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September 22, 2012

"I Hunt Killers" by Barry Lyga

[Clickey the epic bloodstained cover for Goodreads!]

Title: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Publication: 2012, LIttle, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: 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?
....read more

Review: A darkly haunting yet astronomically entertaining first book to what is sure to be an epic new series! "I Hunt Killers" is the ultimate package deal that delivers everything the death-kissed premise promises and so much more. It has got fantastic front cover to praise-loaded back cover of gripping suspense, mystery, action, and every last bit of awesome, savvy and handsome son of a serial killer. Who can possibly resist?!

Barry Lyga builds Jazz's story steadily and surely, giving this whopping thrill of a read a sturdy and very convincing foundation complete with solid research. In the opening chapter, we get a broad view of our male POV and a crime scene. That first initial glimpse into Barry's world wasn't instantly grasping for me. However, it was a good opening, now that I look back at it, because it was abstract though detailed, with not too much and mot too little on the main character. But when the first chapter abruptly snaps to an end with a terrifying hanger, I was plunged and immersed completely into the life of a certain Jasper Dent, with absolutely no possible way of escaping.

That opening was almost like the book was casually warning me at the beginning, giving me a chance to escape before it was too late to head back out. From there, the door slams close behind us and there is no way left but forward.

Jazz is a YA male protagonist in full glory. Depth of a disturbing (beyond words) childhood has given Jazz an intriguing undertone of bloodstained shadows; his strong and charming personality battles his past as an inner character conflict in the ultimate form of Nature vs. Nurture (thank you, Gr. 11 Sociology class!), portraying his tenacity and bravery in inner turmoils; his willingness to fight for the better gives him an easily likeable kindness and sense of justice. (that although sometimes wavers, but always stays true in the end.) On levels closer to the surface, Barry has finished Jazz off with a good-looking exterior, well-timed sense of humour, and the ability to ooze charm like a real pro. He is well put together, totally believable (despite the son of a serial killer part) and easy to love as a reader. I LOVE him! (see?)

"and then, - because he couldn't help it - he gave her the full-on megawatt smile. "The Charmer," Billy had called it." The secretary he was smiling at wasn't the only one who melted at that. ~swoon~

Like every character who does some internal swaying, Jazz is backed up and bolstered by a fantastic team of best friend and girlfriend. Howie and Connie are both equally well brought-to-life like Jazz and together, they do a great job of grounding our protagonist so he didn't let himself drop off into the realms of hell (as brave and strong as he is, he isn't invincible.). Howie also offered wonderful humour in addition to Jazz's and Connie was a true voice of reason and love to be appreciated. Barry's wide array of a cast does not end there and I found myself clicking with each and every one in different ways.

"I Hunt Killers" is a hard to categorize novel simply because I felt that it pulled off almost every element so well. The mystery spills over the pages as the characters interact in an intricate network that is partially hidden beyond everything you think you see and believe. The plotline suspense is driven and near perfect. The book also presents an awesome friendship between Jazz and Howie plus a subtle touch of love without laying it on too heavily. Not to mention Barry's diction is downright hilarious all the way throughout, cleverly amping up the enjoyment factor and balancing the morbid plot. The POV even switched sometimes, giving readers the opportunity to experience dramatic irony that shot the suspense to insanely high levels at times, like effective camera angles.

A brilliant and booming end to this first installment of Jasper Dent! Surprise was tucked into every unsuspecting moment, and the closing finale was no different. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack! Barry definitely rounded off book no. 1 smoothly and well, yet that didn't prevent me from dying to read book no. 2 for more. In conclusion, this book will haunt you relentlessly thanks to a supply of gore and details of murder but it will also make you laugh and fall in love with the wonderful characters. With heart-thumping action and ridiculously well-executed suspense, "I Hunt Killers" is just pure epic.

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰ 4.5 Jazz-y Hoots

Final Notes: I LOVED this! I couldn't stop thinking about it all afterwards for the entire week! I do have to put out a warning, though, the gore and scary bits are not for the faint-hearted Billy Dent haunted me throughout the book and even afterwards, I was seeing imaginary serial killers lurking in every shadow. I was seriously freaked out. Made the fatal mistake of reading this before bed. No pretty dreams that night T _ T

The sequel to this book will definitely be one of my most highly-anticipated releases of 2013.

A Favourite Moment: 

"The ladies love bad boys," Howie said, striking what was supposed to be a tough-guy pose. "Gotcha. I will be your magic trick. Misdirection!" He waggled his fingers. "Abracadaver! Get it?" he added as they headed for the door. "Abracadaver? Get it?"

Jazz sighed. "I got it, Howie."

The Trailer:

 Thanks for reading!


  1. I LOVED this one. It was so nice to read a gory, gripping horror in YA and I'm with you that Jasper was awesome! I can't wait for The Game! Great review Viv!

    1. EEEE!! >_< I cannot wait for The Game either!! Thanks, Jenni! Glad you liked this one as well!

  2. Brilliant review, Vivian! I won a copy of this a while ago but haven't had the time to get around to it yet. The dark plot with a little humour and entertainment mixed in sounds very appealing to me! I'm glad it made an impact on you. :)

    1. READIIIIIITT, SAAAAM!!! It was quite an exhilarating ride!

  3. You've got me wanting to read it! Lovely review, Vivian.

  4. I've been hearing a lot of great things about this book and it sounds like something I would enjoy. Wonderful review Viv! + The fact that it's about Jasper is so cool (= my boyfriends name ^^)

    1. Thanks Mel!! I. love. the name "Jasper" <3 (tell your boyfriend for me that he's got an AWESOME name.) You should definitely read this one then ^_~ I think you'll enjoy it as well!

    2. Haha, I told him and he laughed about it. I had to thank you for the compliment!

      and.. I miss you Viv! And your lovely reviews. I hope you are doing great! How is school?

    3. Glad it made him laugh! and I miss your reviews so much too, Mel ;_;

      Philosophy essay, two reflections on passages from the Bible for Lit., poetry project for English, upcoming Math unit test....-sigh- I. am. exhausted. ALREADY! -deep breath- but I'll keep doing my best! >_<

      I'm glad to be able to take breaks once in a while here, you guys really cheer me up ^_^

    4. Oh wow, busy Viv! I can understand that it's exhausting, but I know you can do it! *hug* Just keep thinking about the goals you want to achieve and everything will work out!

      And I'm glad we can cheer you up :D

  5. Vivian!! I didn't actually realize until I read your review but I miss them soooo much! You've just made this book sound AMAZING and I'm liking Jazz even though I haven't even read the book!
    I think this goes without saying, but fantastic review my dear! :)

    1. -TEARS!- Joooiiiee! I miss you toooo!! TT o TT
      I feel so bad that even Vivi the Spirit's been so busy that I'm missing out on all your lovely posts >_< but thanks so much for dropping by and visiting ^_^

  6. I am DYING to read this. I'm so glad you loved it. I like that it has a mix of the horror as well as humor and other "genres". Makes me even more curious to check it out. And I saw the book cover in the store (when you take the jacket off) and it's so awesome. :)


  7. VIvi chan my dear!!
    Marvelous revie and SO informative! btw, I had NO idea this was a series. mehow I was so sure it was an stand alone lol. OMG... Jazz... OMG! I need that hero in full glory for me asap!! great review my dear, you really hooked me!!! =9
    GOnna take a look at tit. I cant believe I dont even have it on my to read list O_O! shame on me!
    Btw sweetheart, I have a giveaway on my blog! Signed copy of ENTICE by Jessica Shirvington + an Embrace tote bag! =P
    Dont forget to enter =P

  8. I'm all for gore! LOL I have been dying to read this one! Jazz sounds awesome and so amazing that he fights his past and tries to use it for good. Excited for the mystery and suspense.

  9. Vivi, this sounds awesome. Something thrilling and fresh from the POV of the bad guy. Your review made it very enticing.

  10. VIVIAN!! I can't believe I missed this review (uh, I've missed a LOT lately. Bad Brodie), but OMG. I'm glad I read it because holy crap, I Hunt Killers sounds INCREDIBLE. Thrilling, exciting, well developed characters, GORE *happy sigh*, and humour? I'm in a book HEAVEN. It sounds like something... FRESH? Well, a fresh injection into what I've been reading lately. I am so, so excited to get my hands on this. Amazing review, I'm so glad this was a hit for you!

  11. This book sounds scary but fun! I've heard of the book quite a few times now and have been meaning to read it although I never actually got the chance to. Now I must hunt a copy and READ THIS BOOK!

    Awesome review, Vivi! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

  12. I thought this book was amazing! So glad that you enjoyed it too. Jasper is just wonderful, it's hard not to feel sorry for him sometimes. I never saw the trailer before! Totally makes me want to read the book again.


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