Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Game Review

Title:  Game
Author:  Barry Lyga
Published April 16th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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.
If you haven't read the first book in this series, I Hunt Killers, then you may want to skip this review because spoilers may appear.  Just to warn you...

Jasper "Jazz" Dent has lived his life since his father, Billy Dent, was arrested trying to prove he is not Billy.  You see Jazz's dad is not your average dad.  William "Billy" Cornelius Dent is the most famous serial killer of all time, and he took his son, Jazz, to "work" with him.  It has always been Billy's dream for Jazz to take over the business, the business of killing that is.  So, at the end of I Hunt Killers Jazz catches a killer, the Impressionist, to prove he's nothing like his dad.  He wants to help the cops instead of outrun them.  Knowing what he knows about murder, Jazz can give the cops a view of the killer's mind they never could imagine.  Jazz feels great about this turn of events; however, at the end of the first novel, Billy also escapes from prison.  Oh, and Jazz may have unknowingly helped his dad get out of prison.

Fast forward to Game.  Jazz is again trying to live his life after the Impressionist murdered people in a tribute to Billy.  Jazz feels responsible for the deaths of these innocents even though he captured the Impressionist.  The guilt weighs on Jazz just as Billy's escape haunts him.  Did he help "Dear Old Dad" escape?  Unleashing Billy Dent back into the world was the last thing Jazz ever wanted.  Now, Jazz knows it's only a matter of time before Billy comes for his son.  Billy would never kill Jazz, but he is still convinced that Jazz will take up the business and be just like Billy.

Now, a New York Detective is showing up at Jazz's door trying to get him to help with the Hat-Dog Killer who is terrorizing New York City.  Detective Hughes believes Jazz's "experience" can help the NYPD bring down Hat-Dog.  Jazz decides to try and see what he can do to help.  After all this will provide even more proof that he's nothing like his father, right?  When Jazz reaches the Big Apple the city is everything he has grown to dislike over the years of trying to lead a normal life.  Too many people, too much confusion, too many ways to commit a crime and blend in the crowd unnoticed, but the Hat-Dog Killer's crimes start to smell a little too much like Billy's.  Is Billy Hat-Dog, or is Billy training a new follower?  Jazz is determined to find out.

Game is just as addictive a read as I Hunt Killers.   Barry Lyga knows how to write a thriller.  Billy keeps you guessing, and Jazz keeps you rooting for him.  The ending is phenomenal, but it leaves the reader begging for the next installment in this series.  A definite must read!

*reviewed by Casie, YA @ Cpl. J. R. Searcy Memorial Library

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