Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3, 2012 
ISBN13: 9780316125840
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, horror, thiller, mystery, crime, contemporary, urban fiction
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 9.5/10

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?

Note: I Hunt Killers has extremely explicit murder scenes within. Not for the faint of heart.

Barry Lyga, I wonder if you're on any government watch lists for your very, creative ways of both creating and disposing of corpses. I Hunt Killers is completely disturbing and terrifying.

It's intriguing to read from a point of view that isn't one-hundred percent heroic. In many stories, the protagonist is the target of the antagonist who wishes his/her's demise, but in this case the antagonist believes himself to be on Jazz's side. He thinks that he'll eventually turn to the dark side, gosh, almost everyone in the story's just waiting for the other shoe to drop. that might be why I took so long reading this; I didn't want Jazz to turn into a bad guy.

There was plenty of conflict in the story: the people in Jazz's town waiting for him to become the serial killer his father was, the father of one of Billy Dent's victims wanting the closure Jazz could not give, another serial killer on the loose, and Jazz's battle for his own self and sanity in his mind. It seemed all very real, and incredibly painful for just one teenage boy to bear.

The plot seemed really, really cool, although I shouldn't say so because of the dying people. The way the Impressionist made the killings was absolute genius in a psychotic way. It is completely demented, and you can't help but be fascinated by Jazz's own insight of a killer's psyche and wonder what truly makes a killer who he is. Highlight to see spoiler Seeing the man posed as Jeff Fulton (the father of the victim of Billy Dent) turn out to be the Impressionist was like Oh shite, I did not see that coming. I was completely blindsided. Jeff Fulton blended into the background spectacularly. I thought Barry Lyga put him into the story only as another external conflict against Jazz but it was quite hard to imagine the grief-stricken Jeff Fulton as the man recreating the calculated kills of the Artist. You can't help but want to reach out to Jazz, just to give him a hand and be afraid that he'd eventually lose control. His lack of memories of his mother and the nightmares of cutting someone stuck out and emphasized that no matter how hard he tried to be good, even if he succeeded, he'd still have that dark bit of himself inside.

I Hunt Killers completely screwed my mind over, and I'd love to shove it into everyone's faces screaming, "READ IT! IT IS INGENIOUS!" but I do know that it has some quite gruesome details in it. I'd recommend it to everyone who doesn't mind gory details in their books.


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