Boy Toy. There was no way I could not like I Hunt Killers. Then, I read it. And I loved it.
Book: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Summary: Jazz is 17 and the son of the world's most notorious serial killer. He was raised to be his father's protoge, better than the master. But Jazz just wants to be normal and when another sereial killer shows up in his small town, Jazz thinks that finding the killer will prove he is a good person and not destined to end up like his father.
Characters: I love these characters. Jazz reminds me a little bit of Cassel in Holly Black's Curse Worker Series (definitely a good thing). Jazz has all the skills to be a worse killer than his father, but he desperately wants to be a good person. I love characters who are conflicted and tortured. They have the capacity for evil and even they don't know if they'll choose good, which makes it so much more satisfying when they do (and potentially exciting when they don't).
All characters paled in comparison to Jazz. They were still fantastic... I just really loved Jazz. His best friend, Howie, is a hemophiliac, which means his blood doesn't clot and he can bleed to death if you look at him to hard. Lyga took full advantage of this, using it for both comedy and drama. But Howie isn't there only as a plot device. I loved watching Jazz figure out how to be normal through his relationship with Howie and Jazz's girlfriend Connie. Connie is strong and real and perfect for Jazz. But their relationship is complicated and adds another layer to Jazz and his story.
The adults in Jazz's life are just as well-drawn. G. William, the town sheriff, is my favorite character after Jazz. He is tired and jaded. He wants to protect Jazz, even though Jazz is past the point of anybody being able to protect him. I can't wait to see more of G. William in the sequel. Jazz's grandma is crazy, in a way that is both sad and hilarious. One of Lyga's strengths as a writer is that he can do this: present heartbreak and humor together.
Plot/Pacing/Structure: The book drops you right into the action, but it immediately grounds you. I was immediately sucked into the story, but I never had any problems figuring out where I was or what was happening. Things happened quickly and I was often suprised, but I never felt like I was struggling to keep up or that a plot point was more a gimmick than a natural part of the story. It was a seamless read and the end... the end! One of the best endings I've read in a long time.
Moments I Loved: POTENTIAL SPOILER. There is a moment where Jazz declares himself the town sociopath and scares the crap out of an EMT in order to save his friend's life. It is easily my favorite moment, because we see his capacity for evil being used to accomplish something good. Moments like these, where characters are tempted to the dark side are why I read in the first place.
WTF Moments: Jazz sleeps surrounded by pictures of his father's victims. He blames himself and he doesn't want to forget, but it was jarring and it broke my heart. I wanted to hug him, although I'm sure he would not have appreciated the effort. Also.. THE END... DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! (The end=awesome.)
Overall: This book is phenomenal. If the end is any indication, this is going to be a series and I am ecstatic. The book is dark, the plot pulled me in, and I want to be friends with the characters.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: 359 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge and the e-book reading challenge. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.