Book Reviews

Reviews: Game & Blood of my Blood By Barry Lyga

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Published: April 16th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 


Source: Local Library


Format: Hardcover


Page Count: 520


Series: Jasper Dent Trilogy #2


Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Horror, Mystery


Synopsis: Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”


I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game. 

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Published: September 9th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Source: Local Library


Format: Hardcover


Page Count: 468


Series: Jasper Dent Trilogy #3


Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Horror, Mystery


Synopsis: Jazz Dent has never been closer to catching his father.


Jazz has been shot and left to die in New York. His girlfriend, Connie, is in the clutches of Jazz’s monstrous father, Billy–the world’s most notorious serial killer. And his best friend, Howie, is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’s new home. 

Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. 

But then Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son? Who is the true monster?”

From New York City to the small town of Lobo’s Nod, the chase is on, and this time, Jazz is the hunted, not the hunter–while Billy Dent lurks in the shadows. 

And beyond Billy? Something much, much worse. Prepare to meet…the Crow King.

Read review for I Hunt Killers here.

Spoiler Free Review: 

Since I read both of these books back to back, the story kind of meshed together into one in my head. This review will contain a more condensed version of my thoughts on both books. Overall, I had a fun time reading this trilogy, even if it left me paranoid and terrified at night. It was worth it. I would describe this series as The Mentalist but replaced with teenagers (bleh). 


Plot: 

Without a doubt, the plot is the strongest part about this series. You can tell that Barry Lyga did a lot research on how serial killer investigation works as well as going into the mind of a serial killer. I was genuinely surprised by a lot of what went down in this story. In Game, there a several murders spreading across New York City and the NYPD ask for Jazz’s help in the case. This was definitely very unrealistic, I highly doubt that the professional, highly skilled FBI  would ask a seventeen year old for help in a case no matter how desperate they are. Despite this unrealistic aspect, the investigation itself felt like an episode of Criminal Minds. The way Lyga describes a dead body, down to the genitals being taken out as a trophy is creepy. 


In Blood of my Blood, the plot did slow down a bit. There were times where I was really bored and skim read just to get to the interesting parts. But there were still some huge revelations on Jazz’s parents. This book in particular, Billy’s history is revealed as well as the mystery behind Jazz’s mother. Although I did spoil myself for the big reveal towards the end, I found the plot twist to be very unexpected. As for ending, it was bittersweet but an overall satisfying conclusion. 


Characters: 

If you’ve read previous reviews, I don’t like reading about teenagers who make stupid decisions. Which perfectly describes the characters in this book. Jazz is still inexplicably charming, a mixture of both intelligent and rash. There was a bit of a more darker shown in Blood of my Blood, which was interesting. Like I mentioned in my review for I Hunt Killers, Jazz’s psyche is really interesting and terrifying to read from. He’s suffering from PTSD, there’s even trauma from his childhood that he couldn’t remember. There was still that internal battle on becoming a murder like his father or try and overcome all his trauma. 


 Howie was honestly just a horny teenager and I never got what purpose he served other than the best friend added for humor. There was Connie who I thought was deemed the voice of reason, up until she made a very stupid decision on Game. Though I’m glad there’s more to her character than just Jazz’s girlfriend. But I did feel like her whole life revolved around him. I mean, how much of your life would you ruin just for your boyfriend? Personally, I wouldn’t get involved into the craziness that is Jasper Dent’s life. I did enjoy Jazz and Connie’s characters even if they did make stupid decisions, they were interesting perspectives to read from.

Game: 3/5

Blood of my Blood: 3.5/5

 
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