Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green
Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 272
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher (ARC)

Overall: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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...


I went into Killer Instinct without knowing anything about it, except for the brief summary I read on the back. It sounded like something I would be into- a dark contemporary read that reminded me of Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves. Unfortunately, while the idea had promise, I ended up being disappointed by this debut.

Lane is a quiet teenager who spends much of her time alone. During this time alone, she acts on her fascination with serial killers. Lane collects information on these criminals and thinks about ways she would get back at all the evil people in the world. There was no level with which I could connect with this character-- her obsession was creepy and I couldn't understand why she got off on the thought of hurting others; even if they might have deserved it. Also, Lane's treatment of her younger sister was very disturbing. Lane referred to her sister as a slut several times and was very judgmental of her.

Some aspects of Killer Instict often seemed a little unnecessary. For example, Lane's best friend, Reggie, was simply there to be the "hacker". Reggie was able to find information on various criminals and other individuals that Lane asked her to research and that was her entire role in the story. Since Reggie was away at college we literally never even met her in person. Also, Lane's job at the animal hospital and "relationship" with one of the vets there never seemed to play any important role.

I did like the role of family in Killer Instinct and how we really got to know her parents and siblings. Lane's younger brother was one of the only characters I really liked. The suspense and mystery was also a redeemable aspect of this debut. The ending was very surprising and not at all what I was expecting. The author did a good job of limiting the clues and keeping me guessing right until the very end.

All in all, I was disappointed in this debut because I didn't like the main character and some aspects of the plot were not believable, but I did like that I was completely surprised by the ending.


  1. It kind of sounds like it was lll over the place this book, I don't think I would like to read about serial killers and someone who is obsessed with them.

    1. Very scattered and definitely a weird concept!


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