Category Archives: Little Brown and Co

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co
Release date: April 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Jasper Dent #1

What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could–from the criminal’s point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret–could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Holy freaking cow, I can honestly say I have never read a book like this. Adult thrillers have never really interested me, I got my fill of those watching shows like NCIS or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. And I hadn’t originally intended on reading this book. But I kept seeing it around the blogosphere and thought why not.

This is the creepiest book I’ve ever read. And the creepiness starts even before you start reading, because under the dust jacket is a figure outlined in blood splatter. The people in this book were awesome. And like Jazz’s mantra, people matter people are real, they were indeed real. My favorite had to be Howie, Jazz’s best friend. He gets dragged along on all the crazy things Jazz needs to do to find this serial killer, and never really complains about it, or even when stuff starts to really hit the fan, doesn’t run away from it. And he brings some humor to the story, which is much needed when reading about something so serious. Connie, the girlfriend, was awesome too, if maybe a tad bit unrealistic. I don’t know how many girls would really be able to fall in love with someone who was raised by a serial killer. But she also sticks by Jazz and doesn’t run, and I commend her for that.

What I love most about this book though was trying to get into the mind of a serial killer, try to know what they think they’re doing and why they’re doing it. That’s always been fascinating to me, because I myself cannot even begin to comprehend taking someone’s life, and when I think about it it’s incredibly horrifying. But obviously people who do these things think differently and I’ve always wanted to know how they can have so little respect for life. If I thought I was good enough I’d even to join the FBI to help find people like this try to get into their minds. If not for the fact that I was completely surprised by who the serial killer turns out to be, I’d probably be doing that job.

I don’t give ratings on the blog, but I do on sites like Goodreads and Shelfari to help remind me in the future how much I like these books, since things fade over time. I gave this book 5 stars, but hesitantly only because of how disturbing the subject matter is. But the author did an awesome with the writing and bringing his characters to life. I would love to see a sequel for this, since the ending was left open for one. I definitely want to know what happens to Jazz after the events of I Kill Hunters.

Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release date: April 17, 2012
Source: Purchased

It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA’s unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space–and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band’s ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it’s her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space… no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

I was bored for the first half of this book. I didn’t think I’d end up liking it at all, which was sad since I had really been looking forward to this. By the end though it was okay, but only because it did manage to creep me out. Seriously, the second half was so creepy.

For the most part, the book seemed choppy. Back and forth between different characters every single chapter and it was sometimes hard to tell who’s POV you were reading at first. And even though we’re given information about the characters, I still didn’t connect for some reason. I didn’t feel for them.

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of tension building. The cover hints at something ominous, as does a chapter here or there throughout the first half of the book, and yet tension still wasn’t building for me. Not until they actually got to the moon and then it was like BAM everything happening all at once. First slow pacing and then super fast pacing. The last third of the book was extremely creepy, but still left me a little confused. One critical question I had was never answered as far as I can tell so I don’t even know how the end came about really.

Overall, I think for me at least something may have just gotten lost in the translation of this book. I think it would have maybe been better as a movie instead of a book. I would suggest borrowing this if you’re interested in reading it.

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown, & Company
Release date: September 27, 2011
Source: Around the World Tours
Format: Hardback, 432 pages
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I’ll admit the first thing that drew me to this book back when I first saw in it in some BEA In My Mailbox posts was the cover. And then the title. I don’t think I actually read the summary until I was holding this book. And even then it was yes please! Daughter of Smoke & Bone has tied with A Beautiful Dark for absolute favorite reads of 2011.

First off, this is one of those few books that actually makes the atmosphere its own character. I loved the descriptions of places and people. Each destination described had it’s own feel to it. And I loved that the first half was mainly set in our world, and then the second half set for the most part in the other world. I’m sorry, but you don’t often find worldbuilding this good in YA fantasy, in my own opinion.

The story itself was awesome as well. I became very attached to all the characters, even though some weren’t seen for more than half the book. I’m extremely eager to know what happens to them in the sequel though. Karou and Akiva’s romance was whirlwind and somewhat sudden, but honestly I didn’t mind this time. Especially since there’s a reason for it. Which blew my mind, I was not expecting what was revealed. There is even a part in the book that explains the title, which was nice. Every now and then I sometimes find a book where the title doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone is not your average paranormal/angel book. Laini Taylor has definitely crafted a unique and gripping story that will leave you wanting the sequel the minute you finish it. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the next one, and I recommend that anyone who loves fantasy read this now.