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envy (Empty Coffin Novel) Hardcover – 7 Sep 2011
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Praise for Gregg Olsen: Olsen will have you on the edge of your seat. --Lee Child Searing and brilliant. -- Ann Rule Gripping Olsen is a top notch writer. -- Michael Connelly Olsen brings complex mystery and crackling authenticity to bear on a cold case police procedural . his bizarre, many-layered mystery will keep fans of crime fiction hooked. --"Publishers Weekly" (for his novel, "A Wicked Snow")"
About the Author
Gregg Olsen is a resident of Olalla, Washington. A New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Olsen has written five novels, eight nonfiction books and a critically-acclaimed short story, with sales of over 1 million copies. Throughout his career, Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people (real or imagined) caught in extraordinary circumstances. His books have been translated around the world. In 2010 alone, Olsen was spotlighted in USA Today, People, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post. A Seattle native, Olsen lives with his wife, a couple of chickens, and two dogs. For more info, see: www.greggolsen.com.
Top customer reviews
Envy is very detailed; when you add the masses of characters as well it's easy to get lost. Occasionally the writing comes across as very deliberate, creating `atmosphere' but not actually helping the story. I predicted some of the outcome, not all of it, and was quite happy to invest in the next book in the serious until I reached the last few chapters.
My problem with the ending isn't the resolution to Katelyn's mystery but relates to the subplot. The chapter on page 282 ends with "It had to be done". No it did not. There are many other ways this could have ended most of which would not have resulted in me completely losing all respect for the protagonists.
I hadn't read any of Gregg Olsen's writing before (this is his first YA novel, but his background is crime fiction and true crime for adults), but I really enjoyed his style and am keen to keep reading this series and to investigate his adult fare. The book has a cinematic feel to it, with scene changes feeling very much like camera cuts. The novel is related in the third person and in the past tense, allowing Gregg Olsen to shift perspectives with ease and to show us what different characters are feeling, as well as offering some of the town's backstory.
The twins as central characters are engaging and sympathetic. As the novel progresses, we learn more of their fascinating history (with, I'm sure, plenty left to come in future instalments) and their abilities. They don't seem to describe themselves as 'psychic' as such, and their gifts are revealed to us gradually, becoming more important as the plot develops.
Plot-wise, there is much here for fans of crime mysteries and thrillers. The novel is tightly-plotted and offers plenty of twists and red herrings. The murder-or-suicide death at the centre is suitably tragic and will give teen readers plenty to think about. Themes of bullying, popularity and the natural life cycle of children's and teens' friendships are at the core of the book, ensuring emotional recognition for all readers.
Overall, I'm absolutely recommending this for lovers of crime fiction, especially if you also enjoy a hint of the supernatural.
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.
I have to begin by saying that I loved the writing in Envy. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was about the writing style that I loved so much all I can say is that every time I thought about putting this book down I literally couldn't. While the plot is intriguing it was really the writing that had me so engrossed. Speaking of plot I really enjoyed the premise of Envy, with it being a `true' crime YA novel, a genre that has not really been tapped into within YA books. I also enjoyed how the focus was on online bullying, which is becoming ever more present within today's society and yet is such a sensitive subject to deal with. I really enjoyed the paranormal elements of Envy; while I don't want to give too much away by telling you what those are I will say that it added a refreshing twist which I really enjoyed.
In terms of characters, Hayley and Taylor, the twins, were my favourites. Even though they are teenagers and so therefore young I did feel that they were very smart for their age. There are a lot of characters within Envy, yet I found that I was not confused at any one time. I really enjoyed the way in which the point of view the story is told from changes constantly, giving more insight into how each character feels about Katelyn's death. Along with the cover, another of my favourite things about Envy was the layout. I loved the format used for the chapter headings, and how messages sent within the novel are made to stand out on the page. These are only small elements but they really added to my enjoyment of the novel.
My only issue with Envy was the sometimes the way in which the characters spoke was a little young for my liking. In particular I found the way in which the text messages shown within the book were written in text language, which I didn't enjoy reading. I also found some of the phrases used by the characters were a little stereotypical teen and therefore a little annoying for my liking.
Envy, overall, was an extremely enjoyable read that had me captivated from beginning to end. I felt as though I was thrown along a terrifying rollercoaster of a journey that left me constantly guessing and then being shocked by what happened next. The true elements woven into the story really set this novel aside and make it unique. Envy is a must read, just make sure your not home alone when you read this one!