Saturday, August 2, 2014

Barry Lyga: I Hunt Killers

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
Barry Lyga introduces a whole new perspective on serial killers; What would you do if you were raised by one?:

Jasper (Jazz) Dent, is a the kind of famous that no one wants to be; He is the son of the most famous serial killer, whose his body count well into the three digit mark. Now the main things that Jazz wants to prove to people that he is not like his dear old Dad, that he is not a killer and will never become one. But some things are easier said that done, especially when bodies appears in a field in Jazz's hometown, everyone is looking at him as the perpetrator. I mean who could blame them with the upbringing that Jazz had, learning the ins and outs of how to kill. Jazz has the many disturbing teaching that he had as child, but he wants to use them for good, to hunt serial killers as he feels he has inside knowledge of how they think. Even though the police do not want his help, Jazz knows there are going to be more bodies and he will do anything to hunt down the killer.

I have been reading serial killer books for a long long time, and it has been a long long time since someone has been able to add something new to this type of series. So right there I knew I was going to like this book as I think all readers crave something new and different as typical can become monotonous. Lyga achieve this with the interesting concept of having his main character being raised by a serial killer, a form of his protege being groomed to be just like his father. Adds a whole new meaning to like father like son.

I know that this book is published as a YA novel, however, I think that it is more of a New Adult or Adult book as there are times when the writing is fairly graphic in the description of both past and present deaths as well as some of the lessons that Jazz's father taught him. There are details about Jazz's past that are downright disturbing and you will know what I mean when you get to the part with Jazz's family pet. Additionally, Lyga does not hold back on the descriptive nature of the present crimes. However, I have read more graphic books with both torture and murder scenes, but those were classified as either Horror or Adult novel, so with this being classified by the publishers as a YA novel I would just say reader beware, you may not want your tween or teen reading this book (maybe read it first before you say yes or no to it).

Jazz is a very interesting character, and I think the Lyga does a really good job in creating him and the affects that his father has had and will continue to have on him. Jazz has some aspects of an anit-hero as he sees all people as potential "Prospects" for killing and knows the ease in which he could achieve each kill but he fights these off as much as he can. It is also these urges that make him unique and able to understand a serial killer's mindset.   There were times where I thought that Jazz was acting very much like the teenager that he is and I did not enjoy those moments, but I understand that he is 17, but I felt myself not liking his character in those moments. He just couldn't seem to focus on what was right in front of him and he gets all defensive about how he doesn't want to kill people and the wining he goes through just got a bit tiring at times (at least this was not too common through out the book) and he had his girlfriend .

The book is told from Jazz's point of view so at times it is very sarcastic, dark, witty and funny. This also leads to one of my favorite feature within the book is being part of Jazz's thought process. It is very fascinating as you the reader become part of Jazz's inner struggle not to be the monster his father was trying to make him into. From the way that Jazz approaches the life to the dead bodies, all of it has been molded by his father. It was interesting "hearing" Jazz's father's voice in his head instructing him what to do, what to look for. You get a sense of all the lessons that Jazz was put through as a child and the horrible things that he was forced to witness and partake in.

This book ended in a way that I did not expect, which is something that I am always looking for in these types of novels. I'm really excited for the next book in this series, I'm already hooked from the first book. if you want a different perspective on serial killers then this book is for you. All I have to say is; Well done Lyga, well done.

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