I love reading graphic novels, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine when I need a break from the lengthy fantasy novels I usually read. Spectacle by Megan Rose Gedris was a beautifully illustrated and intriguing read. It is to be published on 22nd May 2018 by Oni Press. I received an eARC copy from NetGalley for an honest review, and I have to say I really enjoyed reading this!
Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn’t believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they’re sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems…
This was a really quick and enjoyable read. Combining murder mysteries, the supernatural and a circus setting sets up this intriguing story of a woman determined to find her sisters killer. The storyline is creative, filled with a few twists I was pleasantly surprised to read. The story is quite dark at times but it adds contrast to the beauty of the characters relationships with each other; specifically Anna and her sister’s ghost.
The main character Anna is a fortune-teller who uses her machine, Conjecture Engine, to predict futures. But after the death of her sister, she now see’s ghosts, and not just her sisters. In the midst of trying to solve Kat’s murder the head of the circus is arrested and something is amiss when the Big Top catches fire, but doesn’t burn. Secrets are coming to light and a darkness looms not only over the circus, but the town as well.
The body positivity and diversity of characters in this was really great to read. Our lead Anna is a strong black woman, who’s crime solving companion, the ‘fat lady’ turned snake singer Flora make an interesting and enchanting team of sluths. Their dynamic is both funny and strange, and I anticipate there will be a lot more come to light about Anna’s new friend Flora in the coming volumes.
The artwork in this is gorgeous. I love the pop of colours and stylization of the characters. The flow of the comic panels is great and the large artwork panels are stunningly drawn. The overall story telling is really strong and this volume really sets up the subsequent novels to come quiet well. The ending felt a little abrupt and not necessarily the strongest point to end the volume, but despite this is does finish in a way that leaves you wanting to read the next volume to find out what happens next. I know I’ll be looking forward to it.
I thought this was a gorgeous read and will read it again.