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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 com 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.


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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 com 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.

30 review for Game

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Holy crap on a cracker, these books have a bit of an eww factor going on! And stuff. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Holy crap on a cracker, these books have a bit of an eww factor going on! And stuff. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    I thought I won’t be able to read this right away because of its glaring 520 pages (which relatively isn’t really long but which IS long for me at the moment) but I’m really impressed because it didn’t feel long at all. I was completely gripped from beginning to end without a single attempt at skimming any part (which I guiltily admit I do in some reads) :/ Ask me to tell you the significant events of the first half of the book and I would probably just give you this look. But what’s unbelievable I thought I won’t be able to read this right away because of its glaring 520 pages (which relatively isn’t really long but which IS long for me at the moment) but I’m really impressed because it didn’t feel long at all. I was completely gripped from beginning to end without a single attempt at skimming any part (which I guiltily admit I do in some reads) :/ Ask me to tell you the significant events of the first half of the book and I would probably just give you this look. But what’s unbelievable is that despite the elaborate and slow build up of the plot in the beginning, I was the whole time worried, scared and nervous for the main characters in the story. The suspense is really torture. The construction of the plot is such that will make you feel like you have been forced to wear an explosive vest that will explode at anytime and all that’s left for you to do is breathe (heavily). It’s also fascinating the way the author is able to divulge every character’s psychological makeup through the use of the third person omniscient narrative that will somehow make you empathize with every single one of them whether what they do is right or wrong. Admittedly, the logical side of me made me question the plausibility of certain parts especially Jasper’s superhuman detective skills and his hyperactive role in identifying the serial killer. Also, the really gory, icky details of the murders are designed to encourage almost barfing and perhaps these are the reasons I’m not giving this a perfect score. But what’s topnotch is the revelation of the significance of the title to the pattern of the ongoing serial kills. It is unthinkably mind boggling. It was so sickly clever and I couldn’t help but accept that the author is a master of manipulation. Dang! Even the cliffhanger is insanely manipulative. The reader will inevitably NEED to read the last book in the series. Argh! Thank you Kathe for pushing me to read this/finish the series.^^

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    3.5 stars I Hunt Killers was one of my favorite books last year, but I have more...mixed feelings about the sequel. While it's certainly still well-researched and well-executed, the focus has changed from suspense--albeit with gory underpinnings--to a more typical thriller. Since it's written like adult crime fiction with a teenager suddenly in the middle, it's a little harder to suspend disbelief that the authorities would rely so heavily on a 17-year-old's input (to the point of taking him acr 3.5 stars I Hunt Killers was one of my favorite books last year, but I have more...mixed feelings about the sequel. While it's certainly still well-researched and well-executed, the focus has changed from suspense--albeit with gory underpinnings--to a more typical thriller. Since it's written like adult crime fiction with a teenager suddenly in the middle, it's a little harder to suspend disbelief that the authorities would rely so heavily on a 17-year-old's input (to the point of taking him across state lines), no matter what his parentage. But am I still excited by the series? Hell, yes. The full text of this review appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.” I think I am once again in the minority here - but for a good reason this time. I actually liked this sequel quite a bit better than the first and I think I might have been willing to go with five stars if it wasn't for that awful non-ending, cliffhanger thing that Lyga felt the need to leave us with. After sitting on the edge of my seat and knawing my nails away for the whole book, I felt somewhat cheated by that lack of closure. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.” I think I am once again in the minority here - but for a good reason this time. I actually liked this sequel quite a bit better than the first and I think I might have been willing to go with five stars if it wasn't for that awful non-ending, cliffhanger thing that Lyga felt the need to leave us with. After sitting on the edge of my seat and knawing my nails away for the whole book, I felt somewhat cheated by that lack of closure. It wasn't even lack of closure in a remotely forgivable way, it was straight-up, Karen Marie Moning-style drop the characters in a dire situation and fade to black... nasty. There's quite a big difference between this installment and book one and I think this will either make it or break it for you. Book one has a mystery but the main story is the one inside Jazz's head, his fight to be a different kind of person from his father and to conquer the dark demons lurking just beneath the surface, the demons who whisper evil thoughts and try to bring out the monster he hides away. I found this all fascinating but, if I'm honest, by the end I was starting to get just a little sick of Jazz and his demons. On top of that, I solved the "mystery" in book one before I'd even hit the halfway marker. I think Game branches out from Jazz in a way that I felt was necessary for the series to not start dragging. This second book gives us more of Billy Dent (Jazz's father), more of Connie and more of Howie. I found it darker, more thrilling, creepier... and I really liked how Lyga has gone even further into his exploration of the psychology of psychopaths. Truly fascinating. There were a number of times when I thought I'd worked out what was going on and predicted some upcoming twists, but everything I guessed at was wrong and Lyga managed to pull out answers that were satisfying and unpredictable - unlike in I Hunt Killers. However, I still think Jazz's original struggles are as important in this sequel as they were before. The main focus of Jazz's uncertainty in this book is not his involvement in the investigation but his relationship with Connie. As much as he wants to sleep with her, he constantly worries that sex will be a kind of trigger for him and turn him into a monstrous rapist like his father. Because his father was his first teacher, the lessons he grew up with were how to dehumanise other people - particularly women - and sometimes Jazz can hear that voice in his head telling him that people don't matter, that cutting into human flesh is "just like cutting chicken". I still really enjoy this aspect which separates this series from being like any other mystery series but, personally, I believe this sequel was more successful at getting the balance right. I said it in my review of the first book but I'm going to say it again here: the biggest challenge potential readers of this series face is getting past the idea that the police would consult a teenage boy. It is quite unbelievable, no matter what kind of valid excuses Lyga attempts to throw our way. Because even though Jazz's position is unusual and certainly valuable to an investigation, the FBI aren't going to put a minor at risk when they have teams of experts that have spent years studying the behaviour of criminals and psychopaths. Ever seen Criminal Minds? When seeing those guys work, I have my doubts as to how much Jazz really is needed. But, yeah, if you make do without the realism, then you should love this series. Though this book was darker than I Hunt Killers, in my opinion, there remains touches of the same humour that so attracted me to the characters in the first book. They are all funny, which makes them likeable, which makes me care, which means I know without a doubt I will be picking up the next book as soon as it's available. I'm so glad I still feel like I can recommend these books - it's just too bad that it ended that way, the wait to find out what happens is going to drive me insane.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    After making my way through the entire collection of prequel short stories in this series, I continue on the path with this middle novel in the full-length trilogy. Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent is still coming to terms with a serial killer in town, one who is the apparent protégé of his own father, Billy. After a harrowing escape from prison, Billy is somewhere and killing again. An NYPD Homicide detective arrives in Lobo’s Nod, looking for Jasper’s help on a new and stunning series of murders in the Big After making my way through the entire collection of prequel short stories in this series, I continue on the path with this middle novel in the full-length trilogy. Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent is still coming to terms with a serial killer in town, one who is the apparent protégé of his own father, Billy. After a harrowing escape from prison, Billy is somewhere and killing again. An NYPD Homicide detective arrives in Lobo’s Nod, looking for Jasper’s help on a new and stunning series of murders in the Big Apple. Based on the items carved into the bodies, this new killer is being given the moniker ‘The Hat and Dog Killer’. Interestingly enough, it bears some of the brutality Billy Dent used to show in his early kills. While Jasper is able to make some headway, from his past experience and teachings that Billy offered, he is soon chased out of town by the NYPD brass who cannot handle the press coverage they are getting with a teenager on the task force. Back in Lobo’s Nod, Jasper enlists the help of his best friend, Howie, and girlfriend, Connie, to piece some things together. However, the locals are less than happy to have the buzz and Jasper must watch his every move. When the killings ramp up again, Jasper’s knowledge cannot be ignored, though he is surely in the middle of a very dangerous situation. This game has surely become a lot more real and the pieces move without apparent rhyme or reason. All three teens are looped in to find this killer, though their roles are completely unique. Will all this end in a stalemate, or will blood sully the game board again? Lyga does well to develop much of the drama and leaves the reader begging for some closure, as the final novel in the trilogy looms. Perfect for those who are familiar with this series, which packs quite a punch! Lyga spins a wonderful tale to keep the series going. While I appreciated the backstory offered in the prequel short stories, these novels can be read on their own (and were published before the prequels, if memory serves). The action throughout is non-stop and the character development, though focussed on three teens, is anything but cheesy. Jasper continues to have great backstory development throughout the piece, remembering his youth and using it to build on how he can help catch the killer while inching closer to his father for a final showdown. Lyga offers up some intense character development in the present as well, which offers a mature individual who has been subjected to much in his young life alongside a teenager trying to find out how he fits into a hormone-driven life with a beautiful girlfriend. Enter, Connie, who is also in the middle of trying to define herself, both to Jasper and herself. She struggles with her role as a teenager and one who wants things to progress physically alongside the supportive and mature woman who is able to see things that others might miss. Howie remains his horn-dog self, but is always trying to find his place, while carrying his hemophilia around as a black mark. The other characters find themselves offering needed flavours to propel the narrative and keep the story strong, leaving me to wonder if we will see more of them in the final novel. The plot is strong, even if the reader must divorce themselves from thoughts of a teenager acting as a key liaison to both the NYPC and FBI. There is little loss of momentum as Lyga offers up a vast array of plot development and character enhancement through his jam-packed chapters. Using an interesting ‘game’ twist as it relates to the murders will surely pull the reader in, particularly when the pattern becomes more apparent, which only goes to show that Lyga’s writing has great layering for the attentive and patient reader. With a few wonderful cliffhangers in the closing pages of the book, I am eager to see how things finish in the next novel. That said, one can never be sure there is a finality to this series, as Lyga is prone to add a twist here and there. Kudos, Mr. Lyga, on another stellar piece. I cannot wait to see what’s next and how you will pull the reader in. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Are you kidding me with that ending??? WTH..... I really liked the first book, but WOW I loved this one!!! Jasper is such an interesting character, how he reads people, and how his father talks to him in his mind,... The constant struggle he has between good and evil, and boy oh boy do you just want him to end up on the side of good.... The game was no joke, I love how it was revealed and how it was played... What in the world is going to happen in the next book??? I have absolutely no idea..... I Are you kidding me with that ending??? WTH..... I really liked the first book, but WOW I loved this one!!! Jasper is such an interesting character, how he reads people, and how his father talks to him in his mind,... The constant struggle he has between good and evil, and boy oh boy do you just want him to end up on the side of good.... The game was no joke, I love how it was revealed and how it was played... What in the world is going to happen in the next book??? I have absolutely no idea..... I have to add, but in the midst of all this intensity and craziness, you have to love the comic relief of Howie..... I'm seriously considering tossing out my future reading plans, and getting to the next book straight away!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    I NEVER read series. I have only read a couple in my lifetime. Normally I like books that only have one book to them or I only read the first book in a series, so I am really proud of myself for reading the second book to a series. Also, on that note... that just shows how good this book is! Game is the second book in the Jason Dent series. It comes after the first book: I Hunt Killers. In the first book we are introduced to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent. Both I NEVER read series. I have only read a couple in my lifetime. Normally I like books that only have one book to them or I only read the first book in a series, so I am really proud of myself for reading the second book to a series. Also, on that note... that just shows how good this book is! Game is the second book in the Jason Dent series. It comes after the first book: I Hunt Killers. In the first book we are introduced to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent. Both the first book and the second book have a similar pattern. However, this kept the books super interesting. Jazz is trying to prove that murder doesn't run in his family and that his dad is the only criminal. A detective from New York City asks Jazz for help solving the crime of a mass murder. Jazz agrees to help and he and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game. There are so many turns to this book and hidden secrets, that I was never bored! Great book and can't wait to read the third book :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

    He wondered: When next he saw his father, would he be thrilled or terrified? Hmm hmm hmmmmm. What a wonderfully demented series. Not often do I pick up thriller books and find such satisfaction. It isn't merely the characters, though, that's about 80% of it, and it isn't wholly the mysteries. I think my love for this series stems from the humor that seeps off of every page. Jazz wouldn't be Jazz without his snarky, asshole-ish attitude I've come to love so deeply, and I don't think I'd en He wondered: When next he saw his father, would he be thrilled or terrified? Hmm hmm hmmmmm. What a wonderfully demented series. Not often do I pick up thriller books and find such satisfaction. It isn't merely the characters, though, that's about 80% of it, and it isn't wholly the mysteries. I think my love for this series stems from the humor that seeps off of every page. Jazz wouldn't be Jazz without his snarky, asshole-ish attitude I've come to love so deeply, and I don't think I'd enjoy Jazz's inner voice that channels Billy-isms (I do love it, albeit begrudgingly) without the laugh-factor, either. Mix all that humor, Jazz's completely deranged mind, serial killers that don't care who they take out to achieve their ultimate goal, friends (and girlfriend) who start to find themselves wrapped up in the killing game as well, and what do you have??? One helluva story. "So I get to help out during the Bad Hours. Great. Should have let the Impressionist kill you," Howie grumbled. "He wasn't going to kill me." "That's just because he didn't really, really know you." Man oh MAAAAAN did this story end in a crazy place. Imagine literally the worst case scenario....and multiply it by ten, lol. Being a seasoned perilista, I didn't know what to expect-my friend, who knows my unhinged mind very well, said I would love the end and all of book three...almost as if these scenes and most of the third book were made for me. And I thought, hmm, okay, I guess we'll see then. Everyone has a different trigger point, a different idea of what scary is, what humor is, what danger is, so it's all fairly subjective, if you think about it. I almost always hear (or rather, see) people say 'OMGAH THAT ENDING' or "OMG I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOOOOOW' or 'EVIL CLIFFHANGER'. You know the reviews, you've likely seen them for your future reads. Well, unlike most sane people, I love when I see those headlines-what's better than getting your heart pumping at the end of your favorite books?? If you don't get intense feels, what's the point? Not many people agree about wanting things to go to Hell in a handbasket, but it's one of my favorite things about books. *shrugs* That's just me. But, my point is, more often than not, people are overreacting. Most endings aren't that bad, and I can't help but to feel a tad disappointed each time I get my hopes up. But, and trust me on this, if you read this book....The end will not let you down. Believe me. Inwardly, Jazz bristled, but he didn't let Morales see it. His past was his. It was fractured and weird and a typhoon of emotions and fragments of memories, but it was his and his alone. Wow. I'm still reeling after finishing last night. My (book) adrenaline was on high and I couldn't sleep, tossing and turning and desperate for more. That's what makes a good series. The first book is great-Yeah, awesome. But when book two makes it impossible for you to put down?? That's a fuckin' win. I am almost always annoyed by book two in a series, but this series doesn't fall into that curse. Book two not only kept me up late into the night reading, it intensified my thirst and longing for the third installment. Instead of being weary about what's to come and how the author could possibly fuck up probably one of my (only) favorite thriller series thus far into my life, I know, without a doubt, the third book will be fantastic. What was lurking back there in the cold, dark recesses of his memory? What secrets were hidden in his past? Jazz felt as though his own life was a minefield, one he'd lost the map for. One wrong step and he'd lose a foot or a leg. Or his mind. Jazz. Jasper. Jasper Dent. The elusive serial killer's son. Billy Dent Jr.. There are literally no words to describe how obsessed with him I am (see picture above). He's raw. He's unsure of himself. He's loyal. He's tormented. He loves deeply. He's devoted to clearing his name. And....he's a manipulative little shit. I love love loooooove him. Being in his mind is like walking on shards of glass. He never knows if he's doing something because he's inherently good, or if he simply wants people to believe he's good. He helps hunt killers, he protects those around him...but to what end?? What if he snaps? What if he's just sitting around with the girl he loves or his best friend in the whole world...and he decides to go Billy on their asses? What then? "I'm sorry. I really am." Nah, Billy whispered, you ain't sorry. You just know sayin' it gets you what you want. Jazz shook Billy away. He was sorry. He was, like, 99 percent sure he was really sorry. "I shouldn't have done that," he said. "I'll apologize to your dad right now." Maybe 98 percent. Jasper doubts himself on the deepest levels and I truly enjoy watching his internal struggle. He wants so badly to be good, to prove he's more than his piece of shit dad, but it's an uphill battle and he feels the only way he'll ever know if he's truly good is to kill the baddest of bad men himself-his dad. Jazz stared at her father. Connie had never seen such a stare. He didn't move; his expression didn't change. It was something ethereal, something in his eyes, or in his soul. Something had shifted, and Connie suddenly realized that she'd been wrong before-her father wasn't the hawk on the high branch. Jazz was. We follow him to NYC to try and stop the Hat-Dog killer (I SWEAR it's not...like....something about killing dogs-I'd NEVER support a book where I had to read about animal slaughter as a main plot point), which he thinks is also one step closer to dear old Dad...and we see his journey to redeem himself unfolding before our eyes. I can't say much more than what I've already said, so all I can do is encourage you to try this series. It's gruesome. It can be sad. There is a lot in book one I didn't want to have to read about...but it's Jazz's journey and I wouldn't change it for the world. You have to read these books. If you like thrillers or tortured leads at all, you'll likely love it. Just a thought. "You think you're gonna find your soul. Ever since I've known you, you've been thinkin' that someday you're gonna crack and end up like your daddy. And you've been looking for proof that you won't. What you don't realize is this: The looking is the proof. Trust me when I tell you that Billy Dent never had a moment's doubt in his life about what he was and what he was doing. Your doubt is your soul, kid." For more of my reviews, please visit:

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    ➸ Book 1 : I Hunt Killers ✬✬✬✬ ➸ Book 3 : Blood of my Blood ✬✬✬✬✬ Actual rating : 4.5 stars ♠ I have to admit it : although I was sure that I Hunt Killers was almost perfect, that was far from the truth. Because I knew nothing. Indeed contrary to many readers, Game was so damn better than the first for me. ♠ ▒ I thought I was hooked in I hunt killers ▒ It was nothing compared to what I felt here, my heart bouncing and bouncing, enthralled, captivated, caught in the story from page one, my mo ➸ Book 1 : I Hunt Killers ✬✬✬✬ ➸ Book 3 : Blood of my Blood ✬✬✬✬✬ Actual rating : 4.5 stars ♠ I have to admit it : although I was sure that I Hunt Killers was almost perfect, that was far from the truth. Because I knew nothing. Indeed contrary to many readers, Game was so damn better than the first for me. ♠ ▒ I thought I was hooked in I hunt killers ▒ It was nothing compared to what I felt here, my heart bouncing and bouncing, enthralled, captivated, caught in the story from page one, my mood quickly shifting from laughter to tears to anguish. This alternating in my feels? That's what makes these books so special to me despite their flaws, despite the irregular pacing sometimes, despite the fact Jasper's involvement by the police can appear highly unbelievable. I don't care. ▒ I thought I was attached to these characters ▒ Truth being told, I couldn't have been more wrong. What I felt then? Interest, yes, need to learn more, of course, but here? HERE? While going back and forth between the different POV (mostly Jazz, Howie and Connie's) my affection for them reached an all new level. ▨ Jazz first. Oh, Jazz. What an infuriating yet moving bastard. I can't help but love him, even if his patronizing behavior towards the cops put me on the verge to roll my eyes at some points. Indeed although he learnt a great amount of serial killer tips while growing up, being Billy Dent's kid and all, I must admit that the unfathomable depths of his knowledge flirts with the Gary Sue side sometimes. There. I said it. Anyway - What can explain how much I'm drawn to him? His manipulative behavior? His brooding personality? His tortured yet incredibly endearing self? I don't really know, but the fact is, I adore him. Period. "The truth - the real answer - was that he wanted to say but didn't : This is what it feels like to be one of you. This is what it feels like to be vulnerable. And weak. And merely human. This is what it feels like to be a prospect." ▨ Connie, who I loved hearing the thoughts, fierce and strong-minded as always. Yes she makes mistakes and yes she lands herself in danger, she does fucking dumb things at time... yet there wasn't one moment when I couldn't understand her (even if... I wouldn't act this way). She's Jasper Dent's girlfriend for fucksake, of course she's going to want to investigate, duh. ▨ Howie, little (sic) Howie whose comments made me burst of laughing more than once. ▨ Gramma - can I say? She's properly awful, racist, delusional, yet I can't say I didn't enjoy her hateful rants. I mean, look at this! Isn't it precious? "They sent spies," Gramma wet on, her voice a hush, "and they look like one man, but they can split in two, then four, and so on. I've seen it before. During the war. It's a Communist trick and they taught it to the Democrats so that they could take our guns. I would have fought them off, but they already made the shotgun disappear." Yeah, right. ▒ I thought the plot was interesting ▒ Oh, man, we reached a new level here too. I thought I was stupid with thrillers before? I never, even once, guessed something here, and spent hours drowning under water as the clues were passing above me. Talk about a Sherlock. What a bad cop I would have been. *shiver* Let's go on the obvious side of things, shall we? This book is a game, and you're gonna be played. Forget The Nod, forget the State sheriff ... " Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun." ... Welcome the Big Apple, its cops, its dark alleyways, its propensity to hide everybody in the shadows of anonymity - "See this thing I drink from? I give it the label of "cup," and so what? See this thing I cover my body with? I give it the label of "shirt," and so what? See this thing I have opened to the darkening sky, allowing beautiful moonlight to shine within? I give it the label of "Jerome Herrigton," and so what?" Its cruelty and its atrocity, too, while we follow this killer whose murders can be seen as processes by which people are converted to objects. Denaturalized, denied of their rights to be called humans. Negated. What is it that makes us human being? "It's great, Lana," Jazz said enthusiastically. "I've seen the Statue of Liberty, and I'm also tracking a guy who takes people's eyes, cuts off their dicks, and - on two occasions - leaves their guts in a KFC bucket. It's awesome." I know, I KNOW, ew. Just EWW. I'm warning you that we come across some gruesome scenes here, with descriptions of dismemberment, explanations of how to remove an eye (grapefruit spoon - you're welcome) and even if I can't say that I was really scared, you need to prepare yourself to see, to feel the tension growing and growing and growing... until you're barely breathing and - DON'T YOU DARE - Why, thank you, Barry Lyga, for this awful cliffhanger! That was so nice of you! Now, let me melt on the floor after this fucking (non)ending. Wait - who am I kidding? I'm going to start Blood of my Blood right now. PS : I wanted to throw a little thank you here for that particular quote which managed to make me laugh when worry was eating me : "The TV chattered. Someone said, "I was like, she is, like, so bitchy and, like, without any reason, you know?" Ah, Reality TV shows. Always here when needed. ← Now, that's irony. Warning : Never, ever read the blurb of book 3, because they explain what happens at the end of this one^^ #SillyGR For more of my reviews, please visit:

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    Imagine you learned everything you know about serial killers from Wikipedia and watching episodes of Criminal Minds. Then tried to write a book about it with a kid in the lead role. Would it be comparable to the many standout crime thrillers that dominate the genre? Unfortunately with Game, I don’t think so. The problem I have with this is the same problem I had with I Hunt Killers but on a larger scale, psychological and crime thrillers are inherently adult genres; these books try to play with t Imagine you learned everything you know about serial killers from Wikipedia and watching episodes of Criminal Minds. Then tried to write a book about it with a kid in the lead role. Would it be comparable to the many standout crime thrillers that dominate the genre? Unfortunately with Game, I don’t think so. The problem I have with this is the same problem I had with I Hunt Killers but on a larger scale, psychological and crime thrillers are inherently adult genres; these books try to play with the big boys, but only end up shooting themselves in the foot. It takes a lot of perfectly fine tuned elements, murder, suspense, investigation, dark humor, and of course the psychology of the characters, both investigator and murderer, to make a crime thriller work, and while Barry Lyga certainly does come close in a lot of ways (perhaps closer with I Hunt Killers than Game), close in this case really means not quite there yet and another unenthusiastic ‘eh, I’ve seen better’ to go along with my reaction to the first book. Let’s start with Jasper Dent. Or, as he is in this book, an unrealistic Gary Stu. It’s an easy mix up, but there’s a difference between crime scene investigation and behavioral analysis. Crime scene investigation looks at the evidence from a particular crime and uses that evidence to determine how a killer committed that particular crime, whereas behavioral analysis studies the criminal mind and tries to understand what drives a killer to commit crimes generally, so as to predict his or her future victims and all that stuff. Now back to Gary Stu alias Jasper “Jazz” Dent - this is a kid who’s brought into the investigation because of his expertise in behavioral analysis, or as the cops put it, he understands serial killers in a way other people don’t because he grew up as the son of one, but when there’s a scene (chapter long no less and smacks of child’s play) of Jazz going through crime scenes and figuring out stuff like how a window was kicked in after a murder because of footprints under the shards of glass, uh, no, that’s crime scene investigation, not behavioral analysis. And just because you grew up as the son of a serial killer doesn’t mean you can freakin’ outstage people who have perfected CSI to a science. Once, maybe, but when this repeats scene after scene of just Jazz picking up forensic evidence the real investigators have missed, sorry, he’s a Gary Stu. Stick to profiling the criminal please. Then again, there’s not much to profile. What works in most psychological thrillers are two competing psychological profiles in a game of cat and mouse, one the damaged investigator trying to understand the killings through the lens of his trauma, the other the sadistic serial killer, toying with him yes, but also chillingly revealing the depths of his depravity. Jazz, unfortunately, seems to have actually regressed since I Hunt Killers, instead of the whole product of biology and environment thing he had going in the last book, his character this time around is basically ‘I can’t have sex with Connie because that’ll set me off and turn me into a serial killer’ - look dude, not everything is about the sex. On the flip side, I’m even less impressed with the Hat-Dog Killer. I will say the two initial murders and the way they’re written are very clever given what’s revealed about him, but in a successful crime thriller, the killer’s point of view provides a glimpse into his mind, lets the reader build a profile for himself, whereas in Game, Jasper just gives us the profile. That’s no fun. Not to mention how generic the two sentence profile actually is - what about triggers? Victimology? Anything? My last point might be kind of controversial, but I think it’s still worth bringing up. Mostly, it involves Game’s young adult characters trying to act the same as the adult characters of other books, like Connie doing her little investigation into the murders on the side - for an adult character, it’d be reckless, but for her, it’s just plain stupid - yet at the same time seemingly holding back in other areas. The subject matter of this series is not for the faint of heart, human eyeballs are consumed and people’s intestines are left in KFC buckets, but that said, I still think as I said in my review of I Hunt Killers that the intended young adult audience seems to be accommodated in a way that’s inconsistent, unnecessary, and detracting from the story. Game tries to look tough like the adult crime thrillers it aspires to be, but there’s still one noticeable line it hasn’t crossed - killing off anyone under twenty. I get it, killing off kids, particularly in this day and age, is an extremely politically incorrect thing to do, but is it really that inappropriate when compared to the subject matter of the rest of the book? Would anyone who hasn’t been put off by the sexual mutilation be offended that a nineteen year old is murdered? On the other hand, people die in young adult books, many times it's effective, and in the case of Game I really can't believe Jasper and Connie would be in any danger when this book seems like it's incapable of putting its leads' lives in jeopardy. Where is the suspense? I guess Game isn’t so bad as a first second outing into the genre of crime thrillers. But personally, having been long exposed to these kinds of books, this pale imitation just isn’t doing it for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    This sequel to I Hunt Killers matched the quality of the first book in the series. This is a fun YA thriller series. There is a good balance between the mystery, suspense, and the action. The plot is engaging enough that is held my attention all the way through the story and the characters are just likeable or interesting enough that I was kept engaged in their stories. In this second instalment the basic set up of the story did not change. It was Jasper hunting a serial killer. This time the Ha This sequel to I Hunt Killers matched the quality of the first book in the series. This is a fun YA thriller series. There is a good balance between the mystery, suspense, and the action. The plot is engaging enough that is held my attention all the way through the story and the characters are just likeable or interesting enough that I was kept engaged in their stories. In this second instalment the basic set up of the story did not change. It was Jasper hunting a serial killer. This time the Hat-Dog killer who has been terrorising New York. Jasper is brought on as a consultant by the NYPD. Outside of that story arc Jasper also had to deal with the fact that his famous serial killer dad, Billy Dent, had escaped from prison and was now on the loose! Unlike the first book we got a slightly expanded POV cast. Jasper's girlfriend Connie and his best friend Howie also featured and had a few mysteries of their own to deal with in their home town. It was all pretty interesting. I actually felt like there was a little more danger to the characters in this instalment and it really added a good bit of tension to all the mystery and suspense. It ended with a host of different cliffhangers in the various story arcs so I'm definitely looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy! Rating: 4 stars. Audio Note: Charlie Thurston gave a good performance of the audio.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathe L

    "We can make it easier for him," Howie said. "That's what we do, right? We make it easier for Jazz to be normal." (Well, this book was AMAZING!) While in the first book I had some clue on what was going on, I had a gigantic point of interrogation on my forehead for almost this entire book. Who is doing this? Who is the new serial killer? All in all, what the hell was going on? I am a person who loves to try to guess what is happening and loves a deep mystery, although always guessing everything "We can make it easier for him," Howie said. "That's what we do, right? We make it easier for Jazz to be normal." (Well, this book was AMAZING!) While in the first book I had some clue on what was going on, I had a gigantic point of interrogation on my forehead for almost this entire book. Who is doing this? Who is the new serial killer? All in all, what the hell was going on? I am a person who loves to try to guess what is happening and loves a deep mystery, although always guessing everything wrong. I had the strangest ideas, the strangest suspects in mind. I have to say, I am proud of something I thought was true and I discovered in the last page it was, but not in the line of thought I was having. (Did that make sense?) I felt so dumb for not clicking everything together when we "find out" the truth, though. I was feeling very detectively (is there an adjective to trying to be a detective?) and I wanted to sort things out. Thank God we have Jasper/Connie/Howie to do that. "Being in a serial killer's mind was like navigating a maze out of mirrors. In this book, we get Jasper in New York with the FBI trying to discover who is the new serial killer in town, and deep in his mind Jasper wonders "where is Billy?". We have Connie's POV in this one, and a lot of things happen. Things that I am only assimilating right now. There's a reason this book is called 'Game'. There are players, sides, and multiple boards. Everyone plays, one person watches? Or is it two? What Connie has to do with all of this? - Connie: Connie is in this deep. She wants to help her boyfriend, and she does everything she can in order to do so. I already liked her in this first book, but in this one? I completely loved her! I admired her courage, defiance, her heart. She is an extremely kind person with a fierce personality. And the things she discovered shocked me as much (or even more) then what happened with Jasper and Howie. I supposed in the first book that her mind working was extraordinary; in this one I got it confirmed. "Connie believed in Jasper's humanity more than he did." - Jasper: How can someone not love this boy? (I completely understand Connie.) There's so much more to him. He isn't just the manipulative, smart kid who has the advantage of being able to understand the mind of a serial killer. He is useful, yes, but he does this because he doesn't want to be responsible for anyone dying. He cares. He cracks his head trying to figure everything out. He risks his life, he breaks the rules. Jazz has troubles and nightmares, but he is a good boy. G.Willian even said: "What you don't realize is this: The looking is the proof. Trust me when I tell you that Billy Dent never had a moment's doubt in his life about what he was and what he was doing. Your doubt is your soul, kid." Howie: We don't have as much of Howie with Jasper in this book, but mostly Connie and Howie. Howie is one of the funniest characters I've ever seen! And he doesn't let anything stop him from trying to be brave. He is, most important of all, a person who cares a lot. Cares about Jazz, about Connie. He is like that friend we know would throw himself at a train or order to save his friends. "Welcome to the game, Jasper." Welcome to the game, Kathe. This book is a labyrinth. You have the questions, you guess, you get scared. I swear, there were maybe two or three scenes (they were mostly in Connie's POV, though) that I got chills. Especially reading this at night. Isn't it a pattern? And when we were at Howie's/Connie's/Jazz's POV and something big was going to happen and the chapter ended? AND THAT END? This book didn't even seem like a book to me. I carried it around everywhere. I was so focused on it that when I reached the last page I couldn't believe I had already finished it. Like, "wasn't I in page fifty 10 minutes ago?" to discover I had been reading for hours! This one is a powerful book, for sure. And what a beautiful cover this is, isn't it? It reminded me of Billy as soon as I saw it. Another incredible aspect of this book: we get Billy's POV. We learn more about his personality and consequently, why he does what he does. How he treats Jazz, and from where Jazz's insecurities come from. A parent is someone that should be our idol, you know? But Jasper doesn't want Billy to be his idol, on the contrary. And although crazy, we also learn that Billy is genius. Be warned: This book doesn't answer half the things that are circulating in my mind right now. It makes it even more exciting to read the next one, to continue this "journey". I am in this series so deep that it's like I need to know the answers in order to go back to my routine. And at the same time, I don't want to say goodbye yet. That's how extraordinary this book/series is. This book is worth reading a thousand times, and I'm ready (I think) for the next.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    *This review is spoiler free for book 1 and this sequel!* Before I went into YA my favorite novels were criminal mysteries and serial killer type stories. Then my favorite among them were the ones dealing with profilers. There is just something incredibly fascinating about seeing how these guys can take one small and seemingly insignificant detail of a crime scene, and tell you who the killer is in the most intimate of way. Game brought back the reasons why I loved these types of books; there are *This review is spoiler free for book 1 and this sequel!* Before I went into YA my favorite novels were criminal mysteries and serial killer type stories. Then my favorite among them were the ones dealing with profilers. There is just something incredibly fascinating about seeing how these guys can take one small and seemingly insignificant detail of a crime scene, and tell you who the killer is in the most intimate of way. Game brought back the reasons why I loved these types of books; there are truly sick people in this world and it's shocking to get into their heads. True to its name, Jasper's father brings us into an exhilarating game in this fast-paced sequel. The characters I so loved in I Hunt Killers are back with just as much wit and charm as in book 1. We're privy to a few different POVs that I found worked great to bring up the intensity and intrigue: We see what every character is up to simultaneously, giving us the full 360 of this puzzle-filled plot. Jasper himself is still struggling with his own self-identity. Is he going to fall prey to his father's brainwashing ways? Does he have an underlying instinct, or need, to kill as well? His character is as compelling as it is a psychological study. I love being in his head, trying to figure him out as well. What would it be like to have been raised by the most notorious serial killer? Some kind of effed up! The side characters are not put aside either. Howie, especially, gives this book all the humour it needs and then some. This guy made me guffaw with his come-ons to Jasper's aunt. I think every single scene he appears in shows us a side of his hilarious personality; be it his amusing reasonings or creative ways to laugh at himself, you can't help but love this fella! He's also exceptionally loyal and that makes him awesome in my book! This book does in fact bring up its game when it comes to gory details. If you've read and enjoyed I Hunt Killers then you've been well prepared--though this sequel is fairly more gross than its predecessor. Several instances of disembowelments are involved, along with lots of eyeballs--even an explanation on how easy they are to remove. Some very noteworthy stuff in here! There really wasn't much difference in the gore factor than most of the adult crime thriller books I've read so it's clearly meant for more mature YA. This makes it real, though; serial killing is rarely a clean job and all. There were definitely some parts of the plot that were less realistic, however. No matter how famous of a serial killer is his father, I'm wary to believe that NYPD would start calling on a 17 year old kid to help with a case. A case that we know all along is linked to Billy Dent, but they don't, so how… convenient? There were also details that Jasper discovers in the crime scene pictures that are hard to believe competent NYPD investigators (and FBI, even) wouldn't have deciphered themselves. Fortunately these details weren't a real bother for the story, it was just a underlying fact I had to look over. For the most part it was a convincing scenario of a messed up serial killer case that became a blast to figure out. While I did predict pieces of it, I was blind to the way it all fit together until it was revealed. Oh, but I think you forgot something, Mr. Lyga! How about an ending! *sobs quietly* He truly leaves us hanging in the end, and we get two major cliffhangers that are going to make the wait extremely long for the third book! If it was a TV series, this episode would have ended with "… To Be Continued". Likely with sinister music and all that jazz! This series continues to be the perfect read for fans of Dexter everywhere! -- An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review. For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads

  14. 4 out of 5

    NAT.orious reads ☾

    Sometimes you forget how awesome a series started out and then you get back to the next book and you're just gripped from page 16 on. Jazz has just taken part in a serial-killer-hunt that kept him wide awake at night. But still, many other things are still burdening him. Billy is always in his head. Even when it's about to get very sexy with his girlfriend Connie, Billie always whispers to him. Same goes for his mother's funeral. As if this weren't enough already, all of a sudden a NYPD Officer k Sometimes you forget how awesome a series started out and then you get back to the next book and you're just gripped from page 16 on. Jazz has just taken part in a serial-killer-hunt that kept him wide awake at night. But still, many other things are still burdening him. Billy is always in his head. Even when it's about to get very sexy with his girlfriend Connie, Billie always whispers to him. Same goes for his mother's funeral. As if this weren't enough already, all of a sudden a NYPD Officer knocks on his door and asks for help. A complicated murder in the big apple simpy doesn't add up. That should be interesting, given Billy is there as well. Also, this game has more than two sides and apparently, there is not only one game played. Ready for some breath-taking murder mystery?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    Holy wow. Loved the inclusion of (view spoiler)[the Monopoly game. (hide spoiler)] Connie seems to have gone off the rails a bit and that was rather irksome, but what exactly happened at the Dent house with Howie and Sam? That whole thing went so fast, I wasn't sure even after I backed it up a couple times. (view spoiler)[Did Howie actually kill Grandma (accidentally of course) or did she just have a heart attack and collapse on the spot? I didn't think the gun was loaded. (hide spoiler)] And the Holy wow. Loved the inclusion of (view spoiler)[the Monopoly game. (hide spoiler)] Connie seems to have gone off the rails a bit and that was rather irksome, but what exactly happened at the Dent house with Howie and Sam? That whole thing went so fast, I wasn't sure even after I backed it up a couple times. (view spoiler)[Did Howie actually kill Grandma (accidentally of course) or did she just have a heart attack and collapse on the spot? I didn't think the gun was loaded. (hide spoiler)] And then Jazz and Morales, I think I rewound that bit four times so it could process in my head. It seemed a bit jarring in the beginning when I realized that the majority of this book was going to be set in New York, because after the first book I was coming to like Lobo's Nod and didn't necessarily want to be anywhere else but there, but reading this has been a nice nostalgia trip to when I visited NYC for a weekend a few years ago. We didn't make it to Brooklyn, we stayed in Manhattan and did all the touristy stuff, but we saw the Brooklyn Bridge and all of that. I love when NYC shows up in books or movies anymore because I can usually say "I WAS THERE!! :D" teehee. Ended this and IMMEDIATELY started book 3. Lyga's writing is excellent, gripping and hilarious and terrifying all at once.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Jazz, Connie and Howie in New York UPDATE: So I guess I read too deep into the blurb thingy and Howie does not tag a long to New York ): However he still plays a prominent character in the story *inserts cheering sound effect*. Just as I suspected this novel was intense, and action packed keeping you on your toes. BUT HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THINGS GREAT THIS WAS THE WORST CLIFFHANGER EVER! AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT ONE MORE WHOLE YEAR TILL I CAN READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! This was literally the definition Jazz, Connie and Howie in New York UPDATE: So I guess I read too deep into the blurb thingy and Howie does not tag a long to New York ): However he still plays a prominent character in the story *inserts cheering sound effect*. Just as I suspected this novel was intense, and action packed keeping you on your toes. BUT HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THINGS GREAT THIS WAS THE WORST CLIFFHANGER EVER! AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT ONE MORE WHOLE YEAR TILL I CAN READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! This was literally the definition of cliff hanger not for one or two of the characters but for all three. I seriously don't even know how the third book is going to pick up it's just so ARGHH LET IT BE NEXT YEAR ALREADY! Me while reading the last 30 pages or so .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Only reason I didn’t rate 4 stars was for the complete and utter lack of an ending. He practically just stopped in the middle of a sentence like Well that’s good enough, gotta save some for the next book Of course I’m going to read it when I get the opportunity since I want to know what happened, but that doesn’t make it less aggravating. One thing that really stuck out to me in this volume was how instead of the cops needing help from teenagers which was quite a stretch in the first, son of a ser Only reason I didn’t rate 4 stars was for the complete and utter lack of an ending. He practically just stopped in the middle of a sentence like Well that’s good enough, gotta save some for the next book Of course I’m going to read it when I get the opportunity since I want to know what happened, but that doesn’t make it less aggravating. One thing that really stuck out to me in this volume was how instead of the cops needing help from teenagers which was quite a stretch in the first, son of a serial killer or not, but now the cops are constantly having to put out fires the kids caused by not going to them first and trying to figure out the case by themselves. That just seems much more realistic to me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Flannery

    WARNING: THIS BOOK HAS NO ENDING. I will make another graph to go with my review of the first one shortly. WARNING: THIS BOOK HAS NO ENDING. I will make another graph to go with my review of the first one shortly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Actual rating: 4.5 Stars! -- GAH. This series is too good. And um excuse me, that ending? I need book 3, like, yesterday. Actual rating: 4.5 Stars! -- GAH. This series is too good. And um excuse me, that ending? I need book 3, like, yesterday.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah (YA Love)

    Review originally posted at YA Love I need to start off by saying that I enjoyed Game even more than I enjoyed I Hunt Killers. Barry Lyga has done an excellent job building Jazz’s character and creating an intense and thoroughly enjoyable story. It’s still gory like I Hunt Killers, so be prepared. What I liked about Game by Barry Lyga: **The mystery and thrill. The third person narrative switches from Jazz to other characters, but the best is when it focuses on the killer. I love it when murder mys Review originally posted at YA Love I need to start off by saying that I enjoyed Game even more than I enjoyed I Hunt Killers. Barry Lyga has done an excellent job building Jazz’s character and creating an intense and thoroughly enjoyable story. It’s still gory like I Hunt Killers, so be prepared. What I liked about Game by Barry Lyga: **The mystery and thrill. The third person narrative switches from Jazz to other characters, but the best is when it focuses on the killer. I love it when murder mysteries switch to this perspective because it adds an extra amount of intensity and creepiness. **Connie. I enjoyed her character in I Hunt Killers, but I love how much more we get to know her in Game. She’s smart and witty and really balances Jazz. And her bigger role in this book adds so much more to the plot. **The pacing. I took my time reading Game because I was enjoying it so much and I started it so far before the release date, but the pacing makes it a fast read. I usually had to force myself to put it down. There’s twist after twist in this story, which made it so much fun to read. **New characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but an added character midway through the story kept me on my toes. I kept second-guessing my thoughts about this character and if there was more to this person than I originally thought. **The ending. What. A. Cliffhanger! Can I have the third book now please? What I disliked about Game: **There isn’t anything I disliked about Game :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Harlee

    FIVE STARS I love it, I am loving this series!!! I am absolutely in love with Howie. He's hilarious! (view spoiler)[ Is it bad that I ship him and Sam? XD I suspected her having something to do with all of this early on but it seems like she's innocent. For now... Not only that but I genuinely like her and want her and Jazz to continue building a relationship. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] The twists and turns in this book were wonderful. My mind was constantly racing while reading trying to fi FIVE STARS I love it, I am loving this series!!! I am absolutely in love with Howie. He's hilarious! (view spoiler)[ Is it bad that I ship him and Sam? XD I suspected her having something to do with all of this early on but it seems like she's innocent. For now... Not only that but I genuinely like her and want her and Jazz to continue building a relationship. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] The twists and turns in this book were wonderful. My mind was constantly racing while reading trying to figure this all out. The conclusion Jazz comes to is certainly insane but crazy is as crazy does, right? And I just have to say; THAT END??! *screeches* I NEED MORE! (view spoiler)[ So many cliffhangers! Is Jazz's grandmother okay? Is this all some kind of ruse set up by her and Samantha? BILLY HAS CONNIE! That poor, curious, idiotic girl! Jazz is trapped in that storage unit, bleeding out, and has just discovered his mother is alive! I wanted to believe she was still alive all along but wasn't exactly sure how that would fit into the story. I'm also wondering if SHE IS UGLY J. Her name is Janice, isn't it? Maybe after living with Billy it psychologically destroyed her so she moved to New York and became some kind of leader of a serial killer gang? Why else would Billy be looking for her? I don't know, Belsamo seemed scared of whoever this Ugly J is though so if it IS Jazz's mom, that can't be good. (hide spoiler)] I was a bit worried it would take me forever to read this book since it's 500+ pages but I flew through it in about two days. I. NEED. MORE. (hide spoiler)]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Spider the Doof Warrior

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He'll never come out with the sequel to this. Watch. A meteor will fall, everyone in this book is in mortal peril and I won't be able to find out what happens because the WHOLE DAMN WORLD WILL END! THANKS A LOT! Read it again and my opinion is still AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH WTF ARRGGGGGGGG WHY MUST YOU END IT THIS WAY OH NO OH NO OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He'll never come out with the sequel to this. Watch. A meteor will fall, everyone in this book is in mortal peril and I won't be able to find out what happens because the WHOLE DAMN WORLD WILL END! THANKS A LOT! Read it again and my opinion is still AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH WTF ARRGGGGGGGG WHY MUST YOU END IT THIS WAY OH NO OH NO OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OK. Allow me to calm my tits enough to point out how awesome it is that Jazz uses his screwed up childhood against his father. It's also spectacular how Howie and Connie get together and try to give Jazz a "normal" life where he has friends who will do anything for him. Even face up to evil serial killers. But, please, please, please don't kill off Connie in the sequel. Or anyone else. But can someone read the book and tell me whether or not she survives because I'm a wuss? 12/16/14 So I reread this book and it's still very good. I love the Jazz, Connie, Howie trio as much as I love the Harry, Ron, Hermione trio. They're just such well drawn out characters. It's cool to have a hemophiliac character in a book. Howie has a great sense of humour. He's so well developed and so is Connie. I love how they support Jazz and keep him human and grounded.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    If I thought the first book in this series was something special, something dark, and twisted, and yet oh so addicting, it didn't prepare me for what this installment held. The first book had nothing on this one. This second installment proved to be every bit as delicious, dangerous, horrifying, and yet still humorous enough to make us turn the pages and demand more. It truly is a series unlike any other that I have read. Terrifying, creepy, strange, mysterious, captivating, compelling, and abou If I thought the first book in this series was something special, something dark, and twisted, and yet oh so addicting, it didn't prepare me for what this installment held. The first book had nothing on this one. This second installment proved to be every bit as delicious, dangerous, horrifying, and yet still humorous enough to make us turn the pages and demand more. It truly is a series unlike any other that I have read. Terrifying, creepy, strange, mysterious, captivating, compelling, and about a million other adjectives I could name, all packed into a story that was not only riveting but so good that I had a hard time putting down and had to stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading until I got to the very last page. A series that you will want to have all three books on hand for because you will want to pick one up right after the other. Yeah, it really is that good, that dark, and that thrilling. It will make your heart pound, your pulse jump and have you looking over your shoulder a time or two just because.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ferdy

    Spoilers I was tempted to rate this one star because the characters fucked me off that much but I decided to be generous because the writing and plot weren't actually half bad. I enjoyed the first book, I Hunt Killers, but this one was hard to get through. Though I do have to admit that the ending was pretty great… I'm not a fan of cliffhangers but I didn't mind it in this case. What's what: -Teenager Jasper 'Jazz' Dent is the son of the world's most notorious serial killer, Billy Dent. For some rea Spoilers I was tempted to rate this one star because the characters fucked me off that much but I decided to be generous because the writing and plot weren't actually half bad. I enjoyed the first book, I Hunt Killers, but this one was hard to get through. Though I do have to admit that the ending was pretty great… I'm not a fan of cliffhangers but I didn't mind it in this case. What's what: -Teenager Jasper 'Jazz' Dent is the son of the world's most notorious serial killer, Billy Dent. For some reason or another I found it hard to believe that Billy Dent was meant to be the most notorious killer that ever was. I mean, no-one can beat Jack the Ripper. I don't why but whilst I was reading I felt weirdly protective of Jack the Ripper's infamy even though I was reading fictional book. -Billy was sent to prison four years ago but for some reason wasn't executed. Maybe there was an explanation for that in I Hunt Killers but I don't remember it. -Billy used to take young Jazz out on his murders and give him advice about killing and whatnot. Basically Billy was grooming Jazz to become the perfect serial killer. Naturally this fucked up Jazz and he worries that one day he'll turn out like his dad. Most of Jazz's monologue consists of him moaning about his dad… Which I guess is understandable. -In the last book Jazz helped catch a serial killer that was imitating his dad. Well, actually Jazz didn't catch him so much so that the killer attacked Jazz and Jazz managed to get away. -Billy escaped prison at the end of book 1 and is now out in the world again. Apparently, Billy has followers/fans that worship him. Random thoughts: -The premise of Game was somewhat similar to I Hunt Killers. There's another serial killer butchering people but this time in New York and the FBI/police ask for Jazz's help to catch him. I did find the it hard to believe that the FBI and New York police dept needed Jazz's help. Even though Jazz was raised by an infamous serial killer, I seriously doubt that he'd rival the knowledge and expertise of the FBI/CSI/police/forensics. Anyway, Jazz suspects that the serial killer may have something to do with his crazy dad and chaos ensues. -I got tired of Jazz banging on about how good he was at manipulation and acting - I didn't need to keep being reminded, a few times would have sufficed. He was a smug little know it all… I really hated how big headed he was and it was off putting the way he constantly condescended those around him, and thought they were all naive. I also got annoyed at Jazz constantly worrying about turning into a serial killer. The fact that it worried him so much should have been a big clue that it wasn't in his nature. -I literally scoffed at the number of times Jazz was able to spot things that the FBI/forensics/profilers/police missed in regard to the killer/victims/crime scene. It was unrealistic and it made Jazz come across as a Gary Stu - I could have accepted Jazz being a top-notch profiler considering his upbringing but being able to out-CSI professionals was ridiculous. -I loved G. William and Howie - they were both decent characters… Although Howie pulled the most stupidest stunt based on nothing but far-fetched speculation. I am looking forward to seeing how that whole thing play…s out… I'm hoping Howie doesn't end up in jail and I'm curious what Jazz's reaction will be. I liked the addition of Jazz's aunt, Samantha. The way Jazz and Sam bonded over their fucked up family was done really well. -Connie was the BIGGEST FUCKING IDIOT that ever was. A notorious serial killer started sending her texts and told her to play with him… And does the thicko tell her parents? Does she tell the police or any adults? Does she tell Jazz? No, no and no. Why? Because she was sick of being treated like a doll. WTF?! JUST WTF?! She put herself and potentially her family in danger all because she wanted to prove that she could handle herself. I would have been fine with her wanting to prove she was capable if she wasn't endangering her life and family's by playing with a FUCKING SERIAL KILLER! Not only does she risk her life, but she also withholds evidence that could ultimately help catch a killer and prevent another poor sod from being murdered. It was just so DUMB. I refuse to believe that ANYONE in the real world who was put in Connie's situation (no matter how clever or dumb they were) would not have reported what was happening. I couldn't accept that characterization and that led to me no longer believe in her character. Connie's personality boiled down to her being an idiot and her being Jazz's girlfriend… She had no real personality of her own. I don't know why Connie put up with Jazz, all he did was whine and moan. Why did she love him so much? Oh and if Connie is killed in the next book I will flip the fuck out. I don't know why I will though because I thought she was a really poor character. -I was confused with the whole 'Ugly J' thing. Jasper figured out what it meant but then he was all 'who's Ugly J'. I didn't get how it went from 'Ugly J' being a message/warning to a person. -What's with all the female secondary characters being brutally killed off? Why can't some of the male side characters be murdered? -I found it ridiculous that the FBI agent at the end went to find a dangerous serial killer with no back up apart from a 17 yr old boy. -The possibility that Billy might not be Jasper's dad was predictable and nonsensical since we we're told that Jazz looked a lot like Billy. -I thought the 'twist' with Jazz's mum was obvious but that didn't make me like it any less. I'm looking forward to finding out what happened to Jazz's mum… I don't think she's involved in Billy's murderous ways but I do want to know why she was cool with leaving her child with a madman. -The characters told time in a weird way like 'Five of seven'.. Isn't supposed to be five past seven? Unless it's an American thing? -I really really want the third book to end with an epilogue where Jazz is hunting for his first victim/prospect. That would be amazing. I did think Game was engaging but because of the ridiculous characterizations (mainly Jazz and Connie) I didn't find it enjoyable. The ending was amazing and I'm actually really looking forward to the third book, hopefully Connie and Jazz won't be quite so insufferable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Experiment BL626

    CAUTION: major spoilers I really thought book 2, Game, would surpass its predecessor, but alas my feelings were virtually the same. In other words, for both book 1 and 2, I was entertained but I was not particularly wowed. In book 2, too many little things tugged my suspension of my disbelief. Also, the ending disappointed me, and it was not because all the plot lines ended on a cliffhanger, although that sucked too. The Characters + Jasper, the protagonist Book 2 constantly told the reader how much CAUTION: major spoilers I really thought book 2, Game, would surpass its predecessor, but alas my feelings were virtually the same. In other words, for both book 1 and 2, I was entertained but I was not particularly wowed. In book 2, too many little things tugged my suspension of my disbelief. Also, the ending disappointed me, and it was not because all the plot lines ended on a cliffhanger, although that sucked too. The Characters + Jasper, the protagonist Book 2 constantly told the reader how much of a genius Jasper was. The telling was tactless and amateurish. The story needed to let the subtext speak for itself. I also found it a little hard to believe that Jasper could have so much knowledge about forensic science. Despite all the tellings, the book didn’t do a very good job of building his character as a genius. To elaborate, Jasper’s forte lay in profiling and psychology, specifically “prospecting” and manipulating people so he can do his serial killer shit on them and successfully get away with it... if he wanted to. It was what his father taught him. In book 2, Jasper spouted off things that included bloodstain pattern analysis and crime scene reconstruction, things that I don’t ever recall his father teaching Jasper or Jasper teaching himself. Somehow, I was expected to believe that he would obviously know those things because the book said Jasper was a genius, i.e. “Jasper is a genius because I said so.” + Howie, the best friend Jasper’s sidekicks were worse. They amused me in the beginning but at the end they turned into a three-car pileup wreck. Jasper’s hemophiliac best (and only) friend, Howie, appeared only a few times, which saddened me because I liked the dude... so much that I wanted to ship him and Jasper because my friends’ fangirlism infected me. Anyway, every time Howie appeared he was portrayed as a one-track mind pervert. I get that he served as the comic relief (I do love dick jokes), but there was no substance to his character. It was like the book said “he’s not really important in book 2 so let’s not do character development.” Also, Howie always appeared conveniently. I find it very hard to believe his parents would let him out their sight after what happened in book 1 because he almost died and his parents were the definition of overprotectiveness. In book 2, Howie was there to help babysit Jasper’s grandma while Jasper was out of town and to chauffeur Connie on her ill advised quest to help Jasper. Where the hell was the parental supervision?! + Connie, the girlfriend Connie, I had to say, took the trophy for the most astounding character in book 2, which is not a compliment. The good news was that she was believable as a teenage girl. She obsessed over Jasper like any teenage girl would with her boyfriend, especially a boyfriend who is the ultimate bad boy. What can be more badass than the son of the worst serial killer in history? Nevertheless, her obsession perturbed me. A gut instinct told me that if Jasper were to snap and go serial killer, Connie would totally acquiesce to play as accomplice. Forget Jasper and his “I must not become a serial killer” mental shit, Connie was the real headcase. Here’s the bad news: Connie willfully involved herself with the serial killers, plural. Not only was Connie wack, she was TSTL. Initially, I cut her some slack because I related to her feelings of being left out and wanting to help. However, that was because I thought she would eventually come to her senses. Color me foolish but the damn girl never did and in fact walked directly and willfully into a trap. Because, hey, being kidnapped and held hostage is so passe, let’s make it easier on the bad guys and step into their trap because it’s cool. *facedesk* The Plot The plot was engaging. It always maintained a minimum level of suspense. However, the ending was disappointing... as a three-cars pileup wreck can be, one car for each character. Major Spoilers Ahoy. The same thing happened last time in book 1. Once again Jasper found himself in a weak and helpless situation and needed to be rescued. For someone who the book spent an entirety building the character as a BAMF, Jasper once again donned the Dude in Distress role. The dude tattooed “I Hunt Killers” on his chest, but he should have tattooed “Killers Hunt Me” instead. It’s more appropriate. Also, Howie may or may not have killed Jasper’s grandma in the process of taking down an alleged — ALLEGED — serial killer/serial killer accomplice. Seriously! Where the hell is the parental supervision?!! It’s not Jasper who needs CPS because his grandma is demented and thus incompetent as a guardian, it’s Howie. Connie walked directly, knowingly, and willingly — WILLINGLY — into Jasper’s father’s hands. The girl walked into the worst serial killer of history’s hands.The stupid was strong in the girl. *facewall* When facedesk is just not enough. In Conclusion I rate Game 3-stars for liked it. Surprised? Despite the issues and the facewall-inducing ending, the book entertained me, which compensated a lot. It was the equivalent of watching a great episode of a TV crime series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    imts

    "Any man worth having will wait for his woman to be ready." Warning: This review has spoilers, hidden in the spoiler tag, of both this novel and The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Oh, I should have seen that ending coming. It was so obvious; it was so very, very obvious. I mean, (view spoiler)[Jazz's mom being alive? Of course she was: there was no body, no proof that she had been killed in the first place, either by Jazz or Billy (or anyone else), and plus, the exact same thing had happened in "Any man worth having will wait for his woman to be ready." Warning: This review has spoilers, hidden in the spoiler tag, of both this novel and The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Oh, I should have seen that ending coming. It was so obvious; it was so very, very obvious. I mean, (view spoiler)[Jazz's mom being alive? Of course she was: there was no body, no proof that she had been killed in the first place, either by Jazz or Billy (or anyone else), and plus, the exact same thing had happened in The Naturals, hadn't it? The mom disappearing and everyone believing her dead, but no! She's still alive! Now I'm starting to wonder which of these two series was written first... (hide spoiler)] There was a gap of a few months or so between my reading the last book and this one, but it really felt like I had picked up exactly where I had left off, as if the previous book's details were fresh in my mind. This doesn't happen often, by the way; you should have seen me try to understand the first few pages of The Last Star, then fail miserably because I couldn't remember a word of the novels that came before it. Okay, I'm getting sidetracked; back to the point, being which this book was, of course, the perfect sequel. True, there was a bit too much that messed with my mind, (view spoiler)[and I get the feeling that this Crow stuff is definitely related to a cult (another similarity to The Naturals) and cults are really not my thing, what with all the brainwashing (hide spoiler)] hence the four stars instead of a fiver, but otherwise everything was good. From the side characters I liked Hughes a lot, and Morales was the best. I really, really need the next book. I mean, did you see that cliffhanger?!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jay G

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... 4.5/5 Stars I loved the first book in this series so was SUPER excited to dive back into this story! The concept of the game was so interesting to me and I loved watching Jasper figure it out. Although I will say that the book is very gory at some points so if you have a weaker stomach, maybe avoid this. I was able to call a few of the things that happened, but I still enjoyed the story Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer... 4.5/5 Stars I loved the first book in this series so was SUPER excited to dive back into this story! The concept of the game was so interesting to me and I loved watching Jasper figure it out. Although I will say that the book is very gory at some points so if you have a weaker stomach, maybe avoid this. I was able to call a few of the things that happened, but I still enjoyed the story none-the-less. The cliffhanger killed me, I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!! The characters are 100% what make this book so great. Howie is still my precious little cinnamon roll and I want to protect him at all costs. He is so underrated its ridiculous. The relationship between Howie and Jasper is amazing, and I love their conversations together. I liked how we got to see more of Connie's personality in this one and I liked how much she wanted to help Jazz with whatever he was going through. I love Billy, as always. He's so messed up and I love how he plays with everyone's minds. Jaspers grandmother still shines and I loved every scene with her in it. The addition of Samantha was also well-done as well! I love this series and I highly recommend it to others! I can't wait to pick up the third book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    That was a LOT of fun. Looking forward to Blood of My Blood!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)

    This. Fucking. Cliffhanger. Although the twist/cliffy was what I had guessed early on (ayyyy skepticism!), the depth of mystery re: murders was more layered than in I Hunt Killers. The additional POVs was also a nice bonus that gave a wider perspective into the psyche of all parties to this game that is Jasper Dent's life. smol howie is still fave. FULL REVIEW TO COME LATER. This. Fucking. Cliffhanger. Although the twist/cliffy was what I had guessed early on (ayyyy skepticism!), the depth of mystery re: murders was more layered than in I Hunt Killers. The additional POVs was also a nice bonus that gave a wider perspective into the psyche of all parties to this game that is Jasper Dent's life. smol howie is still fave. FULL REVIEW TO COME LATER.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kerry *Pale Daughter*

    *4.5 stars* Gah!!!! I wasn't planning on immediately diving into Blood Of My Blood but Barry Lyga left me with little choice. Game ended with three cruel cliffhangers when the author gave Jazz, Connie and Howie their own story thread towards the end of the book and then finished with each of their fates teetering on the balance. I love psychological thrillers about serial killers and this series is crazy good. *4.5 stars* Gah!!!! I wasn't planning on immediately diving into Blood Of My Blood but Barry Lyga left me with little choice. Game ended with three cruel cliffhangers when the author gave Jazz, Connie and Howie their own story thread towards the end of the book and then finished with each of their fates teetering on the balance. I love psychological thrillers about serial killers and this series is crazy good.

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