I was gonna give this a 4. Yet this tingling feeling of pride said, ‘you take out that one star!’
This is the 2nd book of the trilogy. Check my review of the first book.
Was there any reminiscing going on to link the first book and this one? Only a little. I hate to read a lot of back tracks.
Anyway so the setting was New York. Bigger. A serial killer (not Dent) was on the lose, doing a gruesome art for all the world to see. Let’s call in the son of the most wanted serial killer to fix the problem! Great! I disliked Hughes (NYPD) from the start. And I thought he was the serial killer! Let me just pinpoint the good parts and the bad parts: (in my opinion)
The Good: Oh goodie, another young adult genre, which is not bad. BUT may become ugly if the young adult main character acts like an…. adult. Points for this because Jasper Dent was awesomely a real teenager! He made a lot of mistakes along the way and it was okay; it was how teens should be. He felt hormonal, cocky, resigned and everything! When he thought he could manipulated people then UTTERLY FAILED, it was a sentiment I share. Jazz was also a stubborn guy! Like all guys in his age, it was totally acceptable. He doesn’t think much about the repercussions because he’s have them piling up like a mountain already. What’s another one to heighten up that mountain?
Jasper, with all the dialogues running in his head with his father; the cryptic details of the past and the childhood story about the Crow King! Well, there’s nothing I can tell about it, since I don’t have a clue either. Let’s not forget Connie too! She played a big role to the thrill of the book. She was playing another game here that Jasper wasn’t on. And I loved how she was getting more and more important. It would NEVER do to have a fainting girlfriend and Connie was not a china doll easily breakable!
The Bad: Oh dear me, my pride can’t take the big hit. Naturally, when I read solve-the-crime books, I like to try solving them too, getting to conclusions myself.
But in this book (or maybe I was just reading too fast, my comprehension and solving-problem area of my brain couldmkeep up), I can’t. I was just a spectator, someone from the outside looking in. I ACTUALLY DON’T GET THE CLUES. Even Connie figured out some of them. Me? Nilch. So we have some evidences at hand, some pattern. Then what? Nothing to connect them. And when Jazz put in the ‘board game’ thing dating its origins from 1903 (go search what board game this is!), it was hopeless! He already figured it out without participating the other clues! Just a chosen few. I mean, information overload and Jazz had them filtered almost immediately (not quite fast, but gosh)! In the end I was thinking, “You can’t solve it, just finish the book.” Suddenly, it all ends with a hanging twist like *spoiler* “Mommy is alive? And aunt, where are you going?”
Another bad: The cops and the feds! Because of the constant ritual of Jazz talking to Billy in his head, I’d like to describe them as pretty much useless, though it’s not their fault since *spoiler* They ACTUALLY did get the Hat killer, and Jasper went, “not him.” Points for the cops, None for Jazz. Hughes admitted his failure, that’s why he called Jasper for help, and also acts as Jasper’s a-semi-parent. Hughes as a police? Fine. Hughes as a detective? I don’t think so.
The Best: Don’t freak, but I liked how the murders panned out. It was organized and complicated at the same time. *spoiler* There were 2 killers! Not one! It was yuck to the highest level. It was insane for the killing to be treated as a competition. Like I mentioned; a board game, you take turns to do…what you have to do. Surprisingly, you don’t know who and how many the other players are, you just know that they’re there with you and they’re waiting for their turns to play. A clever twist, especially given some chapters with only 1-2 pages! As Jasper had reached his final deductions, I was saying to myself, “Oh mr. author, this was cool! If only it didn’t include blood, guts, death and penises!” Believe me, I was grossed out.
This should be your indication to READ the trilogy, despite all the negativity I just told you.