Samuel Loveland's Reviews > I Don't Want to Kill You

I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
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Aug 30, 11

Read in May, 2011

Original Blog Link; http://samuelloveland.com/2011/05/03/...

Genre – Thriller/Horror/Supernatural, Adult and Young Adult

While still following the Dan Wells tradition of being disturbing, thrilling, fast-paced and funny all at the same time, this book was possibly the most beautiful thing I have read this year. You may wonder how vivid scenes of embalming can be juxtaposed with anything that might be considered “beautiful”; it’s all in the journey.

I Don’t Want to Kill You was a book well worth waiting for. The series began with I am Not a Serial Killer, followed by Mr. Monster. The book series begins with a bang, and gets better as it goes. Although I try to keep spoilers out of my reviews, if you haven’t read the other two books it may be hard not to spoil the endings of the first two books; fair warning.

John Cleaver is a 15-year old sociopath who is convinced he will become a serial killer, but he doesn’t want to. He develops a list of rules designed to keep others safe, and himself out of trouble.

Character

John Cleaver is back, keeping a lookout for the demon he invited into town at the end of Mr. Monster. In this book he experiences a lot of growth, continuing the inner struggle of wondering what he will eventually become. John is also dating, dealing with the complexities of relationships and going to school dances. Other characters are written very well, and a few of them are incredibly lovable.

Story

The third addition of the series takes more time to explore other aspects of life, such as dating, while tracking this book’s killer. This means the book slowed down a bit more than the others did in places, which was a good thing, but I don’t know how to tell you why without giving spoilers.

Speed

I read this book in one day, two sittings. The book stays true to the tradition it set in book 1, which I also read in two sittings. Mr. Monster I read in one sitting, firstly because it was as captivating as the others, but also because I had more time that day. This book delivers the entire story in a rush, leaving you to take time to digest it all after you are finished.

Content

This book’s title may scare some parents, but don’t let that deter you. As a horror novel, sometimes the scenes can get vividly graphic or disturbing. However, the author keeps the content at a PG-13 level. The scenes with corpses and embalming are very detailed, which is part of the mood-setting for the entire series. I felt the content of the book was handled very well for Young Adults.

Age Recommended: 14 and up.

Language: Nothing memorable.

Violence: Yes, action sequences and horrific/thrilling/death scenes.

Sex: No. The closest you will encounter is vague references to sex appeal (Such as John following his rule not to look at girls’ chests.)

Fun

This book knocks one out of the park on Fun-Factor. Kit Dexter meets X-files, except that Kid Dexter is actually LIKABLE? I’m THERE.

Critique – While I have already applauded the pacing and quickness of the book, it might have been nice to have some time for everything to sink in. Everything moved so quickly that I suddenly found myself at the end of the book. As it happens, the emotional payoff didn’t hit me until the next day, which was kind of cool, but it would have been nice to experience some of it while actually sitting down with the book.
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