Thursday, September 11, 2014
Back Home and Some Catch-up Reviews
When I mentioned going on a road trip, I failed to understand that most of the trip would really be on the road! We did get to visit some friends and had a great time in Eureka Springs, but came home tired. Really tired.
And then I seemed to have some kind of additional exhaustion that called for refusing to get back on any kind of schedule and a lot of naps. I had several drafts in progress, so I've dragged myself to the computer to get some posted.
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is listed as a YA book. It isn't, however, what you would normally consider YA material. The premise--what if your father was a notorious serial killer?--is excellent, but the book degenerates into 1) grisly murders (lots & lots of them) and 2) repetitive ponderings by Jazz on whether or not he is like his father. Not that one wouldn't spend a lot of time considering the possibility given the circumstances, but Jazz recites certain phrases like a mantra and the subject is kept on the surface rather than given much depth.
The book had such potential as a study of a young person who has been subjected to the teachings of a murderer and as an attempt of said young person to come to terms with the ramifications of a totally dysfunctional family, but that potential is never fulfilled.
Favorite character: Jazz's best friend, Howie.
I would have liked this a lot better if the author had spent less time with thinking up shocking details and concentrated more on a more in depth study of character. It does have a certain suspenseful tension that could have been excellent if not immediately followed by gore.
NetGalley/ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Suspense. 2012. Print length: 281 pages.
Game is the follow-up book to I Hunt Killers. The first one has a conclusion, even though you expect the next book in the series, the plot is wrapped up. Not so in Game.
If you can get past seventeen-year-old Jazz being recruited by the NYPD (even if the recruiting is only by one member of the crime force hunting for the Hat-Dog killer), then you will probably be up for the new grisly murders.
Jazz just steps right in and takes charge with his special knowledge and puts all of the NYPD and FBI task force to shame. Because adults always call in adolescent children of serial killers to aid in their investigations.
Oh, yes, it turns out that the first inclusion of Jazz was off-the-books by a lone task force member, but after being kicked off the investigation, he is then called back in. Because they can't solve the case without him.
Of course, Billy Dent is involved, manipulating the game, but is there someone even higher in the serial killer hierarchy than Billy? If you want to find out, there is always the next book, because this one is a cliff hanger.
NetGalley/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Suspense. 2013. Print length: 532 pages.