have found much more compelling to read a romance between those two forming while reading the adventure, bad and good choices too. 

    In the end, I can only repeat what I wrote at the start: I had my fun but the book didn't strike me as I hoped. I'm sure Jodie next work will deliver something amazing, but for me this wasn't the time. 

  • Andi

    Goodness what on earth happened with this book?

    So, we ended book one with some interesting ideas but I feel the author just got bored of the world/characters/the story she wanted to tell and just ended it on Book 2.

    The characters took a step backward in terms of development. Our focus has now obtained a boyfriend in the two year jump between book one and this book. He is an Insightful too and his power is to recall a person's noises/thoughts? He makes a crap mistake at one point of the book and

    Goodness what on earth happened with this book?

    So, we ended book one with some interesting ideas but I feel the author just got bored of the world/characters/the story she wanted to tell and just ended it on Book 2.

    The characters took a step backward in terms of development. Our focus has now obtained a boyfriend in the two year jump between book one and this book. He is an Insightful too and his power is to recall a person's noises/thoughts? He makes a crap mistake at one point of the book and you find out how she deals with it. But honestly, why care? She has been mooning over a guy who apparently is engaged to someone and she even gets jealous when another female insightful is brought on to the case. (Who, by the way, has no feelings whatsoever to Christophe but the girl just hates the fact that she is even in the same vicinity as him.)

    You never meet Christophe's intended, and frankly, the relationship there was a little odd. You honestly don't know what his intentions were are about and by the end of the book you still don't know.

    The killer and the plot wasn't as strongly done as book one, and it could be - again - partially due to the author wanting to abandon ship.

    The way these people developed their powers (why is it only these people in France are obtaining this power and not people, say, from other countries or continents) is never really embellished on. Again, probably the author wanting to stop this series.

    You can tell the author really excels in the history aspect and there was an interesting world needing to be discovered ... but honestly, this book fell flat and is a silent bow-out to what could have been an interesting series.

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