Murder is such a dirty word…
New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with EMPTY COFFIN, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.I was quite interested in reading this book. Taking a few very important problems in today's society like cyber-bullying and suicide and adding a paranormal edge to the whole thing. While you did get some aspects of those problems, taken right from the headlines, it didn't quite work for me.
Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.
Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.
Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.
I enjoyed the characters of Katelyn and the twins, Hayley and Taylor. In fact, I'd have to say I enjoyed all the characters even if they were the "good" guys or the "bad". The author was able to portray characters with more than one side to a personality. One where often the "bad" guys had problems within their lives and a rounded out view as to why they acted the way they did. I also enjoyed the unfolding of Katelyn's life and Hayley and Taylor. The twins who were born to solve problems with a psychic gift between them were the most interesting and who I believe the next stories in this series will revolve around.
So, have I now left you scratching your head as to why I said it didn't work for me? Well... it was the story. It was several stories all jumbled together. Yes, they all have a connection as they all live in the same town, but it was as if we are pulled in several different directions trying to find out what the real mystery is that we are supposed to care about. The main story was elusive and yet seemed to be everything at once. It felt as though this book either needed to be several short stories, or at least let one of the mysteries take the lead. It just didn't work. Even what we thought would be the main story was reduced in the end to something of lesser importance. This was a chance to make a huge statement and I don't think it was achieved here.
I give this book 2 stars. It wasn't bad at all, but lacked direction. I might pick up another book in this series as they are published. I've seen books like this get a direction and then the stories rock. I'm hoping that this will go that way. The ideas were good, so there is potential.
Envy By Gregg Olsen from Sterling Publishing on Vimeo.
I received this ARC through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program and the publisher. No compensation for my review was given.