The Vanishing Game, by Kate Kae Myers

There's some good stuff in Kate Kae Myers's teen mystery/horror/romance novel The Vanishing Game, but it's one of those unfortunate novels where the whole is considerably less enjoyable than its individual parts.

Twins Jocelyn and Jack relied on one another to survive a series of foster homes, including a terrifying stint living in a place called Seale House. Years later, Jack dies in a mysterious car accident. Jocelyn is overwhelmed with grief, but when she receives a letter with an encoded clue that only she, Jack, and their childhood friend Noah could possibly understand, she begins to wonder if there's any chance her twin might still be alive. Her search for the truth reintroduces her to Noah, forces her to return to Seale House, and raises questions about nearly everything she thinks is true.

Myers shoves way too much stuff into this novel, and very little of it works. If she wanted to write a thriller about cryptography, then she should have skipped the supernatural elements. If she wanted to write a moody paranormal romance, then she should have taken out the crime-solving hijinks. While a lot of her ideas are interesting, none of them really complement each other, and the end result feels like a shambling mash-up of The 39 Clues series, Stephen King's Firestarter, and a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. It's the literary equivalent of pouring chocolate sauce over kimchi—no matter how much one likes the individual components, there are some great tastes that really don't taste great together.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.