Monday, August 12, 2013

Barry Lyga ~ Game (earc) review

Game (Jasper Dent #2)
Little, Brown Young Readers
April 16, 2013
517 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

(may contain spoilers for Book #1, I Hunt Killers - review link)

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.

Barry Lyta's I Hunt Killers (my review HERE), the first book featuring Jasper Dent, the song of serial kiler Billy Dent, was released in April 2012. It's sequel, Game, out this past April, also features Jasper working to figure out what his upbringing -- being  raised by one of the nation's most notorious killers -- means for who he is and how to avoid the seeds Billy tried to plant in his head.

Working to stay on the side of 'good,' Jazz is pulled into helping the New York police department try to catch the Hat-Dog Killer. But nothing's ever as simple as it would seem . . . and Billy's never far from Jazz's life.

Game does the same great job as I Hunt Killers with keeping the technical, investigation-y side of the story either very real or, at the very least, very real seeming. A lot of the story either involves or at least includes police and detective work so having it fit so well into the story was crucial.

Jazz's inner turmoil over who or what he is, is done very well. The 'Billy voice' he hears in his head, things his father either tried to teach him or sayings his father used to have, really gives the reader a great idea of Jazz's struggle. We continue to learn more in this novel about how Jazz grew up, how things happened. (I continue to hate Billy Dent a little bit extra for, Rusty, the dog, every time he's mentioned.) We also learn a little more about Billy in Game, too.

The fantastic Howie, Jazz's best friend with hemophilia and his girl friend Connie who's African American (worth mentioning only because her race is something the characters have to contend with) are both back. They're both great matches for Jazz. Though Howie does back down a bit more -- likely due to the fragility his hemophilia causes, Connie has fire and will go toe to toe with both of them on anything. They're personalities are brilliant matches. All three of them.

Game gives us some great character developments but it also has some superb plot, especially later on in the novel, that is not to miss. It will definitely leave you waiting, anxiously, on Book 3.

Rating: 8/10

received from publisher through NetGalley--thank you

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