Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Jasper Dent, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A grotesquely dark, twisted thriller, I Hunt Killers completely swept me away--with a compelling, dynamic main character, creepy twists and turns around every corner, and a dark premise--I loved it!
This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jasper "Jazz" Dent knows the darkest parts of the soul better than most. His father is the legendary, notorious, most sadistic serial killer around: Billy Dent. After he is caught and jailed four years prior, Jazz wants nothing more than to put the ugliness of the past behind him. But when bodies begin to pile up in the quiet little town of Nobo's Lod, Jazz finds he must face--maybe even embrace--the demons of his childhood.. And he discovers that even fighting the good fight might not be enough to save what may be already damned..
What I enjoyed:
-I really liked the unique style in which the story was told, from Jazz to killer and back again
-The pacing of this novel was completely breakneck--I couldn't put it down, even when I wanted to
-The premise of this novel was great as well--the son of a serial killer struggling to face his demons and be normal--I loved it, as it was very unique
-Jazz, the young man who worries deep down that he has a soul just as black and twisted as his father's--he was an incredibly dynamic character, and I really enjoyed the way that he struggled against his darker urges throughout
-I loved the twists and turns that had me completely glued to the second half of the book--I really couldn't put it down
-Billy, the frightening, sadistic killer that inhabits poor Jasper's every thought--I was thoroughly fascinated and disgusted by him throughout the novel
-Howie, the boy who unwittingly seems to tie Jasper down and attach him to acting like a normal teenage boy--I liked the way his comic humor was peppered throughout the book, counterpointing the darker parts
-Connie, the young woman who Jazz feels closer to than anyone else--I really liked the way she grounded Jazz, as well as their relationship
-G. William, the man who partially plays Jazz's guardian--he was one of my favorite characters
-The ending--it was perfect and I can't wait for the sequels!
What could've been better:
-The degree of violence shocked and disgusted me more than once--I contemplated putting it down more often than not
-At times, the book was rather difficult to get through, what with the heavy subject matter
Overall, despite some minor flaws, I really, really enjoyed I Hunt Killers! Highly recommended to mystery and thriller fans! Next on deck: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross!