03 January 2016

Killer Instinct

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals #2
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

A rare treat where I find the sequel to surpass the original.  Though I still feel like we are lacking some major character development with regard to Michael and Lia and Sloane, this novel looks past Cassie and dives into Dean's background to give his character some depth.

With Killer Instinct, we focus more on the serial killer aspect of the series than the love triangle between Cassie, Dean, and Michael, though it still plays a role.  Here, we focus on Dean's relationship with his father and a string of murders that follows his father's MO but could not possibly be his father since his father is in jail.  Though the conclusion to the mystery still comes a bit out of left field, I saw at least two thirds of it coming, so it feels more realistic to me than how The Naturals ended.  The suspense with solving the crime holds my attention better than its predecessor, and I like the addition of Agent Sterling.

My one major beef with The Naturals (apart from the love triangle) was the fact that the whole plot seemed entirely too coincidental.  Though the plot of Killer Instinct follows in the same fashion, Barnes acknowledges this fact in this novel through one of the characters, explaining it isn't coincidental because they were selected based on not only their gifts but their backgrounds, and their backgrounds are what are linked to the cases.  And while that all still seems just a little too convenient for me, I like that Barnes addresses it and it certainly bothers me less this time around.

On to All In!  I am certainly not a Natural myself, but based on the pattern of each book linking to a character so far, I'm going to go out on a limb and say All In is going to focus on Sloane.

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