AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1), by Barry Lyga

Date(s) read: September 17 – 20, 2012
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller

1. I Hunt Killers Goodreads | Amazon

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?

My Thoughts
When I bought this audiobook, I had HIGH expectations. Like, crazy high — mainly because some of my blogging friends gave it very good reviews.

But when I finished listening to this novel, I had mixed feelings.

On the one hand, the story is quite good. I love watching TV shows like Dexter and this is very reminiscent of Dexter – but YA. Ish. I add the ‘ish’ because it’s QUITE gruesome. Normally, I can deal with gruesome and gory scenes in novels, but there were certain scenes in this book that almost had me marking the book as a TBR.

(NOTE: If you’re an animal lover, namely a DOG lover, you might not want to listen to this book. There is a very gruesome scene that almost had me turning it off for good. You’ve been warned.)

Like I said, the story is good enough. I wouldn’t say I was overly engrossed in it. It reads like a YA novel, but has some very adult themes to it. I felt confused while listening because of this.

As far as the characters go, this was something else that had me perplexed. I like the idea of the main character, Jazz, being the son of a serial killer, BUT being a kid who’s dad is a serial killer in jail shouldn’t mean that the kid isn’t watched over by therapists or anything – especially after the things his father, Billy, showed him. To me, it just seemed unrealistic. The kid just had too much freedom for me to be comfortable with him.

BUT, there was enough twists and turns going on that kept me hooked, despite my dislikes. I think my favourite thing about the story was Howie, a friend of Jazz, who adds lots of comedic relief to the story. Unfortunately, his appearances are hit and miss.

Listening to the audio was a bit of a treat. The voice of Jazz’s father, Billy, was completely creepy and gave me shivers whenever he spoke the same phrase over and over (“like chicken”). I hated Billy for what he did to Jazz and couldn’t stand listening to any of the scenes that went back in time to Billy showing his son his serial killer side.

Gruesome and disturbing, this story made me grimace and squirm. Though, with it being just a little too similar to one of my favourite TV shows (a TV show that seems a little more believable), this one just didn’t cut it for me. I finished feeling quite meh about the story – and while it had me engrossed, I didn’t feel overly committed to trying out the sequel. Maybe this is more for mystery lovers and people who love plenty of gory and gross scenes in their stories.


© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


13 thoughts on “AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1), by Barry Lyga

  1. I got the feeling that the reason Jazz wasn’t “watched” as closely as he should have been was because he was so good at putting on a false front and showing people that he was okay. The guy’s a master conman. If anyone could fool The Man, he could.

  2. I probably couldn’t have listened to this book on audio — I’m kind of a wimp, as you know. As a mystery, I really enjoyed this one, and I think it will make a fun series, given what happens at the end!
    Sorry it wasn’t quite for you 🙂

    • There are some books that just work better on audio for me. Or series books where I start the series on audio MUST be continued in audio. It just works better for me that way.

  3. Oh too bad you didn’t like this one more! I really enjoyed it because it was definitely gruesome for the genre so it really stood out to me. I’m curious to hear Billy’s voice on audio, he creeped me out just reading about him so I couldn’t imagine actually hearing him *shivers* Your point about how Jazz probably should have been watched over more is very good, I hadn’t even thought about that! Great, fair review!

  4. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (13) | Reading In Winter

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