The Coffin Maker by Breeann Allison is the first in a YA series full of mystery, coffins, and Death..
“Twenty-three-year-old Jesse Burns lives a tranquil life as the coffin maker in the enthusiastically eerie town of Gregor’s Hollow. Here, the By the Pricking of My Crumbs Bakery sells deep-fried candy corn year round, and manmade mist swirls through the streets every afternoon at three-thirty. As for the graveyard bells that chime at midnight, and the Victorian portrait that materializes in the hotel guest rooms? Well, no one can account for those but they still look impressive in the brochure.
Few in the town are admired more than the trustworthy, if reclusive, coffin maker. Praised for his intricate carvings and flamboyant artistry, Jesse creates his masterpieces in the workshop that belonged to his father, the previous coffin maker who vanished nine years ago.
Jesse’s isolated routine is disturbed when Death appears on his doorstep one October evening. Wearing a sharply pressed suit and a condescending smile, Death demands eight coffins by Halloween. Jesse is horrified to learn that the coffins are intended for Death’s next eight victims—all of them citizens of Gregor’s Hollow. In exchange for the eight coffins, Death will tell Jesse what happened to his father.
Despite striking the bargain and starting work on the coffins, Jesse vows to save the Eight. But investigating a mystery is challenging in Gregor’s Hollow, the third most-famous Halloween tourist town in America. Home to horror enthusiasts and gothic fanatics alike, the town boasts a daily carnival of macabre spectacles, complete with ghostly sound effects in the streets, slasher chase scenes in the alleys, and a John Carpenter Orchestra in the park. Distinguishing staged horror theatrics from genuinely suspicious activity is impossible enough on an average day. But with the holiday approaching, the tourist season has just begun, forcing Jesse to conduct his detective work amidst the increased chaos of Hitchcock festivals, Edgar Allan Poe pageants, and monster movie reenactments.
Together with an alluring and untrustworthy stranger, he seeks the answer he needs to thwart Death’s plan.“
The Coffin Maker is a mix of mystery and the paranormal idea behind death and the whole cycle of life and what could be controlling it. This book had me hooked with the unique concept of the main character. We venture into the story through the eyes of a coffin maker (which hasn’t been seen in YA). This set a musky tone for me as the plot thickened with Death walking through his door with a rather simple, yet horrifying request.
The blend of the characters created such a vibrant mystery that I continued to piece together until the final few chapters. The ending by the way, finished strong and a bit gory which I found to end satisfactory.
Until the final page, I thought this book had a well-rounded ending, but of course, I realized that this was NOT a stand-alone, so I am intrigued to figure out how the story continues. Where did the body go??
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. Even though I felt engaged through the mysteriousness behind Death’s request, there were parts that felt a little stretched out and momentarily confusing. Overall, the ending did a great job in wrapping everything up for me, and it doesn’t end in any sort of cliffhanger.
If you are looking for a more unique mystery to try to puzzle through, this book will need to be on your summer reading pile. Following the main character’s obsession in solving the mystery behind the request drove me to finish to the end.
Published: 1 March 2018
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Young Adult Mystery / Paranormal
How I Read It: eArc from Publisher
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of my book reviews contain my honest opinion only and are not influenced in any way.*
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