Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Killer InstinctKiller Instinct by S.E. Green

Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Page Count: 272
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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...

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Killer Instinct was a dark and thrilling contemporary! It was a fast paced and easy to read YA mystery. While I don't think this debut novel was perfect, it was still very entertaining.

Lane, the protagonist, is so interesting, yet freakishly twisted and scary! I wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley! Her anti-social behavior, her emotionless demeanor, and her secret obsession with serial killers emphasizes just how different she really is. Lane must resist her own urges of becoming a serial killer when the real killer she is hunting begins showing an interest in her. She is quite capable of rational thought, and is almost methodical in the way she goes about things, which really helped her interpret clues about the killer. Lane also develops an alter-ego that sets out to exact revenge on anyone she believes has gotten away with a crime. Is it wrong that I sort of liked Lane forcing her brand of justice on the evil-doers?

The story often strayed from the main plot, which became a bit distracting. I thought the little side stories added so many characters that were irrelevant, yet everyone Lane comes into contact with automatically becomes a suspect. The ending was well done, and I definitely didn't figure out who the killer was before it was revealed, so it came as a surprise to me.

This is a YA book, but there was tons of gratuitous sex and violence, and many dark and disturbing scenes, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone too young.

Overall, this was a pretty good book, even though the storyline is quite unrealistic. I found it very entertaining and I definitely couldn't put it down, but I would have preferred if the story and characters had been more developed. There were enough twists and turns to keep things interesting from beginning to end. I feel some things that took place are unresolved, and I definitely have lots of unanswered questions, so I can totally see this becoming a series.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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  1. Sometimes books that aren't that realistic just make for a fun read, this definitely sounds like it would be. Glad you enjoyed it, great review.

    1. I read for entertainment, so the things that were not realistic in this book didn't bother me. They just made things more interesting!


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