Friday, December 14, 2012

{Review} I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Format: Library Hardcover
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release date: April 3, 2012
Date Read: October 16, 2012 - October 18, 2012
Rating: ✭✭✭✭
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?

William R. Somerset should have been partnered with Jasper Francis Dent in Se7en.

By the way. Sorry, Jazz, but that is totally a serial killer name. 

I HUNT KILLERS is the story of seventeen year-old Jazz, the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, Billy Jazz, and his efforts to hunt down a new serial killer. As the bodies pile up, Jazz and his friends must work faster than ever.

I HUNT KILLERS is disturbing. It's gory. It's sinister. And it is freaking awesome. This is the kind of book that you're going to remember for a long time - the kind of book that will make you think about murders and deaths and these nutcases that do them.

I'm going to come clean here and admit that this book was the first horror-mystery-serial-killer book I've ever read. 

I know. Shameful.

But by no means was it the first anything I've seen about serial killers. It's strange, but I'm fascinated with the lengths unstable people will go to relieve themselves. It's sick, I know, but these things have always absorbed me. Se7en, the 1995 thriller starring Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, and Gwyneth Paltrow, was so interesting and savage and I loved it.

It left me shuddering.

And I HUNT KILLERS left me with the same feeling . . . almost. To me, epic visuals will leave you shuddering more than a book. I know that makes me a horrible reader in some people's eyes, but I'm not gonna lie.

First off, these murders are grisly. If you're squeamish about blood and screws and painful murders in general, avoid this book. You might pass out. But for those of you who can stand it, by all means, go ahead. At first, the murders are flashbacks of Billy's victims recounted by Jazz. But eventually Jazz will begin seeing them himself, and then things get gruesome.

It's written well, and told well, with a well-thought-out plot. Italicized flashbacks of the things Billy would say to Jazz complete the mood.

"Wrapped my arms around her throat, Billy whispered in Jazz's mind. Just squeezed and squeezed..."

And even though the theme of I HUNT KILLERS is dark, there are spots of humor that left me with a small grin.

I figured out who the serial killer was in no time. I'm sure you will, as well - it's sort of blindingly obvious. It was too bad that the mystery wasn't very mysterious, because that could've made all the difference.

I didn't like Jazz. I didn't find him likable, or charming, or any of the words used to describe him. He was manipulative, cold, and I, yeah. I know. He's a sociopath, but Jazz was also so complex and conflicted, and his nightmares just ate him up. He was loyal to his friends and scary towards people he didn't like. I remain baffled at the fact that no one saw through his façade.

Billy Dent reminded me of Kevin Spacey. I know that's a eye-rolling confession, because, I mean, almost every sick serial killer reminds me of Kevin Spacey afterSe7en. But he had this twisted personality that completely reminded me of Spacey's character. There are no words to describe how horrible this piece of shit excuse for a human being is. He's scarred Jazz for life and has no regrets about it. He wants Jazz to go around murdering people like he does - continuing the "legacy". He. Is. Sick.

I can't tell you too much about the serial killer - The Impressionist - but I'll just say that there are actually people like him and real life and it's so sad. People like him need to be put down. I'm serious. It's frightening.

Jazz lives with his grandmother since Dear Old Dad is in jail and his mom is dead. This woman is delusional, mentally ill, and emotionally abusive towards poor Jazz. But some of the things she did cracked me up.

I loved Howie and Connie. They were both great side characters that took part in the story, not just to be there. Howie was so sweet and I hope he can live, uh, okay-ish with his type-A hemophilia. And Connie was such a strong, badass character. She matched Jazz and didn't take his crap. And guess what, guys? Jazz's girlfriend, Connie is black.

Wait, what?

When was the last time I read a young-adult novel with a black main character or love interest?

What's that again?

Oh, yeah. I've never read one.

I shouldn't have to be so incredibly excited with this concept, but I am! I've read over one hundred YA novels this year and not ONE of them had a black MC or LI. Connie being dark-skinned was incredibly refreshing, because, you know. Apparently authors are afraid to venture out of the all-white-population-in-small-towns genre.

That ending was creepy and eery and made me shiver. Cliffhanger alert, my friends.

All in all, I adored I HUNT KILLERS and I can't wait for the second book.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


  1. Please tell me who the impressionist is. I must be a really poor reader, but I can't figure it out. HELP!

  2. Please tell me who the impressionist is. I must be a really poor reader, but I can't figure it out. HELP!

  3. Please tell me who the impressionist is. I must be a really poor reader, but I can't figure it out. HELP!

  4. Please tell me who the impressionist is. I must be a really poor reader, but I can't figure it out. HELP!