“You poke at evil with a stick… never use your fingers.” – Envy by Gregg Olsen



And I believe there is a direct correlation between the commercial success of these YA science fiction/fantasy sagas and the ever-increasing popularity of comparable “adult” novels, especially those categorized as paranormal fantasy. It doesn’t matter how old – or young – you are, experiencing a novel that is powered by supernatural atmospherics and audaciously blends elements of fantasy, mystery, horror, post-apocalyptic fiction, etc. is undeniably appealing – readers never know what they’re going to get! How many teenaged readers are fans of “adult” paranormal fantasy series like Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse saga or Kim Harrison’s Hollows novels or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files? My guess would be a lot.



Set in the historic town of Port Gamble, Washington – a town that is pretty on the outside but that hides unspeakable evils behind its doors – the protagonists are Hayley and Taylor Ryan, the teenaged daughters of a crime writer father and a mother who works as a psychiatric nurse in a mental hospital. Hayley and Taylor seem like normal 15-year old girls – except that they have strange psychic abilities:



When a former friend of the twins, a girl named Katelyn Berkley, is found dead in her bathtub – she apparently committed suicide by electrocuting herself – Hayley and Taylor both sense that Katelyn did not kill herself. The twins, very much their father’s girls, take it upon themselves to uncover the truth. Their investigation reveals some unlikely suspects – Starla “Superstarla” Larsen, Port Gamble’s “It Girl,” a self-absorbed cheerleader whose beauty is most definitely only skin deep; Jake Damon, the bad-boy lover of Starla’s mother with a shadowy past; and a mysterious online friend who may or may not be real…



If you know a teen reader who enjoys his or her literary escapism paranormal-powered and decidedly dark, Olsen’s Empty Coffin saga (Betrayal will be released in the fall of 2012) will more than fit the bill. Remember the names – Hayley and Taylor Ryan may soon be as popular as iconic female teen protagonists like Bella Swan, Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen…



Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. 


 Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!

by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎08-21-2011 04:14 PM
by Moderator paulgoatallen on ‎08-21-2011 04:21 PM

Here's the Official Envy Book Trailer!




by Author Zkullis on ‎08-22-2011 07:33 PM

I am glad I saw this post Paul!  The premise behind Envy is absolutely fascinating!!! 





by kimba88 on ‎08-23-2011 12:57 PM

This looks to be good, and while I know my teenage daughter and young adult daughter will enjoy it, I probably will too. I know I have said this before...Today's YA books are not like those I read in my youth. Minus the steamy sex scenes...they are very much like the paranormal, mystery, thrillers I enjoy today.

by B&N Bookseller melissas on ‎08-27-2011 11:30 PM

I saw this on the shelf recently. The cover made me think of A Certain Slant of Light, which I read years ago and enjoyed; but this made me associate Envy with a historical fiction novel, which I'm not really craving these days. Had I known it to be dark and supernatural, I definitely would have given it a second look. Thanks for bringing this to light. Also, I still find that when I read paranormal literature, I read more from the teen section than I do from the grown-up section!

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