Review: Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2)Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Page Count: 386
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

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Even though this is only the second book, I'm finding this series to be quite enjoyable!

Killer Instinct picked up shortly after the first book ended. The 5 teen 'Naturals' were still dealing with the aftermath of events from the first book when a new agent comes in and takes over. She's not impressed with the program and makes her displeasure known to all. Since the kids are only supposed to work cold cases, they quickly become bored and look for ways to break the rules. The 5 secretly involved themselves when a new FBI case comes to their attention - a serial killer who may be copycatting Dean's father.

Things are stepped up from the first book, and when the kids officially become more involved in the investigation the drama and intensity gets ramped up. Once again, the killings take a personal turn and the kids must lean on each other for support.

This time the focus of the story has shifted somewhat onto Dean. Since the story is told from Cassie's POV, I had a hard time figuring out what the other characters were thinking and feeling. I felt this really limited my ability to understand and connect with them at times.

For the most part, I enjoyed the characters and their continued development, but the rampant teenage hormones in this house almost got to be too much for me. I actually didn't like Sloane or Lia this time around. Sloane was too petty and Lia was way too catty for my taste. As much as I loved moody and broody Dean in the first book, for some reason I was enjoying Michael more in this book. Maybe it was because he seemed to be so much more open and honest with his thoughts and feelings than Dean was. As more of his past came to light, I could understand why Dean was so closed off and reserved, especially towards Cassie.

Then there is Cassie, who is just a wonderful character. But I would love to tell her that she doesn't have to 'choose' anyone - it's okay to have 2 boys that you like, but it's not okay to continuously pit them against each other and then feel bad about it afterwards. Just say NO to the 'love' triangle! I felt the triangle could have gone either way, and by the end of the book it appears to be resolved (at least for now.) I must admit that I am a bit torn over Cassie's choice. Is it wrong that I am just as confused about Michael and Dean as Cassie is?

I opened up this book on my Kindle before bed one night and I couldn't put it down. Before I knew it I was at 50% and was forced to stop only because I needed to sleep. I couldn't wait to pick it back up the next day! It had the right amount suspense, mystery, and action to keep it very entertaining, and quite a few twists that I didn't see coming. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in this series!

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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