Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Series: Jasper Dent #1
Genres: Young Adult
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 3rd 2012
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Buy the book: AmazonSmashwordsiTunes



What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also 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 wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

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I freaked out after I read the synopsis for this book. I will admit that it was the similarities to Dexter that attracted me to this story. This book, however, was not Dexter,and that is a good thing. Sure there are some similarities, but Jasper Dent is his own anti-hero, and he should be compared to no one.

Jasper is the kind of layered character I love.  He is the son of a notorious serial killer who raised him to take over the family business some day. Jasper’s dad took him to work often and made sure that the poor kid knew everything thing that dear old dad could teach about murder. When the book begins, Jasper’s dad has been in prison for about 8 years, and Jasper has lived with his grandmother since he was nine, but the damage to his mind has already been done.

One of the great things about I Hunt Killers is the fact that even though the story is told mostly from Jasper’s point of view, I don’t really know if he is capable of murder or not. I am sure that he doesn’t want to kill, and he is a great guy, but that brain washing that his dad did for the first decade of his life still happened, and no one, not even Jasper knows how deep that brain washing went. There were times when reading when Jasper’s thoughts scared me.

Jasper is well aware of this dangerous part of himself, and he spend his life trying to insure that his darkness doesn’t determine who he is. He becomes best friends with Howie, a smart mouth hemophiliac with a big heart. He protects Howie from bullies and even goes so far as to get tattoos put on his body because Howie can’t. He cares for Howie deeply, but a big part of the reason he cares about him is because he knows that his serial killer father would never care about someone like Howie.

Jasper’s need to be nothing like his dad doesn’t only influence his choice in friends. He also dates a beautiful, smart funny, and vivacious young woman named Connie, who also happens to be black. I know you might be thinking “So what if she’s black? This is the 21st century for craps sake, and it isn’t a big deal for people of different races to date!” Well, you would be right in any other circumstance, but for Jasper, the fact that Connie is black is a very big deal. You see, daddy dearest also liked to sexually assault some of his victims and all of those women were white.  Jasper may love Connie because of who she is on the inside, and he is absolutely attracted to her, but somewhere in his very damaged psyche he decided that she would be safe to date him because–well because she’s black.

Whatever his reasons for dating her, I loved the heck out of Connie. She helps Jasper to remember that people matter, and she is able to love him even when he doesn’t feel worthy of being loved. I also enjoyed reading about a character who looked a bit more like me than the traditional female lead. Not to get all racially charged, but it was a nice change.

Howie was another great and original character. Because he bruises and bleeds so easily, Jasper is very protective of him, but Jasper also relies on him for a lot of help and back up. He doesn’t treat him like he is damaged just because he breaks easier than most people. Howie is also much-needed comic relief. He says the funniest things in some very serious situations.

It has been a while since I read this books so I can’t say too much about the main plot, but I do remember being engrossed in the mystery and loving the suspense. Jasper is a great main character who I liked from the moment I picked up this book.

It was a very fun to read. It has horror, romance, action, and humor, and I have honestly never read anything like it before. I hope this series continues for years to come because I will be more than happy to continue with the trials of Jasper Dent.

I cannot recommend this book enough to readers who just enjoy a well told story.

Because of violence, language, and mild sexual situations, I recommend this book for ages, 16 and up.

Five Roses

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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Author Biography

About Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga is a recovering comic book geek. According to Kirkus, he's also a "YA rebel-author." Somehow, the two just don't seem to go together to him.

When he was a kid, everyone told him that comic books were garbage and would rot his brain, but he had the last laugh. Raised on a steady diet of comics, he worked in the comic book industry for ten years, but now writes full-time because, well, wouldn't you?

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl is his first novel. Unsoul'd is his latest. There are a whole bunch in between, featuring everything from the aftermath of child abuse to pre-teens with superpowers to serial killers. He clearly does not know how to stick to one subject.

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