Game (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga


Rating – 2 stars.

She screamed. Her screaming was beautiful. But, truth be told he missed the crying.

To say I was excited at the prospect of reading ‘Game’ Barry Lyga’ second book in the Jasper Dent series would be an apt description of what my state of mind was when I picked up this sequel to Lyga’ insanely amazing first book in the series I Hunt Killers, which I had enjoyed tremendously and have reviewed it here.

So when I read the above mentioned quote on the first page of the book itself, naturally the bookworm within me jumped with joy thinking Yes! this is gonna be one helluva ride. Unfortunately as it happens in instances like these, there was a crash.

Lyga continues Jasper’ saga in this book after the events of the earlier book. So Jasper is still dealing with the repercussions of his so-insane-he-is-kind-of-a-genius serial killer dad escape from prison, while he handles a crazy grandmother at home, deals with his schools and studies, pays a visit to The Impressionist, a psycho groupie of his dad, all the while healing from the trauma he underwent physically at the end of the earlier book. Not to mention, he is trying to put a lid on his emotional and mental scars. Again. And Oh! While at it he is also tackling the issues that plagues every human being that walks the face of this earth once he/she hits puberty – Hormones & Sex. 

Yes Jasper Dent is having an eventful life. So far so good.

However the first instance of craziness (not his dad’ kind!) pops up when a detective from the homicide department of the NYPD knocks on Jazz’ door to seek his help to nab the new serial-killer on the loose in Brooklyn. Because people can totally buy that, right?

This guy  goes by the name of the Hat-Dog Killer. Yeah the name so does speak of class doesn’t it? Not to mention of the terror it invokes.

For those who didn’t get what I am implying in the above sentence.

So, naturally Jazz for all his protest cannot stop himself from going ahead and agreeing to help the mighty NYPD. After all he has a tattoo now that declares  he hunts killers………..

Anyway, Jazz lands up in NY and turns out not just the NYPD but also the Feds are involved in the investigation. Hence while Jazz is playing the super sleuth that he is, his hemophiliac friend Howie has been assigned the duty to babysit Grandma with the help of Jazz’ aunt Samantha, who makes an appearance in this novel. 

To add cherry to the pie Jazz’ girlfriend decides to spring up in NY too so they could have that much awaited booty call  that’s been on their to-do list for a while now but so not happening.

Nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs a stress buster, and what can be more stressful than trying to nab a serial killer? May be running a household in this economy but we don’t have to explore that here.

From there on I don’t think I want to even delve into what this book further holds. Because yes, in a one-off instance as was the case in the earlier book I could understand how Jazz was brought on into a police investigation. But this one is literally too far fetched. 

I get it Jazz is a genius and all and has a wicked dad who could be called as the Antichrist himself based on his record but seriously? A teenager helping NYPD & the FBI nab a serial killer???!!! Yeah so totally possible, huh? 

Does having an insight into your crazy father’ mind guarantee a nobel prize as well? Because some geniuses have been branded crazy at first.

So the thrill. mystery, horror and all that I was looking forward to in this book goes down the drain the instant Jazz is summoned. 

Honestly I would have had a jolly good time if the books were rather centered around William Cornelius ‘Billy’ Dent rather than his son and his Scooby gang. The man is a freaking nightmare on the loose. And that’s exactly where lies his appeal. But Lyga kinda ruined that here as well.

The last time I read him I just had this image of James Purefoy’ character Joe Carroll from The Following, pop into my head. This time ugh.. I am confused about what got into Lyga.

The lure of IHK was Billy to me, not a bunch of teenage sleuths and to my dismay this book was ruined by the said gang. Connie is all horny and if not horny rather dumb, Howie is hitting on Samantha which even Jazz finds a little disturbing and Jazz is well Jazz.

The rating is divided on this basis – 0.5 stars for the good beginning, 0.5 stars for knocking off an insane character in an insane way & 1 star for the humor that was the only consistent factor in this installment.

If I think she’ hot and it turns out she’s a psychopath, then what does that say about me? I’m totally not ready for that kind of therapy.

As it’s clear I find this one a complete  letdown from the earlier book, wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone. 


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