Tuesday 30 April 2024

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2

Killer Instinct 
The Naturals Book 2
ISBN 9780316540728
eISBN 9781423195122

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2

I picked a copy of the first book a couple of years ago because my niece was reading it at the time. However, it got lost in the plethora of books on my kindle and I never got around to reading it. This year my youngest, 13, picked it to read in class for school reading and a book report. She has to read the physical copy and read it in class. She debated between this and the Inheritance Games series, both had come highly recommended, but a few other girls in her class were doing Inheritance. While picking it up I read the prologue and was hooked. My daughter is a little mad that I read it in 1 day and she has to wait and read it in class, but oh well! And she is even madder that I have now read book 2 and she has still not finished book 1. (I had told her on March break to read book 1 and do the report on book 2.

The description of this volume states:

“Friendship. Romance. Serial killers. The Naturals are on the case. 

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?”

This series started just a year after Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers series which I read as they were releasing. I absolutely loved killers. The two series share a lot of tropes, and have some similar events, I believe both are worth reading. This series has a somewhat similar feal, except it is a team of ‘naturals’ young adults with special abilities, such as: human lie detector, ability to read emotions and feelings almost exactly and of course natural profilers. Cassis is brought in as the newest member of the team. This story is set a few months after the first volume. The concluding events of that story are still having lasting impact. 

Cassie is struggling with what she missed in the last story. And having a hard time letting go of a token of those events. But when a body shows up on campus and it copies the murders performed by Dean’s father the whole team wants to do all they can to help. Not just with the case, but also for Dean. We get a much deeper look at each of the 5 naturals. We encounter their new handler from the FBI and experience serious hostility both to and from this new agent. Soon the kids realize things are much more complicated than they first thought, and they are racing to a conclusion.

This story is very well written. I enjoyed it even more than book 1. The characters are crafted to near perfection. The case they are working on is dark and grim, and very personal. Cassie really feels she could play a role here, an has finally found where she fits. And based on events in this story that might all come to an end. The story moves at a great pace, with the whole story taking place over a short time span. 

Overall, I was impressed with this story, I loved it even more than book 1 and am desperate to start the next volume. I am surprised it took me almost a decade to hear about this series. Especially since when it released, I was reading and reviewing a lot of Young Adult books. This story is a great second novel in a series, and it leaves you desperate for the next instalment. But because of the serial killer investigations absolutely not for all readers. My daughter is mad that book three is now on the first page of my kindle, sorry, not sorry. A great read for mature teens and young adults, or even some of us older folks.

p.s. both my niece and daughter really prefer the original covers. And I admit I lean that way as well. Fortunately, the eBooks I have still have the original covers for the first three still.

Books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:
The Lovely and the Lost (2019)
Nobody (2013)
Every Other Day (2011)

The Naturals Series:
All In (2015)
Bad Blood (2016)
Twelve (2017)

The Inheritance Games Series:
The Inheritance Games (2020)
The Hawthorne Legacy (2021)
The Final Gambit (2022)
The Brothers Hawthorne (2023)

Debutantes Series:
Little White Lies (2018)
Deadly Little Scandals (2019)

The Fixer Series:
The Fixer (2015)
The Long Game (2016)

Raised by Wolves Series:
Raised by Wolves (2010)
Sweet Sixteen (2015)
Trial by Fire (2011)
Taken by Storm (2012)

The Squad Series:
Perfect Cover (2008)
Killer Spirit (2008)

Tattoo Series:
Tattoo (2007)
Fate (2009)

Golden Series:
Golden (2006)
Platinum (2007)

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5

The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 1  Reprint Edition

Killer Instinct - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 2  Reprint Edition

All In - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 3

Bad Blood - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4  Reprint Edition

Twelve - Jennifer Lynn Barnes - The Naturals Book 4.5  Reprint Edition

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