I Hunt Killers
By: Barry Lyga
Joint Review: Emily and Kylie
Adolescence is tough, but it’s nothing compared to being the son of one of the most infamous serial killers in the world. Jazz witnessed murder from the point of view of the killer, and struggles with nasty glances from the outside, and a battle with himself on the inside. When murders start popping up in his hometown, Jazz immediately recognizes the pattern. So, finding the culprit is personal.
Emily: So, I Hunt Killers seriously had my heart pounding from beginning to end. There isn’t anything like knowing that a murder is going to happen to keep you from turning the pages.
Kylie: I almost peed my pants reading some of the scenes. I couldn’t put the book down. Honestly, I was freaked out reading Jazz’s ever-conflicting instincts and desires. Have you ever even considered the possibility of a serial killer grooming his child to join the family business?
Emily: It was definitely an original concept, and a very freaky one. But even though Jazz’s internal conflict was compelling, I really did think the entire time that he was a good person. I loved that he had a friend who was so incredibly helpless and weak (at least in body, definitely not in spirit!), and that he was so careful with him. It showed a very soft side to Jazz that I loved.
Kylie: I LOVED Howie! His helplessness definitely showed a soft, protective side to Jazz; maybe exactly what Jazz needed to stay in control of who he is. Howie also brought a humor and lightness to the book that broke up the darkness of the murders and creepy thoughts. One moment I was biting my nails, the next moment I was laughing at Howie. What’s your take on Jazz’s mantra: People matter. People are real? Can you imagine feeling like you need to recite that regularly so you don’t suddenly forget and start offing people?
Emily: It was really sad, and slightly disturbing. But, the inner conflict definitely made Jazz a dynamic character. I also thought that the book was written much like a suspenseful TV show. Maybe they have made TV shows like this (I wouldn’t know, since my TV is pretty much just a wall ornament). But another thing that I thought that was done really well was the way that people in Jazz’s life treated him. Each person had a different perspective on his past. And his interactions with his dad? Totally yucky!
Kylie: So horrible. I want to go back in time and save little Jazz from having to be raised by Billy. I want to hug him forever and take all the brainwashing away! Billy has him so convinced that there is no escaping the serial killer in his blood, Jazz doesn’t even trust himself. But I think the doubt and faith the people in Jazz’s life have in him are what drive him to fight those disturbing serial instincts. Jazz is amazing. One of my all-time most memorable book characters.
Emily: Agreed. I never thought I liked horror, but my recent streak of horror/thriller books might just convince me otherwise. That being said, I Hunt Killers does have some pretty intense and disturbing content. Definitely a book for a little older teen. I think that overall I’d give the book a strong 4.5 star rating. It’s one that will keep you turning the pages all night. But seriously, don’t read this book at night.
Kylie: I lost sleep over this book. Both because I was reading when I should be sleeping and because I couldn’t sleep after what I’d just read! A solid 4.5 stars from me as well. This was an excellent read. I’d recommend it to older teens and above. Not for the overly paranoid or easily spooked reader--hey, if you ran for cover when Harry confronted the basilisk, this is not your cup of tea. Consider me freaked out, and waiting for the next installment!