Book Review: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book Review: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn BarnesKiller Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Disney Hyperion on 2014-11-06
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Law & Crime, Young Adult
Source: ARC from Publisher
Goodreads
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A young girl has been murdered, her body displayed on the front lawn of her university campus. The killing is vicious - and terrifyingly familiar. Someone is copying the methods of one of the country's most infamous serial killers: Dean's father. Back at the Naturals HQ, Cassie, Dean, Michael, Lia and Sloane are dealing with a new FBI agent - and Agent Sterling is determined to keep them out of trouble. But Dean knows too much about his father's crimes not to get involved, and his fellow Naturals won't let him face this alone. But as the bodies mount up, the Naturals find themselves in a deadly dangerous race against time...

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ONCE AGAIN Barnes knocked it out of the park for me!!

I read THE NATURALS this past week then immediately started KILLER INSTINCT. This sequel picks up not too long after THE NATURALS ends and I was quickly engrossed in this story just like I was in the first book. I absolutely love this group of characters so I was excited to dive right in with Cassie, Dean, Michael, Sloane, and Lia once again. This time the group gets thrown into a case where someone is copying Dean’s dad’s serial killer MO. While the group does have trouble being allowed to actively be involved with this case due to the new agent, Sterling, that definitely does not keep them away. 

One of my favorite things about thriller books are the fact that they keep me guessing, I’m on edge, and have the hardest time putting them down. This one did not disappoint in those areas at all. I was constantly trying to figure out Daniel Redding and who was doing the killings that were happening. I had SEVERAL suspects while reading, some were right; some were definitely WAY off base. But the point was I never knew 100% and that’s what I NEED when reading a book like this. I also could easily feel like I was part of the book. It was very natural to slip into Cassie’s mind and see the things she was seeing, and feel the things she felt. I was also picking through all the clues just as much as the characters were and then trying to force myself not to skip ahead just to see if I was right. (Honestly, I ended up reading holding a piece of paper over anything past the line I was on.) 

At the end of THE NATURALS, Michael told Cassie to take some time and decide how she felt about Dean and him so she could “choose between them”. HONESTLY I’m not so much a fan of this triangle scenario being played out in these books. It’s one of those cases that I feel like it’s just kind of there for no point. I REALLY feel like Cassie and Dean have a really strong connection and that they just mesh really well. They have actually gotten to know each other, and told each other some of their darkest secrets. On the other hand with Michael, there has been some flirting, but I mean that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Michael, he cracks me up to no end, but I’m REALLY hoping to see him and Lia together. They just fit in my opinion. Now for all of those that aren’t fans of the triangles at all, rest assured that this one is a very, VERY little side story going on, it definitely doesn’t take over the book or the plot at all. 

There were definitely some dark turn of events in the end and the last 50 pages I think I read faster than any other part of the book. I’m REALLY hoping there will be more books after this one, I think the ending kind of leaves it open for more. (I would also love for The CW gods to hear my plea and make this into a show, because it would definitely appeal, as would these books, to the ever faithful Veronica Mars fans.) I can’t recommend this book enough if you are a fan of thrillers!

Five  what the heck is happening emojis!

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About Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She'll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

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Tell us what you think of the book or my review in the comments below!

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