Friday, March 1, 2013

Jen's Thoughts: Game by Barry Lyga

Goodreads Summary: 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.

I said this in my review of I Hunt Killers, but I am balls to the wall serious (if I may say that in the most ladylike fashion possible): BARRY LYGA WTF HOW DO YOU WRITE SO TWISTED? The sequel to I Hunt Killers has completely blown my mind and reduced me to a whimpering child with the "wha? huh? what the fuuu?"

  • Jazz, Connie, and Howie are back and better than ever. They're the three best friends that anyone could have, and MAN, they have indescribable chemistry. These characters play off one another so effortlessly, and the best part? It doesn't feel contrived at all. It's so natural. Howie has to be, hands down, my favorite character. Aside from Gramma, whose descent into senility is both comical and saddening. 
  • Poor, poor Jazz. He struggles even more with his identity as Jasper Dent vs. Billy Dent's son in Game, and it raises the stakes as far as his capabilities as the hunter of killers. It was a sick, twisted pleasure to be in his mind as he fought off the Billy in his brain. The dude is so charming, but is it because that's who he is or is it because he's a born killer? The back and forth killed me and made me SO uncomfortable. Because I'll tell you what: if Jasper Dent tried to charm teenage Jen, I would totally fall for it. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME? In fact, I'm really lucky that my husband didn't turn out to be a serial killer, because he's the most charming person I've ever met.
  • The twists are turns are so much twistier in GAME. My mind was rampant trying to hypothesize who is doing what and what's their motive. I thought I had it figured out. I THOUGHT SO BADLY. But Barry Lyga totally one-upped (or five-upped) me and I was all wrong, wrong wrong. I had completely plausible rationales behind my guesses, too. But I love that I was wrong. (Shout out to Tara, who was the recipient of all my crazy "I KNOW WHO DUNNIT" text messages.)
  • The murders are absolutely grotesque. Even worse than in I Hunt Killers. The crazy person in me loves that Barry Lyga was able to successfully give me nightmares even during a two-hour afternoon nap. Your stomachs will be turning, people. Prepare yourselves.
  • Billy Dent is quietly horrifying. And he's back and worse than ever. 

  • That cliffhanger. My blood pressure cannot handle it.  I can't think of anything else at all right now. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. (And this isn't even a lowlight. I'm just grasping for straws, here. I have not one single gripe about this book.)

Wrapping It Up

If you have a strong stomach, a love for the dark and twisted, and a heart that can handle stroke-level blood pressure, then Game will not disappoint. And if you haven't read I Hunt Killers, you need to do so immediately. I cannot express to you my love (and simultaneous horror) toward this incredible series. Barry Lyga, you scare the actual hell out of me. I couldn't be more pleased.

 Got it Covered

I wouldn't change one single thing about this cover. The black and red are ominous and the dice? PERFECT.

Game will be published on April 16, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Hardcover, 528 pages.
I received an e-galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Oh, man, I can't wait. What's under the dust cover of the book? Any more blood and gore? Great review.

  2. I liked the first book in this series, but didn't love it. I think it was one scene that really turned me off. BUT I might give this one a go. I listened to the audiobook, which was super creepy!

    Great review, Jen!

  3. Review twins!! I don't even know what to expect in book #3--my brain won't be able to handle it. <3 your texts and can't wait to do it again!

  4. Eeee, I am averting my eyes at this review--I just started this and am SO excited! From the brief glimpses I saw on Twitter, I'm guessing you enjoyed it, though. Yay!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  5. Bahahahah I tell Tony everyday that I am glad he's not a serial killer otherwise I would be up shiz creek without a paddle.

    Dude cannot wait to get time to read THE GAME. Glad it is as awesome as I Hunt Killers.


  6. I'm so glad you loved this one! Game is one of my most anticipated books of 2013. I Hunt Killers was so amazing.

  7. This sounds terrifying and creepy in the best possible way! I love the friendship dynamic that exists between Jazz and Howie, so I'm glad to see that that's maintained in Game.

  8. So many of these books fall off with the second book but not this one. I do believe this is better then the first one. Billy Dent, killer extreme. is up to his usual type of evil with a modern twist in the Big Apple. Jazz,(Billy) his teenage son,is called in to help with the hunt of a killer who the police have named Hat Dog.While looking into the over the top killings that seem to worsen as the killer goes uncaught,Jazz finds evidence that his father may be involved,the chase is then on.I like the side kicks that have been brought into the story.------ Side note ---LOVE the new (to me) words the writer brings into the story.

    Irene (TeakaToys)

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