Thursday, April 18, 2013

Game by Barry Lyga

Game (Jasper Dent, #2)Game by Barry Lyga
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads: I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jasper (Jazz) Dent, the son of the world's most infamous serial killer.

When a desperate New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help with a new case, Jazz can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple--and its police force running scared with no leads. So Jazz and his girlfriend Connie hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.

Meanwhile, Jazz's dad Billy is watching...and waiting.

My thoughts: I will preface this review by telling you that I didn't read the first book in this series, I Hunt Serial Killers. That said, I did not find this book to be confusing or feel like I walked into the middle of a story. Through the narrative of this book, I quickly ascertained that Jazz, the protagonist, is the son of a legendary serial killer, Billy Dent. Jazz struggles with nature/nurture and the possibility vs. probability he will also become a serial killer. It also becomes apparent that Billy trained Jazz to become like dear old dad thus Jazz had a weird childhood.

I had a difficult time feeling myself invested in the story. I think that had I read the first book, this wouldn't be an issue. Either I liked the first book and couldn't wait for the second book or I hated the first book and wouldn't pick up the second book. Macabre that it would seem to be, the book is good and the author's use of the language is outstanding. I was just slow to engage.

I like Jazz. I feel for his struggles of wanting to be different from his horrific father yet feeling the tug of his childhood training. Don't get me wrong. Jazz is not a serial killer but he thinks like a serial killer and that both terrifies him and empowers him. It is also incredibly convenient when a serial killer loose in New York City.

It is gruesome yet not on a visceral level. Odd as it is, the reader can see the crime scenes in an objective and technical way like Jazz does. He can take the crime scene apart and see the inconsistencies. I figured out the "game" before Jazz did and a I predicted why Billy was in New York. That makes me feel a little bit haughty, I admit. But there is much, much more to the story than the "Game" and Billy's reason for New York. Much, much more.

Loved Howie to tears. Oh, he is the comic relief that the book could not live without. Connie - I could take or leave. Gramma is a nut job. Still trying to figure her out but her scenes were awfully funny, regardless.

The one spoiler I will give is that the book has no ending. I will read the next book. I am invested in the story now but I did not appreciate the soap opera ending of no ending. It is worse than a soap opera. All our favorite characters are in a perilous situation and the story is

Yeah. Just like that.

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