Game (I Hunt Killers, Book 2) Review
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In the young adult thriller I Hunt Killers, author Barry Lyga introduced Jazz Dent, a teenage boy who’s determined to prove that he’s nothing like his father, serial killer Billy Dent. After helping the police in his small town of Lobo’s Nod track a serial killer known as the Impressionist, he’s on to bigger things in the follow-up, Game.

Game picks up a few months after the Impressionist’s arrest—and Billy’s escape from prison. When Jazz gets a visit from a New York City detective during his school’s winter break, he doesn’t need to ask why. A serial killer known as the Hat-Dog Killer is terrorizing New York—and Detective Hughes wants Jazz to help with the investigation.

Jazz travels to the Big Apple, hoping to stop the killer before any more innocent people have to die. But he soon finds himself caught up in a dark and deadly game—one that reaches all the way back to Lobo’s Nod to include his two best friends, too.

  
 
In the second book in this dark and twisted series, the action escalates—along with the stakes. With Billy on the loose, it’s only a matter of time before he’ll work his way back into Jazz’s life—instead of simply haunting his thoughts and dreams. The closer he gets, the more his gruesome lessons occupy Jazz’s thoughts—and as Jazz ventures outside his small town, he realizes how easy it would be to lose control and end up following in Dear Old Dad’s footsteps. His growing fears make him all the more determined to use his knowledge for good instead of evil—to get inside the Hat-Dog’s head and bring an end to his killing spree.

Meanwhile, as Jazz travels to New York, his story grows and expands, reaching different parts of the country, adding new characters, and even offering new perspectives. More than just Jazz’s story, it’s his friends’ story, too. It’s about Jazz’s investigation in New York, but it’s also about his best friend, Howie, trying to hold down the fort in Lobo’s Nod while Jazz’s girlfriend, Connie, gets pulled into a deadly game of her own. And while that sometimes takes the focus away from the book’s fascinating main character, it also adds to the scope as the story builds not to a satisfying conclusion (as in I Hunt Killers) nor to a thrilling cliffhanger but to three cliffhangers, leaving the young characters in such precarious positions that you’ll be desperate to pick up the third book in the series, to see what will happen next for Jazz and his friends.

With its new location, new stakes, and new angles, Game is every bit as smart and gripping as its predecessor—and its story is even more solid. So if you enjoyed I Hunt Killers as much as I did, you won’t want to miss the heart-pounding follow-up.


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