Friday, January 9, 2015

And so the killing ends

Don't you just hate it when a book series with characters whom you've grown attached to finally ends? That's how it is when I turned the final page of the 3rd book of Barry Lyga's fantastic trilogy I Hunt Killers. The final installment, Blood of My Blood, is my 2nd read for 2015. And boy did it deliver.

For some reason, I can't help but think of the trilogy's protagonist as a uber handsome teenager with all the angst and grit that goes with being the son of America's most dangerous serial killer. I grew to love Jasper Dent. He's very grounded. Lyga makes the Jazz's character very realistic that you keep on going back to the time when you were at that age and had the same issues.

The I Hunt Killers trilogy is basically a cat-and-mouse story. Would Jazz finally be able to help the authorities catch his evasive serial killer of a father, Billy Dent, who's murderous spree spans several years? Would Jazz be the one himself to kill his father? What about Jazz's mother? Is she somehow involved in all this gore?

Blood of My Blood tied everything together and gave a truly satisfying ending to the nail-biting story. Yes, there were even a couple of mind-blowing twists to what the reader may have believed from the start. And I'm thankful that Lyga didn't proceed with the idea that Billy Dent may not be the father of Jazz after all. Having that premise would just mess up the notion that it's impossible to escape the things that your family imposes on you, genetic or otherwise.

Read this one during the first day of the year,
literally while the fireworks were still ongoing after 12 mn.
That's my just-got-out-of-bed look.
However, I would have liked to have read more of Jazz's best friend, Howie, in the final installment. That's one quirky character. I loved that teenage hemophiliac. Unfortunately, his character becomes a minor one. Blood of My Blood, after all, is the book that needs to have all the Dent family at center stage.

I highly recommend the series to people who are into thrillers. Looking back though, the series isn't just about that. It's a coming-of-age tale too. In Blood of My Blood, Jazz confronts his family, really see the evil that they have done, and learns that he does have free will. His name will forever be tied with his family, but that is not all that defines him. You really can't choose your family, but you can choose to go a different way.

Read this book if:
  1. You've seen The Silence of the Lambs at least 7 times.
  2. You've wanted to kill a family member at some point.
  3. You love thrillers.


Jack said...

Oh, do I feel you! I reveled in the Drizzt saga, 24 books over 25 years, plus 8 spinoff novels. Short version: Drizzt was an elf. He began with four friends, two humans, a dwarf, and a Halfling. I don't think the author expected the books to achieve any great longevity because due to the different lifespans of the characters, Drizzt was the only one remaining alive by the end. He experimented with allowing him to collect some new friends, but these proved unsatisfactory to fans, the author, or both, and fell by the wayside. In the last book that I read, he resurrected, via rebirth/reincarnation, the original friends as babies with all of their memories intact.

Never have I felt so cheated. The only thing I can think of that is remotely comparable is when Superman reversed time after Lois died so he could go back and save her, but even that was only one event in one movie. The end result is that I won't start a series now until it's finished, and will even seek out spoilers to ensure myself that the end is satisfactory, and the time won't be a total waste, as this was. Thanks, Drizzt (by which I obviously mean the author). He may take that series on to greatness, but I won't be along for the ride. Note to aspiring authors: Even fans of a quarter-century's loyalty can be driven away if a dramatic choice is outrageous enough.

Peter S. said...

Wow! 24 books in 25 years! I don't think I will ever have that stamina, Jack!

Jack said...

You may, at some point, and I hope you do. It's a hell of a ride. I came late to the series, and only invested about a decade in the 24 books, but if an author can strike that chord that resonates within you, you'll read anything he offers, and beg for more... Right up until he does something you see as a betrayal. Resurrecting the old characters, all of whom had had their dramatic death scenes, been mourned, buried, and lived on in the memories of others seemed like the emotional betrayal of an author who was creatively bankrupt. When the series takes you as high as this one took me, the fall is long, and the crash devastating. That said, I wouldn't not have read the 24 good ones for anything. I hope you find your Drizzt. The feeling is indescribable!