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Killer Instinct Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Crimespree Magazine and S. E. Green, Author of Killer Instinct
Q: What was the inspiration for your protagonist, Lane?
A: Believe it or not, I am my own inspiration for Lane. Though I don’t act like Lane, I do tend to think like her. Very black and white. Right and wrong. Wanting justice for those who deserve it. Eye for an eye. I guess you can say I live vicariously through Lane. Everyone does have a dark side.
Q: Lane has been compared to a young Dexter. How would you respond to this?
A: I am big fan of shows like Hannibal, The Following, and Dexter. So when I decided to write a new series, the serial killer theme was a natural fit for me. Yes, many people are calling my series Dexter for teens, and I can totally understand that. Lane does share similarities with Hannibal, Dexter, and Joe from The Following.
Q: Lane is a complicated character. Was it hard to write a person who is so emotionless?
A: Through no fault of her own, Lane is most definitely a complicated character. I found her a very easy one to write, though. As a writer it is important to know your strengths and your weaknesses. Lane is all about my strengths. The true challenge for me is to one day write a book that tests all my weaknesses. I cringe just thinking about it.
Q: Are there any plans for this to become a series?
A: Yes! The sequel, Killer Within, comes out in May 2015.
Q: What made you decide to take Lane down the vigilante route instead of killing the “bad guys” she stalks?
A: Lane does walk a fine line. She wants to right the wrongs, but her conscience won’t let her take it beyond a certain point. She can’t and won’t justify making someone pay for anything other than what they have done. For example, she targets a rapist, has every chance to kill him, but decides to handle him in a different manner. . . .
From School Library Journal
Gr 12 Up—Lane is an apparently normal teen with an abnormal obsession—hunting down criminals that have evaded justice and making them accountable for their crimes. When a brutal serial killer strikes close to home, the 17-year-old knows she is the one to catch "The Decapitator." But what begins as a hobby quickly turns into a sinister game of cat-and-mouse, and Lane is drawn into a deadly web of family secrets that threatens everything she holds true. The teen is unappealingly antisocial, and her first-person narrative sounds forced in its attempt to be relatable. The story suffers from a plot that moves from one unbelievable event to the next in a series of disconnected vignettes, while erroneous details and awkward encounters between characters litter the pages. Sexual situations, including descriptions of rape and kinky sex, are more appropriate for an adult thriller. The end result is a disjointed story that stretches readers' suspension of disbelief too far. With so many great edge-of-your-seat thrillers to choose from, such as Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers (Little, Brown, 2012), it is easy to leave Killer Instinct off the list.—Sarah Lorraine, Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park , IL
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Top Customer Reviews
But Killer Instinct is too good to put down. It's a mystery and a coming of age story. It has a hard to like protag and believable side characters. It breaks the mold of sweet, good natured, pretty girl heroines by making the heroine into a serial killer obsessed wanna be who has secret part of her life that she doesn't share with anyone.
What I liked best about Lane is that as hard and cold as she seems she's trying to be better in her interactions with people. She is very self aware and knows that one small step could lead to slide straight into darkness.
Whenever a story has a murder mystery, people come out of the woodwork claiming to have figured out the murderer from chapter one. I guess I'm not as sleuth-y as they are because I was pretty surprised by the ending. I truly did not see it coming but in thinking back over the book it totally makes sense to me.
Not the best book I've read this year, but it was more than enough to lure me away from tv.
I was disappointed with the many similarities to Dexter. Unlike Dexter, Lane does have emotions. She loves one of the dogs at the clinic and likes the love interest Zach. She adores her little brother and does have more than a superficial connection to her family and single friend. She feels for the victims of the crimes she attempts to right. She presents more like a person who is attempting to protect herself from being hurt than someone with genuine sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies.
Although the book moves along at a good pace and is an easy read, it has some troubling messages for teens. Sexual activity, including the dangers of stds and pregnancy, is treated casually. Lane and her friend are nonchalant about being deflowered by boys they barely know. Lane's sister is openly promiscuous, something that apparently doesn't concern her parents or her siblings. Lying, cheating, hacking and stealing area all okay in Lane's world. The twist at the end only serves to underscore the fact that Lane is at most a vigilante, not a serial killer.
Fast and fun, this story lacks real suspense. There are no great scares. I wish the author had trusted in her own creativity instead of relying so strongly on the Dexter backstory and plots. It engages but does not impress. Although not more violent or perverse than the fodder on TV, it is probably most appropriate for older teens.
Lane is weird. She is a sociopath. She likes reading about sociopaths and studying their crimes. She decides to give being a sociopath for justice a go.
If this sounds like a straight up rip off of the tv show Dexter that's because it reads like one. In fact (big warning of story events) she was even left alone with her babysitters bloody corpse for hours and hours. So we have similar origins stories and similar life paths.
Clearly the author was worried about being too similar. So where Dexter had his foster father that taught him a code, Lane gets a giant plot twist. But it is the most annoying plot twist in the world. It doesn't make any sense. It feels like a twist for twists sake rather than genuine direction of the plot. It was so awful, I threw the book. Basically Green just makes the story as shocking as possible in lieu of making a more difficult story that hung together.
It was all hugely disappointing.
The references to Dexter are apt, but Lane has a different psychosis going on. Don't expect Dexter's version of charming sociopath. Though cold when it comes to violence and revenge, Lane is oddly passionate about the people she cares for.
The plot is interesting because this is very much the beginning of who Lane may or may not turn out to be. The author takes you with her on a wild ride while we explore her possible homicidal tendencies - in gory detail.
And make no mistake - the book is brutal. If you have difficulties with violence, this book may not be for you.
What kept this from five stars for me was that it felt very derivative. I needed just a bit more originality.
Only recommended for readers willing to take on a very dark story.
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I like the book. I like that the book was fast paced.Read more