Thursday, October 3, 2013

REVIEW: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga Website Twitter Facebook
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Pages: 384
Buy It! amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

First Thoughts: Very Dexter Morgan-esque! I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of sociopaths and murderers (my guilty pleasure is anything on the ID channel - Snapped, Dateline, etc...), and this book did not disappoint! In fact, it might have made my dark obsession a little bit worse.

As a fan of all things dark, twisted, and sociopathic (my television choices are evidence of this) I knew I had to get my hands on this book as soon as I saw it on this year’s Abe Lincoln list, plus, it’s book trailer is pretty fantastic. Well, after reading it, I can say that it belongs on that list for a reason - so good!

I love the characters in this book, which is probably why I like the story so much. Jasper “Jazz” Dent is the perfect lead for this storyline. His conflicted feelings - sociopath or not -  make him seem so real. And, although I’m sure he would hate to hear this, he is heartbreaking; the way he was raised, the way the town looks at him, the way his Grandma weighs on his mind - seriously heartbreaking. Plus, everyone else can see the goodness in him except himself. How can he be a sociopath when he questions it with every move and decision he makes? Not only is Jazz a great lead, but he has the perfect sidekick in his best friend Howie. Loved him! He provides the perfect amount of humor to an otherwise dark book.

This book is definitely dark; I mean, the premise surrounds a boy who was raised by a father who brutally murdered 123 people. This book is not necessarily for the faint of heart. The descriptions of the murders are somewhat graphic and gory, although they are described in a very clinical CSI-like way. Plus, every few chapters or so, we get the killer’s point of view. It’s creepy to read how detached the killer is from what he’s doing - definitely a sociopath, unlike Jazz.

I will admit I had a hard time with the beginning of the book. I found myself having to reread a lot of the police lingo and crime-scene jargon, but after about chapter three, I could not put the book down (I even stayed up late on a school night to finish it - you know it has to be good for me to give up some much-needed sleep).

Final Thoughts: A fantastic and much-needed young adult crime novel! A thrilling page-turner that surprised me up until the very end.

Who Should Read It? Crime, mystery, and thriller fans - move this to the top of your To-Be-Read list.  It’s action-packed from the very beginning, features relatable characters, and is extremely hard to predict (even for a good predictor like myself). I had no idea it’s part of a series, but I look forward to book two - Game. And, boys, this one’s right up your alley (not to stereotype, because I also loved this book, but I always have a hard time recommending to boys).


  1. I'm reading Game right now and so far I'm liking it! I loved Howie in the first book, but so far he has a smaller role... I'm hoping that changes soon!! Anyway great review... and your blog is super cute :)

    1. I'm eagerly awaiting Game (too many other books to read first). I hope Howie has a bigger role, because he kept cracking me up. Thanks for the compliment on my blog :)