Thursday, June 11, 2015

Teen review: Sequel, Serial Killers

Killer Instinct, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, is a 375-page book filled with mystery, murder, and a thrilling chase to stop a serial killer. It is the second book in The Naturals series. In this book, 17-year-old Cassie Hobbes is part of an elite FBI program using teens who possess unique skills useful for solving FBI cases. Aside from Cassie, there are four other teenagers in the program. However, of the teenagers in the program, Dean is the one most connected to the recent case involving a serial killer. The serial killer’s motive is not to be recognized for his own method of killing. Instead, this serial killer is imitating the distinct and legendary killing style of Dean’s incarcerated father, Daniel Redding. Throughout the book we follow FBI agents and this group of highly gifted teenagers in their attempt to solve their most difficult case yet! In addition, as if solving a murder case wasn’t difficult enough, the case is filled with twists and turns that make a solution seem almost unfeasible.

The book was very entertaining and fun. My favorite elements of the book have to be the pages written from a killer’s point of view that illustrate what the killer is thinking and feeling as he/she commits crimes. This detail definitely made the story more exciting without being too violent or disturbing. In addition, I really appreciated that actual facts and statistics were used to make the investigation throughout the book feel real. My last favorite detail of this book was the unexpected plot twist. However, I was not very fond of the main character, Cassie, whose actions felt repeatedly predictable. Nevertheless, it was a compelling read and I would rate it 3 out of 5 stars. I hope others will enjoy it too.

Reviewed by Melody, grade 11

Editor's note: We read the first book, The Naturals, in 8+9 Book Club, and it was rated 8.75 out of 10. We're hoping Ms. Barnes writes a third!

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