- Series: Jasper Dent (Book 1)
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316125830
- ISBN-13: 978-0316125833
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 320 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent) Paperback – April 2, 2013
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About the Author
Barry Lyga is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including I Hunt Killers, its sequel Game, and his debut, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. He now knows way too much about how to dispose of a human body. Barry lives and writes in New York City. His website is barrylyga.com.
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Some of the story stretched belief, like the sheriff allowing Jazz to eventually help with the investigation. And a lot of the story was Jazz wrestling with his thoughts and inclinations, trying to prove to himself that he is not a killer. The book was entertaining and I wouldn't mind reading the other books in the series.
Jazz is the son of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Billy Dent. Billy has been sentenced to 25 life sentences for the murders he’s committed, and Jazz was up close and personal for many of them. Let’s just say, this hasn’t given Jazz the healthiest of childhoods.
The layers that Lyga created within this novel make it so complex and rich. Emotionally, physically, and psychologically, Jazz fights against the legacy of his father and the cold possibility that he is just like “Dear Old Dad”. Throughout the events of the book, Billy’s voice echoes in Jazz’s mind, urging him to act the way Billy wants: heartless and violent. This reality brings up two different arguments: Are we a product of our parents or are we our own person? There is also a layer of nature versus nurture and survival of the fittest. The mix of psychological danger on top of the physical danger makes everything hyper-intense.
Speaking of physical danger, while Lyga doesn’t go into graphic detail, there are descriptions of murder scenes that don’t shy away from the grizzly parts. The way the descriptions are crafted really gets you into the mindset of the murderer, and highlights how screwed up Jazz’s life was growing up. This is definitely not a story with a villain who has redeeming qualities; Billy Dent is a sick man, and becomes the boogieman of the novel.
But don’t think Jazz is without hope because he has some amazing friends in his life to keep him anchored. Howie is his best friend, and has been ever since Jazz saved him from some bullies when Jazz first moved to town. Howie stands by Jazz no matter what happens, and some bad stuff happens. Connie, Jazz’s girlfriend, believes he is more than Billy Dent’s son, and that he can make a new life for himself. Without these two, Jazz would probably have done something that he couldn’t walk away from.
I Hunt Killers is like Dexter wrapped in The Hardy Boys, and is a novel that thrill seekers and mystery buffs will enjoy. Out in bookstores and libraries, this is one book that you shouldn’t miss. Believe me, if this weenie can handle it, so can you!
I really enjoyed this! I don't quite know what that says about me, but let's just go with it. To be quite honest I've always been fascinated with the psychology behind serial killers. I've read Encyclopedia of Serial Killers for leisure. No, I'm not crazy, it's just that a certain time long ago it was my 'backup plan' to be a Criminal Profiler (This was before that Criminal Minds show!) It's funny that my current career is as far away from what I pictured myself doing as possible. I suppose when opportunity knocks, you answer... even if it is unexpected. Enough about me though, I was just trying to make a point that this book is right down my ally, so you may not hold the same opinions about it.
I Hunt Killers is told from the perspective of Jazz, a seventeen year old kid desperately trying not to be anything like his father. His father, Billy Dent, is one of the most notorious (fictional) serial killers the world has seen. Jazz didn't have a normal upbringing, seeing as his 'Dear Old Dad' has basically trained him his whole life to be a serial killer as well. Many fathers want their kids to grow up to be more successful, and the same is true for Billy, just in a twisted and bloodier sense than most.
Jazz himself is actually a likable character, despite the fact that he harbors many characteristics of an antisocial personality disorder. You have to at least respect his struggle not to succumb to what his father basically bred him to be. He's fighting nature AND nurture.
Anyway, this is getting kind of clinical, so let's move on.
I kind of see I Hunt Killers as a cross between the tv shows The Following and Criminal Minds, with some Will Graham from Thomas Harris's Red Dragon thrown in.
While this is a great book, it did seem to be a little slow for me at times. Don't really know why, because there are some pretty exciting events that unfold.
I do wish we could have gotten the POV of Billy Dent himself. While he is a major character of sorts, we don't actually meet him until later in the book. Of course, maybe that's just me and my weird fascination again. We did get a look into the mind of The Impressionist though, so I suppose should be content.
Speaking of The Impressionist... they were on my short list(of two) as a suspect. I'll be curious to know if my fellow GR friends also suspected him, so make sure to include any details on that either in the comments here, or in your review, because I would like to know! (Just make sure to hide it with a spoiler tag, lest we ruin it for someone else!)
I would definitely recommend I Hunt Killers, since it's and interesting and exciting read. It stands out in a crowd of somewhat homogeneous Young Adult books. I didn't miss the typical YA cliches one bit.
I'm anxious to start the second book because we are left with some unanswered questions... The most prominent being: What ACTUALLY happened to Jazz's mom?!?! So much build up for us not to have an answer yet!