Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: Game by Barry Lyga

Monday, May 27, 2013
Game (Jasper Dent, #2)
*If you have not read I Hunt Killers, this review may contain spoilers.*

Genre: Murder Mystery
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Series: Jasper Dent #2
Source: Bought
When a desperate New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz's door asking for help with a new case, Jazz can't say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple--and its police force running scared with no leads. So Jazz and his girlfriend Connie hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer's murderous game.
Meanwhile, Jazz's dad Billy is watching...and waiting.
Summary from Goodreads. 
If you're in the mood for a book with high stakes, a killer (pun intended) mystery, and tons of suspense, you need to read Game. Because if Game is any indicator of the rest of the series, the Jasper Dent books are just going to keep getting better and better.

There's just so much about these books to love (yes, even more than the "blood" spattered covers). Lyga's mind must be one awesomely twisted place, because he's created such fascinating and chilling characters. Billy "Dear Old Dad" Dent is one such character, and the only thing creepier than Real Life Billy is the Billy in Jasper's head. His commentary throughout the novel is enough to make your stomach turn. It also proves that Lyga's done his research on serial killers.

If Papa Dent doesn't do it for you, though, there's also the Hat-Dog Killer terrorizing NYC. Consequently, the body count is much higher in Game, and it's a lot bloodier (but if your stomach could handle I Hunt Killers, you should be okay). If you're planning on reading a serial killer mystery, you probably already suspected this, which means that Game will be the terrifying, enrapturing mystery you're looking for.

But there are other characters of the non-serial-killer variety who deserve praise, especially Connie. I really liked her in I Hunt Killers, but now she's one of my absolute favorite characters. Connie won't let anything hold her back; she's smart, confident, and (for the most part) reasonable. There is more than one instance in Game that I wanted to pump my fist in the air over how cool this girl is. As always, Howie is on standby for a goofy  (but undoubtedly hilarious) quip, but even he develops into a braver version of himself. And then there's Jazz, whose growth is done so subtly and perfectly that it feels absolutely natural. Lyga captures all the insecurity, excitement, and fear that exist throughout young adulthood, making this not only a dramatic mystery novel, but a coming-of-age story, too.

What else is there to say about Game? Well, the atmosphere is spot-on; it's like the book equivalent of all your favorite TV crime dramas. Some parts of the mystery aren't too difficult to figure out, but then there are other aspects of it that will leave you groping in the dark. I have no idea what Lyga has planned for the next installment, but I sure as hell can't wait to find out.

Fair warning: There are not one, not two, but THREE cliffhangers at the end of Game. They're the type of cliffhangers that leave you breathless, so as someone who loves them, it was an awesome move. As someone who has to wait (approximately) another year to read the next book, Lyga is a cruel, cruel author.
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "He had no idea how to act. How did people talk to their relatives when their relatives weren't sociopaths or extreme-level seniles?"
Will you be reading Game? (Because you really, really should.)


  1. THREE cliffhangers!? OH no... This is sitting on my shelf and I'm so excited to read it, but three cliffhangers?

    1. It's completely worth it. When you pick GAME up, you won't be able to put it down. :)

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