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Killing the Demon
I Don't Want to Kill You - Dan Wells
Member Name: CPTDANIELS
I Don't Want to Kill You - Dan Wells
Advantages: Some good twists in an unusual story
Disadvantages: Too gory and hard to believe
==Synopsis of the book:==
John Cleaver is no ordinary 16 year old boy. He has already killed two people but he is trying not to become a serial killer. As in the past he has killed Demons who were killing members of his community and by killing them he believes he has saved countless other people lives. That's how he sells it to himself anyway. In many ways he is a strange boy, he struggles with a lack of emotion and has few friends as he finds company difficult.
It is a new school year and to John's complete surprise he has just been asked out by a very popular and attractive girl called Marci. However, John is worried and believes a new Demon has arrived in town, because two in theory anyway, respectable members of society have been murdered. And not only have they been killed but they have been stabbed in the back many times and their hands and tongues have been removed. John quickly finds he has an ally in Marci as they seek to find and destroy this new threat to their society.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
To be honest this is a book I really struggled to complete for a number of reasons. And as a result I did not particularly enjoy it, but it did get better as it developed and while at times I felt like giving up on it I am glad I at least finished it. I feel now at least I can have an opinion as I saw the project through. I would describe it as a modern thriller though it could also be thought of as a Supernatural piece of fiction.
My first reason for struggling with this book was simple it was an author that I am unfamiliar with. As a rule I do not like an author I have not experienced before, as I find it takes a book or two for me to get used to their style of writing and understand how they think. Added to this Dan Wells our writer is American. I have nothing against America indeed I hope to visit one day, but I do struggle with authors from this country. I think in part it is the different culture, but it is also the difference in size of the place. I'm sure a holiday there would help me relate to some of this.
Dan Wells I had not heard of as a writer before I picked up this novel. In a blossoming writing career he has already written three books in the John Cleaver series. The book I selected was the third and latest of these being first published in 2011. Which again could to some extent explain why I did not enjoy this book. Any normal reader would have started with the first but I never work that way. My reasoning for this is the book should be self contained, it should tell a complete story within it and you should not feel that something in missing by not reading the previous ones. However I did not feel this and early in the story I felt I had missed important chunks of John's life and they were referred to quite regularly.
I bought this book because I wanted a thriller. Having read several Chic Lits recently I was keen to get back to my first love murder mysteries. Added to this in the past three years I have loved the Sookie Stackhouse Supernatural stories. So when I noticed that this deals with Demons I thought it would be an interesting and challenging read. Added to this I thought the title was very different and I was keen to understand exactly what the author was thinking with it. I checked out the summary which was short but it captured my imagination as never before have I read a story where the leading character as so openly said he doesn't want to kill you but he will if he has to.
The story started appropriately with a prologue. This was very useful and it explained why John Cleaver had killed two people. This was useful background if a little too brief. Although the first chapter I found totally bizarre. John was ringing young women in his community and putting the fear of god into them, saying he had seen they son or daughter for example walking home. I found this very creepy and I still don't understand why he was doing this.
However I started to get more into the story when I told of John's lonely school days with few friends. I liked the idea that he now had a sociable girlfriend and someone who was popular. O liked the way against the odds that she was interested in working with him to catch the killer that had already struck twice. Although I still struggled to really understand or relate to some of John's feelings and his lack of emotion.
I do not like gory murders and this was another reason why I struggled with this book. As the book was full of graphic detail of what had happened to the murdered people. Added to this John's Mum ran the towns Mortuary, so when John was not trying to hunt a killer down he was helping his Mother prepare the bodies for show to the families of the dead. It was too much for me especially as John was passionate in finding all the details he could about these dead people, it was far to graphic and detailed and frankly at times it made me feel sick.
Had it not been so graphic maybe I would have enjoyed what turned out to be quite an interesting story. As it was cleverly written and I could not see how he could possibly catch the Demon. And as in all good suspense thrillers the concluding chapters were very exciting and full of tension. It was a good finish, but did not make up for me for what I did not like about the book and as such I am convinced I will not read another in this series. Yes on the positive side there were some good and unexpected twists in the story but the gore really ruined things for me.
The lead character John Cleaver is probably the weirdest one I have ever read about. For me he was too weird. A sixteen year old who had already killed two Demons, was tracking down another yet still going to school was hard to swallow or believe in. He was just too extreme as a character and I struggled to relate to him and find I had much in common with him. To be honest I preferred those around him such as his Mum and his girlfriend, whose emotions where easier to understand and where more natural. Although it times I did enjoy his very dry sense of humour which added to what was a dark and unusual story.
The stories length was about right to tell this story. I enjoyed the detail the author employed when either setting the scene or sharing John's viewpoint. Yes a epilogue would have been good because a lot happened at the end of the story and I was curious what would happen a few weeks or months after it. But I suspect this series will carry on and so maybe for someone who going to read the series it is not necessary.
I would not recommend this piece of fiction. For me while the concept behind it was interesting it was hard to believe in and far to gory for me. Certainly if you do not like graphic killings do not read this, as it is some of the scenes made me feel sick. The story itself flowed well and I liked the way John tried to solve the mystery with his new girlfriend Marci.
Price: 517 New at Amazon
Year first published: 2011
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS October 2012.
Summary: This book follows Demon hunter John Cleaver as he tries to uncover who is responsible for the macabre murders in his town. The story is hard to believe in and far too graphic accounts of the murder scenes and aftermath of it. This is the third part of a series and not a piece of fiction I particularly enjoyed and so I would not recommend it.
Summary: unusual supernatural story