Tuesday, August 13, 2013

[Review] I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA Thriller 
My Rating:  ★★★★★

It was a beautiful day. It was a beautiful field. Except for the body. 

Jazz is 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 only wish they could--from the criminal's point of view. 

Now, with bodies piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod, Jazz must work with the police to prove that murder doesn't run in the family. 

It was clear from the first chapter that Jazz was going to end up on the list of my favorite dark hero characters. Being raised by an infamous serial killer, he knows how to charm, how to con, and how to kill. Brainwashed for most of his life, his worst fear is becoming like his dad. The kid's seriously messed up. And I like it.

Besides Jasper, there's a great host of characters: Senile Gramma, his goofball best friend Howie (who he has an amazing bromance with), and Connie, Jazz's tough, African American girlfriend (which I was totally not expecting, but pleasantly surprised all the same).

Lyga's writing style is phenomenal. The voice was perfect and, since I've been struggling a lot with that in my writing, I'm super envious of him. It read a smoothly as a scalpel cutting through flesh. I couldn't put it down.

Morbid, chilling, and hilarious, I loved every second of it. There's nothing more I can say except GO READ IT. щ(ಥДಥщ)

7 comments:

  1. Not gonna lie -- the first thing that popped into my head when looking at the cover and reading the title was the (relatively) infamous Killer7. If you haven't heard of it before, then...well, here you go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqaBEq041Ps



    Fun fact: that's one of the few events in the entire game that even begins to make sense.


    But back on topic. I find it surprising that the word "hilarious" is used to describe a story that apparently centers around attempted patricide, but I'm more than willing to allow it. Even in the darkest stories and premises, levity is something to be appreciated. I'd even go so far to say that levity is almost vital for a darker story...well, not every one, but a good number of them. Doom and gloom all day every day does no one any favors -- not the audience, not the writer, and least of all the story. Striking a balance is vital.


    Well, that's something I've always believed, at least. Levity -- and by extension a character who's charming, be he hero or anti-hero -- is something I hold in high esteem, so I just thought I'd bring it up since you gave me the opportunity. Whatever the case, good to know that you got something out of the story (five stars? Marvelous!). Assassins and other agents of murder are more than a little interesting, but like any character they've got more than enough potential to go awry.


    Glad to hear that Jazz is an example of "getting it right."

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  2. Never heard or seen this novel, but it seems like you REALLY liked it. Maybe I'll give it a try. Except at the moment I got so many books on my shelf that are calling to me. (Darth Bane, Percy Jackson, Master Chief, Harry Potter, aaargghh... what to read next?????)

    "The voice was perfect and, since I've been struggling a lot with that in my writing, I'm super envious of him."

    I get what you mean by this. I sometimes read books that are so freaking well written that they make me feel a little bad at times. The thought of "there's no way I could ever write like that."
    I was reading Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban last week (Yes, yes, I'm BARELY reading the Harry Potter series, Pathetic I know.) And it was just so well written and paced that I can't help feeling a little envious at times. But overall I just get lost in the world and enjoy the stories. I must say;however, that Goblet of Fire, while still great, is not as well paced as "Chamber of Secrets" or "Prisoner of Azkaban."

    Another book that I read that made me that I really admired was "The Eleventh Plague." While the plot itself is good, and the characters are good, too. think where it really shines are the descriptions of the world, character, setting, feelings, etc... Mr. Hirsch did a great job, and had me feeling a little envious at times.

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  3. I'm not sure what I just watched. lol


    I actually laughed out loud a couple times reading this novel, which is unusual for me, since the most you can get out of me while reading is a smile. I hope it was actually intended to be funny. Sometimes I find things amusing that other people don't. Like in movies when people get hit by cars, I burst out laughing. Or when people get decapitated. That's a hoot!


    I think my sense of humor is a little off. :D


    But, yes, I do agree there needs to be a balance between levity and gloom. I love novels, especially morbid ones like this and Prince of Thorns, that can scare me as well as make me laugh.

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  4. Inorite?! I have over a hundred books that I own that I have yet to read. I buy them faster than I can read. There's so many on my list and just not enough time. I'm proud of myself though. I haven't gone to the bookstore in over a week. :D


    I totally get what you mean about being jealous of other writers. Most writers, in fact. They just have a way with words that I don't. Makes me want to slit my wrists and go jump of a bridge. lol, just kidding. It just takes practice. That's why I write daily.


    I haven't heard of The Eleventh Plague. I'll have to check it out. ;)

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  5. Dagnabbit, I was doing so good. Just returned from the bookstore with three novels.

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  6. Fun fact: that video is only as "normal" as it is because it's at the start of the game. Here's what happens about a half-hour later.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDuOkQZMZQw



    Other highlights? Shooting the ties of Japanese politicians that have previously blown their heads into pieces and fling brains at you, fighting a bunch of Power Rangers knockoffs in a series of one-on-one battles to the death, and having long conversations with the head of a furious schoolgirl. And at almost any time you can play as a luchador with twin grenade launchers. And that's still not the weirdest part of the game.


    Even if you're not the sort to play video games, I would STRONGLY recommend looking up the works of Goichi Suda (AKA Suda51) to see the kind of stuff he's had a hand in creating. There are YouTube clips aplenty out there, so you won't be left wanting for content. Plus it's free, so there's that.


    But back on topic. I wouldn't say your sense of humor is exactly "off", per se. I mean, if you've seen any of Dough Walker's videos before, you may know that he said "the essence of comedy is misery", or something to that effect. While I've always believed -- and still believe -- that good comedy is based on unpredictability (among other things), it's hard to disagree with him on the misery bit. Slapstick and physical comedy are obvious enough, but plenty of jokes are made at the expense of someone else. So arguably, you laughing at people getting hurt is an extension of that rule -- the purest way we understand and enjoy comedy. Maybe that's something to embrace and develop for your own endeavors.


    ...Then again, I still giggle like a cheerleader if someone curses loudly enough, so who am I to start analyzing others?

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  7. Darn, I wish I could find a way to log out my twitter acc. so I could post on my Google+ acc. Oh well...


    LOl, I went to the bookstore yesterday and came back with Harry Potter and the Order pf the Pheonix, The Book Thief, Halo, and (dare I say it) Charlie Bone.
    And that was after I promised myself I would finish the books I have at home first, Oh well.


    P.s. You made me go into a little online search as I tried to figure out what INORITE meant. :) Took me a while, but I got it.

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