August 29, 2014

Review: Game

Game Book two of the I Hunt Killers trilogy
By Barry Lyga
Available now from Little, Brown BFYR (Hachette)
Review copy
Read my review of I Hunt Killers

GAME, the sequel to I HUNT KILLERS, takes the action to NYC, where the Hat-Dog Killer is becoming increasingly bold.  The police think Jazz might be able to offer some useful insights, so they fly him out.  His girlfriend Connie follows.  (Howie stays home to help watch Jazz's grandma.)

The climax of GAME is stunning.  Lots of strange pieces fall into place, and our trio of good guys are left in mortal peril.  The trip to that point isn't quite as good as I HUNT KILLERS, but it is still thrilling.  The main problem with it is that it causes some of the characters (mostly Connie) to act in very dumb ways.  At the same time, I liked that the teen characters aren't quite as smart and savvy as they think they are.  They might know more about serial killers than the average teen, but that doesn't make them trained law enforcement officials.

There's also a lot of interpersonal drama between Connie and Jazz.  She wants to have sex; he wants to have sex but it is afraid it might unlock something dark inside him.  His father, serial killer Billy Dent, mixed rape with his killing and Jazz is extremely concerned about that legacy.  His dreams don't help.  Finding a killer does.

If you're looking for intense, dark YA, look no father than this trilogy.  GAME ups the stakes from I HUNT KILLERS (now that Dent is free), and ends spectacularly.  You might want to wait until BLOOD OF MY BLOOD comes out on September 9, or you might decide this is the perfect moment to start reading the series.

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