Thursday, February 20, 2014

Women in Horror: Killer Instinct

Lane is a typical teen: part of the gifted and talented organization at school, volunteers at the local animal shelter, takes martial arts lessons, and blessed with a loving family. Her dark secret is that she’s obsessed with serial killers because she feels she might be one. She isn’t killing yet, but channels her urges into catching relatively small time criminals and providing evidence of their guilt when the law fails. A real serial killer comes to town, known as the Decapitator, and Lane is fascinated and tries to dig up all she can on this prolific killer. That fascination ends when she is contacted by the Decapitator and her family is threatened. Can Lane outsmart the Decapitator and save her family?

Killer Instinct is like a teenage girl version of Dexter, but follows the Dexter mold a bit too much. Lane is a bit of an uneven character like Dexter. Despite claiming to be sociopathic, they both deeply care for their families and significant others and fight to save them. They both experienced a bloody trauma in their childhoods and they both have serial killer relations. They both decide to target criminals that would otherwise go free instead of random people. Other than that, I found Lane to be a fun protagonist. She’s blunt and very logical, which is a refreshing change from most YA female narrators. Romance is present, but doesn’t overpower the story. She approaches sex as a curiosity instead of something momentous and hugely significant. Some might find the book too explicit for teens, but I did not. I find it refreshing to see some evidence of female sexuality in teen books, when it is typically glossed over or more attributed to their partners.

The plot is fun, exciting, and fast paced. Like Dexter, there are conveniently a lot of criminals walking around Lane’s hometown. When I suspend my disbelief about Lane’s best friend’s hacking skills, the ineptitude of local police when they fail to recognize that her car was at every single vigilante scene, and the prevalence of criminals, I enjoyed the story. The writing really draws you in and I read the book in less than a day. Despite its flaws, I needed to know what happened and I constantly flipped through different theories in my mind when I had to do other things. The ending twists like crazy and I didn’t see it coming at all. I'm still reeling from the revelation.

Killer Instinct has just too many similarities to the Dexter TV show, but manages to be an enjoyable read on its own. I would definitely read the next book in the series. The ending is quite traumatic and I am interested to see the effects on Lane and her family in the future.  

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

No comments: