Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Hardcover: 359
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown
Author Info: Website | Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon | IndieBound
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?
I wrote and erased about eight different beginnings to this review because I could not decide on a proper way to express my unending adoration for this book. Some of the first attempts included: There’s something darkly humorous and perverse about the son of a serial killer having a hemophiliac for a best friend. And: You know a book is going to be good when there is a joke using the term “abracadaver” in the first 30 pages. And: This book is both seriously *past tense expletive* up and seriously *present participle expletive* awesome. And, lastly and the most un-coherent of the bunch: AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I picked up this book, read the summary and had me at ‘serial killer’. For a girl who spent every non-school hour of college watching back-to-back episodes of CSI (Las Vegas only) or Law and Order (SVU or CI only), I can comfortably say that I have an unhealthy interest in death and especially those who cause it for others. Not only did I get my nerdy science fill as Jazz maneuvers his way around crime scenes, but the creepy mindset of the serial killer.

Now for my token character paragraph(s). I’m going to be sincerely honest when I say that there was not a SINGLE character I didn’t like in this book. Jazz is just perfect. Undeniably goes on my Broken Boys list, but he is so suave and cool and above all, dangerous. Jasper Dent, guys. Jasper Francis Dent. Howie, Jazz’s BFF and type-A hemophiliac who makes jokes about his condition and Jazz, but is undeniably loyal to Jazz and vice versa (I can’t say the exact part because it is FAR too spoiler-y, but around 200 pages in, in a little threat in which Jazz refers to himself as “the local psychopath”, my heart died, melted and then died again. Jazz and Howie are the best best friends ever!)

G. William and Billy Dent. The two loosely-termed father figures in this. Sheriff G. William and serial killer and convict Billy Dent. You’d be hard-pressed to find a dynamic more tense than that. G. William is one very tired man who plays sheriff, father-figure and friend to Jazz and that exhausting job. The one, very atypical father-son scene with Billy Dent had me at the edge of my seat, pulling my hair in how undeniably awesome and disturbed everything happening was. And finally, Connie. I always forget how refreshing it is to have an already established relationship in a YA book until I read it. And, oh, she is such a STRONG female character and completely unafraid to put Jazz in his place. Awesome.

Now that I’ve blathered on about characters for far too long, let me move on. Sometimes 3rd person writing has the affliction that it can be very withdrawn. This, however, wasn't at all.

And as hard as it might be to believe there was really nothing that irked or put me off this book. Seems too good to be true to say, but I mean it. In fact, I will go so far as to say that this book is a strong contender for making my top 5 favorite books of the year. I know it’s only April, but I’m on book #63 and have yet to feel this way about a book. So, there.

So, um, Goodreads says there’s a sequel? I like this. I like this a lot. Now, normally I would say ‘who do I have to bribe for the sequel?’, but considering the subject matter, that won’t do. So how about ‘who do I have to kill for the sequel?’ Because I need more books like this. Love is great to read about but sometimes I want to see people kill each other!

NOW, if you read to the end of my long-winded review, you get a reward! I recently saw Barry Lyga and found myself with a spare SIGNED ARC of I Hunt Killers.


  1.  I have heard nothing but great things about this one. Sounds like a real page turner!

  2. I literally JUST finished this one (about five minutes ago).  It creeped me out... but in a good way? Kind of like how I will watch SVU (the only good cop show) marathons and freak myself out, but at the same time I am fascinated by how other people's minds work. Nice review. I feel like my opener will not come easily either (I might just stick with "ahhhhh!")

  3. This book looks awesome! Can't wait to read it!

  4. I loved your review. I loved that you struggled to put it to words with the proper homage to Lyga, who is brilliant btw. I've loved all the other books of his I've read. ME WANTS THIS ONE REAL BAD!! The way you talk about the characters and the style of the writing, makes me want it even more. This is such a great review. Better than many I've read. Thank you. Also, please pick ONLY ME for this book, because I can't wait to read it and post reviews all over the place. Thank you for the opportunity.

  5. Love the review! The synopsis of this caught my eye when I saw it at Barnes & Noble, but I already had too many books in my hands. ;) I haven't read much else about it, so this very positive review was great! Thank you for the giveaway. :)

  6. Thanks for the giveaway. I really want to read this book.

  7. Would love to win this book! Read great reviews and definitely on my TBR list!


  8. The cover under the dust jacket is awesome! I love it!
    How did you do the line break where it starts your review? I've been trying to find a way to separate the Goodreads Summary from my review, and I love the way you've done it!

  9.  Great review. Broken boys are always one of my favorite types of characters. Adding this to my TBR list.

  10. Love the review :) Going to read this book myself soon and now your review makes me want to read it even more :)

  11. aieeeeeeeeeeee! I want to read this book so badly. :)

    Thanks so much for the chance.

  12. I read this book last month and, ahh, I loved it! Great review, Jennifer! 

  13. ur review was great~Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Ahh!!! I'm so surprised I won! This book has been on my wishlist for months! Thank you so much :).

  15. Stellar review, Jen. I just recently read IHK for my book club and now I am so super stoked for the sequel. Can't wait to discuss it with you.