Series: Empty Coffin
Author: Gregg Olsen
Publication Date: 7 Sep 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
This new Young Adult fiction series stars Hayley and Taylor Ryan, crime solving (as long as mum doesn't know), butt-kicking (when they have to) and otherwise normal 15 year-old twin girls. Each novel takes place in Port Gamble, WA, otherwise known as Empty Coffin, so dubbed thanks to an old town legend. Each novel in the series is based on a ripped-from-the-headlines news story with fictionalised characters, real crime-solving techniques and a bit of twin senses thrown in. Told in a non-linear narrative that flashes back and forth in time and bit-by-bit revealing a secret past that even Hayley and Taylor don't know about, each novel tells a satisfying true crime inspired tale as well as peeling back another layer of the overall series arc to the reader at the same time that the main characters discover it. A dedicated series website will include exciting bonus extras. Envy, the debut book, centres around a teen bullying situation that ends in death. But is it an accident, or murder? The novel will include a sneak peek at the sequel, as well as a smartphone Tag code on the back cover.
I loved the premise of this book combining crime fiction and the paranormal, surprisingly it was a DNF. As the synopsis states it is told in 'non-linear narrative', what this translated to for me is that it goes off at tangents and had a disjointed feel to the flow of the story. I am sure there are a lot of people that like tangents and intricate descriptions of every little thing , unfortunately I am not one of them.
Being of the adult age group I couldn't help compare this style of writing as distinctly adult rather than YA, with YA the aim is to keep the attention of the reader to the maximum, adult writing had more leeway as you expect the reader to have a higher concetration level - oh gosh this must mean I have a low concetration level and get distracted easily (goes to look for the squirrel someone just saw). I know this about myself, that I get distracted easily not the squirrel, and maybe this is one of the reasons I steer clear of adult books and stick to YA. although I do think there is a lot more to it than that.
The powerful prose at the beginning was heartfelt and realistic (unfortunately) which gave me high hopes for the rest of the book. I honestly did give it a good go and read about two thirds of it, then skipped to the ending to see if I liked it more to keep going. I really, really felt it didn't flow, all the odd little bits of information thrown in were just distracting. We have already established that this is not a good thing for me.
What I would have like to have seen is far more focus on the characters themselves, a lot of questions arise within the plot relating to past event and they aren't really given any clear answers just a few hints placed here and there. On the whole the characters are just awful, cruel, self centered and downright evil lurks beneath their surface. No redemable qualities, I just couldnt cope with that. I think that because of the awful people in real life I don't want to be confronted with then when I read. Reading is my escape from harch reality and this didn't provide me with that escape.
This is definately the case of it being the wrong reader for this book that is why I am putting it on UK Book Tours so that it can find the right reader.
Thanks to Carla at The Crooked Shelf for the use of Book Break-Ups