Tag Archives: Killer Instinct

[SERIES RECOMMENDATION] The Naturals – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

NOTE: I originally posted this at Speculative Chic.

Upon hearing the premise for Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s YA crime series The Naturals, I was sceptical. Teens working for the FBI sounded more fantasy than contemporary. But I gave the first book a chance, and it isn’t bad as I feared. Killer Instinct is definitely an improvement, and I was well and truly hooked.

But the series really shows its genius in Book 3, All In. It must’ve been a nightmare to research and organise, because it involves the Fibonacci sequence. And the serial killer case carries over into the series closer, Bad Blood, which is mind-blowing brilliant.

This is exactly how a series should be: consistently high quality. I recommend The Naturals series to anyone and everyone if given the chance. If you can suspend your disbelief in regards to the premise, you’ll be rewarded above and beyond. It’s essential for any YA or crime bookshelf.

The Naturals: Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

Killer Instinct: Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

All In: Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

Bad Blood: Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

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[REVIEW] Killer Instinct – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Killer Instinct (The Naturals, Book 2)
Hyperion (US: 4th November 2014); Quercus (UK: 6th November 2014; AU: 31st March 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

The Naturals, Book 1, was awkward. The concept for the series was solid, though improbable, but the execution of it was hard to get into at first. It was like an origin story of how everyone meets, even though there was a mystery to solve.

Killer Instinct does what every good sequel should: match the quality of the first, or improve upon it. This Book 2 is definitely an improvement, because the core concept and group of characters have been established, so there’s more book-time for a case to be explored in-depth. Which it does brilliantly here, though you have to wade through the cringe-worthy Chapter 2 before the story can really start. (I get the feeling that the author loves character banter, but I’m really only here for the crime investigation.)

(Also, there’s a supposed love triangle, but it’s never quite believable because we know Cassie will end up with Dean. Michael is just a friend. Stop trying to make fetch happen.)

As for the mystery to solve, there seems to be someone copying Dean’s father’s killings, but the case is a lot more complex than that, and is written well. The author’s studies in psychology are shown off fabulously here, though the nature of the series means that every little thing is explained so the reader never has to think for oneself.

With strong character studies and a complex plot, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has crafted an immersive YA novel in which even the adults have their own fascinating storylines. Now that the series has been well and truly established, I can’t wait to see what the Naturals will get up to next. Bring on All In!

Now Available for US Pre-Order

Kelley Armstrong: ATONING: 25th March 2015: Buy (US)
Kelley Armstrong: DARKEST POWERS TALES: 26th March 2015: Buy (US)
Kelley Armstrong, John Ajvide Lindqvist, et al: SEIZE THE NIGHT anthology: 6th October 2015: Buy (US)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes: KILLER INSTINCT (paperback): 3rd November 2015: Buy (US)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes: ALL IN: 3rd November 2015: Buy (US)
Jennifer Bosworth: THE KILLING JAR: 12th January 2016: Buy (US)
Amy Rose Capetta: UNMADE (paperback): 12th January 2016: Buy (US)
Mira Grant: CHIMERA: 24th November 2015: Buy (US)
Megan Hart: HOLD ME CLOSE: 24th November 2015: Buy (US)
Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher: NEVER NEVER: PART TWO (paperback): 17th May 2015: Buy (US)
Colleen Hoover: NOVEMBER 9: 10th November 2015: Buy (US)
Dani Worth: ORIGIN (paperback): 7th April 2015: Buy (US)

March 2015 Releases

Done with February 2015 Releases? Here are March 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. (NOTE: If reading via a feed-reader, the formatting may be wrong. Click the blog post’s title to take you to my WordPress, where it should show up fine.)

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4th November 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Killer Instinct (Naturals, Book 2)
Disney Hyperion (US: 4th November 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

A young girl has been murdered, her body displayed on the front lawn of her university campus. The killing is vicious – and terrifyingly familiar. Someone is copying the methods of one of the country’s most infamous serial killers: Dean’s father. Back at the Naturals HQ, Cassie, Dean, Michael, Lia and Sloane are dealing with a new FBI agent – and Agent Sterling is determined to keep them out of trouble. But Dean knows too much about his father’s crimes not to get involved, and his fellow Naturals won’t let him face this alone. But as the bodies mount up, the Naturals find themselves in a deadly dangerous race against time…

Amy Rose Capetta
Entangled (Entangled, Book 1)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 4th November 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws – her first friends – on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

Andrea Cremer
Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy, Book 1)
Penguin Speak (US & CA: 4th November 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All against All. Will he turn Adne to the dark side? Will Logan reclaim his birthright? And will darkness take over our world?

J. Kenner
Have Me (Stark Ever After, Novella)
Random House Bantam (US & CA: 4th November 2014); Hachette Headline Eternal (UK: 4th November 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Our wedding was everything I dreamed of, and now the honeymoon is a living fantasy. To be Mrs. Damien Stark is the ultimate rush – to know that our claim to each other is real, our fierce passion sealing our bond. My kiss is forever his, his touch is forever mine. We both harbour deep scars from our pasts and we’ve done everything we can to lay our ghosts to rest. But there are still dreams that haunt me, and people that threaten to tear us apart. Our shared ecstasy makes me feel alive, and I’ll do anything to keep Damien close. He is my future, my hope, my every want and need. And once you’ve tasted that kind of obsession, nothing can make you give it up.

Karsten Knight
Afterglow (Wildefire, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, & CA: 4th November 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Teenage volcano goddess Ashline Wilde discovers that her former love, Colt Halliday, has an evil plan to kill the Cloak, the benevolent beings that oversee the gods. And that’s not all – he also wants to merge Ash and her two sisters back into a single, too-powerful goddess, Pele. Ash must stop her trickster-god ex-boyfriend once and for all…and to do it, she’s going to have to feed a few flames.

November 2014 Releases

NOTE: If viewing this through a feed reader (e.g. Feedly), the formatting is a bit screwed. To view this post properly, click the title to take you to my WordPress.

Done with October 2014 Releases? Here are November 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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13 New Covers (Anderson, Barnes, Coyle, Farley, Gabel & Klam, Hoover, Meade, Meyer, Morgan, Ruby, Shepherd, Yovanoff)

DISCLAIMER: If you’re the author or publisher, and you see a cover here that shouldn’t have gone public, let me know and I’ll take it down. Below (or next to?) the covers are the books’ links – click on the title, and that’ll take you to the source, so you can ask them to take it down, too. Thanks.

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