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I Belong

Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Title: Game

Author: Barry Lyga

GenreYA Thriller/Mystery

SeriesJasper Dent (Book 2)

Publication DateApril 16, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 528 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316125873 (Little, Brown/Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-0316125871 (Little, Brown/Hachette)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: This was a very intense mystery filled with fascinating characters, and a suspenseful plot.  It defiantly has a really creepy vibe to it, but it is a really enjoyable read.

Opening Sentence: She had screamed, but she had not cried.


The Review

Jasper dent, better known as Jazz, is 17 years old and he is the only child of the notorious serial killer Billy Dent.  Four years ago his father was caught and put in prison and Jazz has been living with his crazy Grandmother ever since, but four months ago Billy broke out of prison and Jazz is just waiting for Billy to contact him.  Jazz was not only raised by Billy, he was being groomed to take over the family business.  Billy wanted nothing more than for Jazz to carry on his legacy and become the world’s most renowned serial killer, but Jazz has other plans.  Jazz is wired to be a killer, but instead he uses all the knowledge that Billy taught him to try and help catch killers instead.

Meanwhile there is a new threat roaming around New York City called the Hat-Dog killer.  He has been killing victims for the last eight months and the NYPD is stumped.  They can’t figure out his patterns, and they are nowhere near figuring out his identity.  They come to Jazz for help.  Armed with his special ability to see inside a serial killers head he looks at the evidence and tries to find what the cops missed.  Even Jazz seems to be slightly stumped by the killer but as things start to unravel Jazz discovers that the man he hates most might be behind the killings, his father.

Jazz is a fascinating character.  As you see inside his head, you see how torn he is between what he was taught and what he feels is right.  Jazz doesn’t ever want to be a killer, but he is scared that one day something will trigger and he will become one.  He feels so much guilt from all the deaths that he feels are his fault.  Billy killed for years and Jazz never turned him in and Jazz can never forgive himself for it.  On the flip side of things, Jazz really is a good person.  He knows how to manipulate people to get whatever he wants, but he uses it to do good most the time.  He doesn’t know if he has a soul, but he is doing everything in his power to prove that he is a good person.  Of course he has scars and opening up to people is hard for him, but he is trying.  I loved Jazz; he is so interesting and unique.  I really enjoyed seeing his complex personality and I can’t wait to read more of his story.

This story is actually told from multiple points of view.  We mostly are in Jazz’s head but at times we also get to hear from his girlfriend, Connie.  Connie and Jazz have been together for almost a year now and out of everyone he seems to be the most open with her, but it still seems that he is careful with how much he will let her in.  Connie loves Jazz and she knows that deep down he is a really good guy, but there are times when she can see the Billy side of him.  She is extremely independent and at times she makes really dumb decisions and that frustrated me a little bit.

This is the second book in the series and I actually haven’t read the first book yet, but this one stood on its own just fine.  I have heard amazing things about the first book and after reading this one I will defiantly be picking it up. The plot was very suspenseful and full of surprises.  One minute you thought you had things figured out and then all the sudden Lyga would throw in something you totally weren’t expecting.  It was really intense the whole way through and there were some really creepy moments.  Usually, I am not a fan of scary books, but this one kept me on edge and I really couldn’t put it down.  Some of the secondary characters bugged me a little bit at times, but overall I really enjoyed this book.  I do have to say that the ending is probably one of the worst cliffhangers I have ever read, so I can’t wait until the next book comes out.  I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys YA thrillers or mysteries, it will not disappoint.

Notable Scene:

The killer sat in his easy chair, the remains of a homecooked meal on the coffee table before him. The TV blathered the sorts of banalities his wife enjoyed—socalled reality TV, in which people competed to prove their superiority over one another. The killer tolerated the show, even pretended to enjoy it. One player and one alone captured his attention, a dental hygienist from Spokane, who spoke with a slight lisp and had hair the color of clarified butter and eyes so big and blue that he wanted to pop them out and eat them.

The killer had never eaten eyes. Or any other part of a human body. But he now desperately, desperately wanted to. The thought consumed him in a familiar, caressing way. He knew this feeling. It had been with him most of his life. He could not remember a time in his life when he could look at a woman and not want to possess her. Possess was an important word. It meant much. It meant to own. It meant to maintain one’s calm. It meant to captivate and enter like a demon, though the killer did not believe in such bogus and repugnant claptrap.

It also meant to have intercourse with.

The killer wanted to own women. In every way. And he had, indeed, owned many. Even the ones he found possessed (that word again!) of subpar appearance he yearned to own, for to own meant to be able to destroy.

Tall, short, thin, fat, ugly, gorgeous, black, white, all shades between and beyond… He wanted them all. For his own. So that no one else could have them. His to use and to keep or discard as he saw fit.

He had spent much of his life dreaming of this. Dreaming of captive women, compelled to do as he commanded. Dreaming of them on their knees before him, subject to his whims—beaten or comforted, killed or succored, raped or loved.

The dreams could not be sated. Not by anything he watched or touched or knew. Only finding her (any “her”) and owning her, making her his in every way, could satisfy his needs.

Jasper Dent Series:

1. I Hunt Killers

2. Game

FTC Advisory: Little, Brown Young Readers/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Game. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Game by Barry Lyga, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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