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Game: The Sequel to "I Hunt Killers" Hardcover – April 16, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-The Hat-Dog killer is on the loose in New York City, and Detective Hughes convinces 17-year-old Jazz Dent to fly in from Lobo's Nod and help solve the case. In I Hunt Killers (Little, Brown, 2012), Jazz helped police capture the Impressionist, a copy-cat killer mimicking the infamous sociopath, Billy Dent-Jazz's own father. In this episode, a series of murders in peaceful Brooklyn neighborhoods is occurring with gruesome similarities, including disemboweled victims who are also cut with images of either a dog or a hat. To compound the suspense, Billy has broken out of prison and may or may not be at the heart of this new reign of terror, testing his son's ability to piece together a new "game." Chilling random chapters from the killer's point of view allow readers to know things that Jazz has yet to figure out. The teen's internal dialogue often questions whether he really has "good guy" genes or has inherited his father's dark side, just waiting to present itself. His nerdy best friend, Howie, and girlfriend, Connie, keep him grounded in the real world that includes caring for an unpredictable grandmother with Alzheimer's disease. While Jazz is a well-developed, endearing character with a conscience, this dark psychological thriller will appeal to fans of television's Dexter Morgan, but with its focus on killing, sociopathic behavior, and sexual violence, it's best for mature high school readers.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Billy Dent, the serial killer introduced in I Hunt Killers (2012), is on the loose. But the timing of his escape means he can’t be behind the 14 murders attributed to New York City’s Hat-Dog Killer, so nicknamed because of the alternating symbols he carves into his victims’ flesh. Jazz Dent, 17, is called upon by the NYPD to offer insight only the son of a serial killer can provide, and he quickly assesses that Hat-Dog is playing some sort of game. But what are the rules? When finally revealed, the game seems slap-yourself-on-the-forehead obvious yet orchestrated so cunningly that rare indeed will be the reader who figures it out early. Along the way, Lyga pulls off two neat tricks. First, he inverts the usual YA goal to lose one’s virginity, with Jazz terrified that giving into desires will be the “ignition moment” that sparks bloodlust. Second, Lyga continues to navigate that thinnest of tightropes: a hero we root for even as he manipulates people as ruthlessly as his pop. A parallel plot starring Jazz’s girlfriend does include some unlikely clue-solving and plenty of are-you-nuts?! behavior. Even so, you can’t deny Lyga’s ambition to craft the most serious (and bloodiest) crime series yet for teen readers. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With ABC Family about to swing into production on a I Hunt Killers TV show, interest in this series, already significant, will stack up faster than a pile of bodies. Grades 10-12. --Kraus, Daniel

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Product Details

  • Series: I Hunt Killers
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316125873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316125871
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Called a "YA rebel-author" by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published twelve novels in various genres in his seven-year career, including the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers and his newest, Unsoul'd (for adults). His books have been or are slated to be published in nine different languages in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first young adult novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal. Publisher's Weekly named Lyga a "Flying Start" in December 2006 on the strength of the debut.

His second young adult novel, Boy Toy, received starred reviews in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. VOYA gave it its highest critical rating, and the Chicago Tribune called it " astounding portrayal of what it is like to be the young male victim." His third novel, Hero-Type, according to VOYA "proves that there are still fresh ideas and new, interesting story lines to be explored in young adult literature."

Since then, he has also written Goth Girl Rising (the sequel to his first novel), as well as the Archvillain series for middle-grade readers and the graphic novel Mangaman (with art by Colleen Doran).

His latest series is I Hunt Killers, called by the LA Times "one of the more daring concepts in recent years by a young-adult author" and an "extreme and utterly alluring narrative about nature versus nurture." The first book landed on both the New York Times and USAToday bestsellers lists, and the series has been optioned for television by Warner Bros./Silver Pictures.

Lyga lives and writes in New York City. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Holy. Crud. What just happened? I feel like I just stepped out of a horror movie. OH WAIT. I kinda did, but it was a BOOK, not a movie. Dear lawd, what an insane ride of awesome this book was. It was 10 times more gruesome and intense than I Hunt Killers, with double the nail-biting moments. I cannot express how friggin great Barry Lyga is at writing a serial killer. It is both ridiculously eerie and insanely awesome. Mad skillz, yo.

So this installment in the series has Jazz still questioning his grip on humanity. He's still struggling with the fact that he is the son of Billy Dent, serial killer extraordinaire, and that Billy has molded him throughout childhood to be his prodigy. Billy is in Jazz's head constantly, which, let's face it, is enough to drive anyone bat-s*** crazy. But now, new thoughts are crowding in, as Jazz is having intense dreams with nondescript sexual innuendo. These sexual urges are bothering him in his waking hours, as well, because the line between sex and killing is a murky one. It is a line that Jazz is desperately afraid to cross. It doesn't make it any easier that he is an adolescent male with a beautiful, spunky girlfriend who is more than ready to love him long time.

Jazz's grandma, the spawn creator of Billy himself, is off the chain. Well, more so than the last book, which is hard to believe. She has truly lost the last marble in her schizophrenic head. It's so bad that Jazz is afraid to leave her alone. He does not want social services involved again, especially after what happened with the last social worker. He is 17 and would like to spend his last year of adolescence out of a foster care situation. When Jazz is asked to come in on a case in NYC (yea, how realistic is this?), he calls on good ol boy, Howie, to come care for his grandmother.
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Format: Hardcover
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a very intense mystery filled with fascinating characters, and a suspenseful plot. It defiantly has a really creepy vibe to it, but it is a really enjoyable read.

Opening Sentence: She had screamed, but she had not cried.

The Review:

Jasper dent, better known as Jazz, is 17 years old and he is the only child of the notorious serial killer Billy Dent. Four years ago his father was caught and put in prison and Jazz has been living with his crazy Grandmother ever since, but four months ago Billy broke out of prison and Jazz is just waiting for Billy to contact him. Jazz was not only raised by Billy, he was being groomed to take over the family business. Billy wanted nothing more than for Jazz to carry on his legacy and become the world's most renowned serial killer, but Jazz has other plans. Jazz is wired to be a killer, but instead he uses all the knowledge that Billy taught him to try and help catch killers instead.

Meanwhile there is a new threat roaming around New York City called the Hat-Dog killer. He has been killing victims for the last eight months and the NYPD is stumped. They can't figure out his patterns, and they are nowhere near figuring out his identity. They come to Jazz for help. Armed with his special ability to see inside a serial killers head he looks at the evidence and tries to find what the cops missed. Even Jazz seems to be slightly stumped by the killer but as things start to unravel Jazz discovers that the man he hates most might be behind the killings, his father.

Jazz is a fascinating character. As you see inside his head, you see how torn he is between what he was taught and what he feels is right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Rubidoux on May 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Holy unrepentant serial killers, Batman! If you thought book 1 was creeptastic, this book is going to knock your socks off. And maybe remove your intestines. And your eyeballs. *shivers*

Book 1 ended with Jazz feeling like he was starting to fit in - that he'd found his calling with the skills Billy had given him as he was growing up. Book 2 finds Jazz not quite there yet. He doesn't trust himself enough to believe that he's not going to go bad and end up snapping and killing those around him. His mantra of People Matter is still running through his head. He feels guilt over Billy's escape and now he's having dreams that rattle him to his core.

Guys, as dark as book 1 was, this book ups the ante. The murders that Jazz steps in to help on are brutal. The things that he sees, the way he processes information, his understanding of a killer's mind ... it's chilling. Jazz is this wonderfully complex character who just draws you in with his fears and his analytical mind. His ability to manipulate is creepy. His fear that there's a trigger buried somewhere in his psyche... with the way that Billy planned ahead, it could SO EASILY be true.

Things are revealed this time around that look HUGE. Connie and Howie are more than just supporting players, they're finding things out. They understand Jazz better than he thinks they do. They know that there are times when the only thing holding him together is the fact that they're there to support him. (And also, Howie's pickup lines are made of PURE AWESOME!)

AND THE ENDING! I'm going to be DYING (not literally, although I'm sure Billy could arrange that) until book 3 comes out! SO MANY THINGS! I've got my fangirl flail on for this series and I want to wallow in all the Jazz and crew that I can possibly wallow in.

Yes, it's THAT good.

-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
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