I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
Published by Simon Pulse on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, YA
Source: Simon & Schuster
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She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.
Because she might be one herself.
Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...
Well poo! Where do I even start?
I guess at Lane. Her characterization felt as if it was based on a bullet point list. Let’s build a serial killer, shall we?
-She has to be quiet. Check.
-She should show a lack of emotion, especially uncaring of romance and sex. Check.
-She should have
a dark passenger an internal “kill” itch. Check.
-She should be awkward, blunt, and kind of an outsider. Check.
-She should have a hidden dark past. Check.
So ok, that’s all things we “know” about her, but only because she tells us. Several times. In reality, she comes off as a flat, one dimensional character with a lot of inconsistencies in her personality. For instance she keeps saying how much she dislikes her sister and is indifferent towards Zach but when she’s threatened with their well being she’s heartbroken to the point of it clouding her judgment. She’s also so skinny her nickname is Slim, yet she takes down gunned men, rapists, and animal torturers by herself. Yeah yeah, she takes aikido classes or whatnot, but that was nothing but a weak attempt of added detail to try and make this realistic.
The plot itself is full of conveniences, randomness, and more unrealism. It felt as if Lane was living through episodes of a generic crime TV series where new cases land in their lap each week, then filed away when credits roll. Except… Lane is a teenage girl, not in the CSI. Let’s see: A quarter through the book this housekeeper we’d never heard of arrives at Lane’s house with a missing brother who was being brought over from El Salvado. Next thing you know Lane is a savior for sex trade victims, then we never hear of this woman again. Afterwards (or maybe it was before) we have a sudden mention of a fundraiser for a family who lost their house due to arson and… wait for it…
*Spider man.. Spider-Man does whatever a spider can*
We go through several of these randomly occurring crime-solving adventures throughout the story. Also, her nickname for her superhero persona is the Masked Savior. *Snort*
-A best friend who’s a hacker to such epic degree she even hacks into the FBI database. *High five*
-A mother and step-father both in the FBI. (How else would she be made privy to such confidential information. Aside from the best friend who finds all of the missing info needed, of course.)
-A genetic explanation for her killer urges. Because that’s how it works.
-An ex who comes into the story (again with the random) just to be annoying.
-A serial killer of 14 years sending texts to Lane which include txtspeak and things like “I GET IT. I’M ANNOYING U. GOOD.” when she doesn’t respond.
And drum roll for this next one….
–“I whip around and take [their] head off with one slice.”
Nothing that this story introduces is even interconnected: Her job at the vet, her weird relationship with the doctor, the fling – or whatever this is – with Zach, his psychotic ex, her sister’s sexual endeavors… It all feels so out of place. Then the big reveal at the end, while I didn’t expect that person to be the guilty one (small props for that) it still left me bored. It was a good attempt at an exciting plot and the writing itself isn’t bad, but, aside from its poor execution, it lacked the psychological depth this kind of story needs. Overall, it was a huge disappointment.
I recommend you stick to Dexter.
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