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Killer Instinct #1

Killer Instinct

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She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

272 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 6, 2014

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About the author

S.E. Green

21 books363 followers
S. E. Green is the award-winning and best-selling author of young adult and adult books. She grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that, she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she's usually traveling or hanging out with a rogue armadillo that frequents her backyard.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 638 reviews
June 20, 2014
My sister’s a slut. It’s common knowledge she’s already had sex several times, and according to gossip she gives okay hand jobs but is excellent at fellatio.
This book is about a cold-hearted teenaged girl with serial-killer aspirations who has a sister who is a 15-year old whore-in-training. It is terrible. It is slightly better than the absolutely atrocious Dear Killer, but considering how bad Dear Killer was, it’s not saying much.

It’s like me saying, I’d rather sleep with 60-year old Arnold Schwarzenegger than Sylvester Stallone.

For reference:

I'm so sorry.

Or would I rather eat the flesh of a hyena after it’s taken a roll in a zebra carcass that’s been rotting for a week during the heights of an African summer or give a elephant a rectal exam without wearing gloves. They’re both deplorable options that nobody ever should be forced to make.

This book is the story of a vigilante, cold-hearted serial killer who hunts down…serial killers. Oh, zee irony! It features such abominations as:

1. Slut shaming of one’s own little sister
2. A Too-Stupid-To-Live serial killer who is supposedly smart, just fucking brilliant and above all the rest of her peers at school (really!)
3. A love triangle between a 25-year old veterinarian (the main character is 17) and the high school hottie who’s got the insta-love for the MC

The #1 thing that bothers me about this book is the slut-shaming and vilification of the few girls who appear in the book. For example, her little sister, Daisy. Daisy, who is blond, popular, who does decently in school…Daisy, who is a giant fake.
Her popularity is milked from others, her blond hair is fake, her okay grades come from cheating, and she plays the I’m-your-best-friend game a little too well.
Daisy, who is repeatedly…
I walked in on her having sex last year. She didn’t miss a beat as she kept riding the guy and glanced over to me in the doorway.
She’ll end up pregnant. Watch. Or with an STD.
After you provide him with your outstanding fellatio services? I want to ask, but nod my head instead.
A slut.
I speculate on Daisy’s reasons behind giving so much head. I suspect she doesn’t want an STD or to turn up pregnant. But does she realize she can get an STD in her mouth? Does she realize how nasty it is to be swallowing all that spunk?
Presenting your own little sister as a slut. That’s a new fucking low. I have never, ever encountered a book that does it to this fucking extent, and I am absolutely disgusted by it.

The one sole intelligent girl in the book, her best friend, Reggie, never makes a physical appearance. The only other significant girl in the book is Belinda, a jealous, short, stock black ex-girlfriend who is the biggest bitch in the world. She keys cars. She has no shame. She emails photos of her having sex to the main character.
The second one shows them kissing, tongues and all.

The third one shows them having sex, her on top.

The fourth one shows her giving him a hand job.
Slut shaming is disgusting, female vilification is disgusting, and I am sickened by this book.

The Summary:
I step down and scramble through dirt and leaves, looking for my pick. I’m such an idiot.

I’m doing everything wrong. I’m in the opposite direction!
Lane is a brilliant soon-to-be-17 year old. She has always been fascinated with serial killers. She wants to be one. And what better targets for a serial killer with an FBI-agent mom than…serial killers themselves?
If it is my destiny to be a killer, I’m going to need a type. And today decides that my type will be criminals—specifically, those who have managed to avoid punishment.
Using her naturally brilliant skills, she starts to track down killers, murderers, would-be-criminals, and hunts them down like any good vigilante.

She’s so good at it (despite said fumbles above) that the media nicknames her…
…the Masked Savior.”
But there’s a new serial killer in town, and The Decapitator has got his eyes on her. He begins sending her notes…threatening Lane and her family. Lane feels a sense of thrill. As he pursues her, will Lane be able to find the killer?

More importantly, can she do it while her cold, cold, rational, unfeeling heart…
I just don’t have emotions over the usual things, and to me that has its advantages.
Start fluttering over men like…Dr. Issa, the hot 25-year old veterinarian.
We click in this interesting way I’ve never really experienced before. Like there’s this magnetism between us that carries the possibility for a powerful explosion.
And hot fellow high-school student, Zack, who seems irresistibly drawn to her, who seems to be a poor replacement?
There is no softness, no teasing. There’s only tongues and hunger. Fortunately, I like it. Unfortunately, I’m thinking of Dr. Issa.
And more importantly, can she find the killer before her poor little 15-year old sister falls pregnant from her slutty ways?
I don’t bother telling her to shut up. What a slut.
What a stupid bitch of a sister.

Slim Lane:
All I know is that I’m different. Always have been. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know something was off in me.
Lane is different, special. She is nicknamed “Slim” because of how slim she is. Naturally, she thinks she’s average, with her 5’8 height, her slimness, her wild red hair. In the real world, we’d call her a runway model.

Lane is so smart. She’s in the gifted program at school. She is so different. Dr. Issa sees it.
“Lane, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like you.”
Zach sees it.
“You’re intelligent. Independent. And, clearly, you’re not here to impress anyone.”
Zach, who was supposed to be dating her sister Daisy. Who came over to talk to Daisy but but ends up asking Lane out instead.
It’s almost like Zach came over to socialize with me and Justin.
“Would you like to go out with me sometime?”
Zach, who only has eyes for Lane.

Cold Killer, My Ass:
People who lack emotion and fantasize about violence. Intelligent people who on the outside seem normal.
Interesting thing is, I fit that profile.
She’s smart. She’s brilliant. She’s calculating. She’s cold. She loses her fucking temper.
Yes, I guess I did beat the shit out of her. Rewind the clock and I could’ve handled things differently. Talked to her. Hit her once, not multiple times. I’m irritated with myself for allowing my temper such free reign.
The Romance:
This is messy. It’s all I can think of as we have sex. But I roll with it. I do it. I get it over with and get in the shower as soon as I can.
Moan. Gasp. Give me more, baby. Oh yeah. That’s the spot. Yawn.

Honestly, it’s not the worst book out there in terms of romance because whatever romance there is is so devoid of emotion. The romance and the love triangle is so detached as to be completely robotic. The sex is mechanical. This book is the emotional equivalent of using a Ti-83 calculator as a dildo.

What does bother me about the main romance is that it doesn’t ring true at all. Her crush on Dr. Issa notwithstanding, there are zero sparks between Lane and Zach, which is as it should be, because as she claims, she has no emotions…but it still annoys me because Zach falls in love with Lane for any little thing she does.
“What made you drink?”
“God, I think I just fell a little harder for you.”
I don’t know why. All I did is ask him a question.
Spare me.

Overall: you could read this book, or you could go punch yourself in the face. The latter might be less painful, and the pain wouldn’t last two hours, the length of the time it would take to read this fucking mess.
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
July 6, 2016

So, Initially I only picked this up to read because I am currently reading a heavy ( but amazing ) novel about Greek mythology. So I decided to read something for a break, something completely different.


That ending, I did not see that coming. I thought the murderer was someone else, not who it turned out to be.... LoooooooooRD!

Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,366 followers
August 3, 2016
Well poo! Where do I even start?

I guess at Lane. Her characterization felt as if it was based on a bullet point list. Let's build a serial killer, shall we?
-She has to be quiet. Check.
-She should show a lack of emotion, especially uncaring of romance and sex. Check.
-She should have a dark passenger an internal "kill" itch. Check.
-She should be awkward, blunt, and kind of an outsider. Check.
-She should have a hidden dark past. Check.

So ok, that's all things we "know" about her, but only because she tells us. Several times. In reality, she comes off as a flat, one dimensional character with a lot of inconsistencies in her personality. For instance she keeps saying how much she dislikes her sister and is indifferent towards Zach but when she's threatened with their well being she's heartbroken to the point of it clouding her judgment. She's also so skinny her nickname is Slim, yet she takes down gunned men, rapists, and animal torturers by herself. Yeah yeah, she takes aikido classes or whatnot, but that was nothing but a weak attempt of added detail to try and make this realistic.

The plot itself is full of conveniences, randomness, and more unrealism. It felt as if Lane was living through episodes of a generic crime TV series where new cases land in their lap each week, then filed away when credits roll. Except... Lane is a teenage girl, not in the CSI. Let's see: A quarter through the book this housekeeper we'd never heard of arrives at Lane's house with a missing brother who was being brought over from El Salvado. Next thing you know Lane is a savior for sex trade victims, then we never hear of this woman again. Afterwards (or maybe it was before) we have a sudden mention of a fundraiser for a family who lost their house due to arson and... wait for it...

*Spider man.. Spider-Man does whatever a spider can*

We go through several of these randomly occurring crime-solving adventures throughout the story. Also, her nickname for her superhero persona is the Masked Savior. *Snort*

What else…
-A best friend who's a hacker to such epic degree she even hacks into the FBI database. *High five*
-A mother and step-father both in the FBI. (How else would she be made privy to such confidential information. Aside from the best friend who finds all of the missing info needed, of course.)
-A genetic explanation for her killer urges. Because that's how it works.
-An ex who comes into the story (again with the random) just to be annoying.
-A serial killer of 14 years sending texts to Lane which include txtspeak and things like "I GET IT. I’M ANNOYING U. GOOD." when she doesn't respond.

And drum roll for this next one….

- "I whip around and take [their] head off with one slice."


Nothing that this story introduces is even interconnected: Her job at the vet, her weird relationship with the doctor, the fling - or whatever this is - with Zach, his psychotic ex, her sister's sexual endeavors... It all feels so out of place. Then the big reveal at the end, while I didn't expect that person to be the guilty one (small props for that) it still left me bored. It was a good attempt at an exciting plot and the writing itself isn't bad, but, aside from its poor execution, it lacked the psychological depth this kind of story needs. Overall, it was a huge disappointment.

I recommend you stick to Dexter.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews201 followers
July 7, 2021
CW: incidents of animal cruelty mentioned,

3.5 Stars

Well it got off to a rocky start with the main character being incredibly unlikable.

The fact that Lane had murderous thoughts was really laboured at the beginning of the novel and the way she spoke about her sister's sexual behaviour was utterly atrocious. I don't know precisely when I started enjoy our little psychopath, but she really did grow on me. I thought the case was actually pretty engaging with a sufficient amount of intrigue and suspects to keep me turning the pages. It is a very short book but definitely packs a punch. There are some pretty gruesome, violent and disturbing deaths so I will be sure to give appropriate warnings. NZ senior high school students only.
Profile Image for Katie.
883 reviews873 followers
May 9, 2014
Killer Instinct is one of those books that makes me wonder why I actually wasted my time finishing it. Sure it’s short at only 272 pages but even 272 pages is too much for this book. It started off promising but it all went downhill from there.

First off, Killer Instinct is the biggest rip off of Dexter. Never in my life have I read something so blatantly copying from something else. As I read Killer Instinct, scenes from season one of Dexter just kept popping into my head. And I haven’t seen season one of Dexter in a while so that’s saying something about how blatant these comparisons were. I don’t want to spoil Dexter for anyone who maybe hasn’t seen it and plans to watch it but I’ll just say that there were at least 8 things that were almost identical between Killer Instinct and season one of the show. If you’ve seen the show, I’m sure you’ll catch what I’m talking about.

Second, Lane is one of the worst characters I’ve ever read about. Sure she’s compared to a teenage version of Dexter but at least with Dexter, people can kind of relate to him and even root for him to come out ahead. With Lane, I wanted her caught and done with. She was so stupid! The whole her being the “masked savior” was ridiculous and completely implausible. She’s so skinny she’s nicknamed Slim but she can take down grown men at least twice her size. Yeah, right. Sure the author throws in multiple mentions that Lane does aikido but that still does not match up against someone with a gun. Also, she mentioned multiple times how mature she was yet she acted like an immature whiny brat most of the time.

Then there were all the relationships in the book. First there was Reggie, Lane’s supposed best friend. What they had was not a friendship it was just something the author had to include so Lane had someone to help her hack into anything she might need. Lane would call Reggie when she needed something and Reggie would drop everything to help Lane. They had no real meaningful conversations, just phone calls and texts about whatever Reggie was looking up for Lane. Then there was the relationship with Lane, Zach, and Belinda. That was a convoluted mess. Lane didn’t want anything to do with Zach until Belinda entered the picture and then she really liked him and wanted to be his friend and help him out of horrible situations. Yeah, sure. There was also Zach’s older brother, Dr.Issa, who had some shady scenes throughout the book that I thought might eventually mean something but really had nothing to do with anything. Last but not least were the relationships of everyone in Lane’s family. Lane and her mom started off with a seemingly strong relationship but it quickly deteriorated. Her mom cared way more about her case than her family. And don’t even get me started with Lane and her sister, Daisy. That’s a whole other thing that set me off. Daisy was 15 and her most characterizing trait in the book was that she was a slut. Those were Lane’s exact words. She called her sister a slut multiple times throughout the book.

Another thing that greatly annoyed me about the whole sex thing was that there was way too much mention of sexual situations that played no role in the story. Lane went into great detail about her sex life, her parents’ sex life, and her little sister’s sex life. It really did nothing for the story except make me feel rather uncomfortable and I’m not usually uncomfortable with that kind of stuff. Also, can you say hypocrite? Lane calls her little sister a slut but then she goes and gets some serious action with a boy she barely knows in between some shelves of her school library. Not calling her a slut but I’m just saying that that’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

The only thing about this book that even remotely impressed me was that I didn’t predict who the killer was, at all. Yes I suspected it was somebody closely tied to Lane but I wasn’t sure how S.E. Green was going to work it. I was pretty dang shocked by the time I got to the big reveal. I did feel like it was a little rushed though.

Also, the killer is nicknamed the Decapitator and Lane is nicknamed the Masked Savior. S.E. Green couldn’t come up with anything more clever than those nicknames? They were so lame!

Oh and also, what was the point of Lane being the Masked Savior? It really had nothing to do with the story and kind of dropped out of the story about halfway through. I guess being a master investigator and the Masked Savior got to be too much for Lane. Maybe she should have just left the Decapitator investigation to the FBI like a normal person. But then again, she was way smarter than the FBI so they never would have been able to solve it without her. Like I said, rather implausible story.

Overall, I was seriously disappointed with Killer Instinct. I feel like I wasted my time reading when I could have just rewatched season one of Dexter and gotten the exact same story. I would not recommend this one to anyone.
Profile Image for April.
2,101 reviews950 followers
February 28, 2014
Man, I have not been this disappointed with a book in a really long time. I just finished reading Killer Instinct by SE Green and I totally had Nick from New Girl face after closing the book. I know I probably should have DNFed it right after the main character calls her sister a slut, but I couldn’t do that because I was already 50 pages deep and the book is only 250 pages and for real, I just cannot let myself give up so early in the book. Do any of you have that problem, where you can’t quite force yourself to DNF even though you really want to, because the book is short and easy?
Read the rest of my review here
Review goes live 4/6/14
319 reviews1,884 followers
August 9, 2016
Well, I kind of liked it. The main character is refreshing, when she's not slut-shaming (you guys, the slut-shaming is ROUGH), and I thought her perspective as well as the plot was mostly engaging. I had a mental list of all the suspects I had in mind and all the reasons I could come up with, and I love when a book can do that to me.

Full review to come.
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews287 followers
June 22, 2014
This book is a mix of I Hunt Killers and Dear Killer, except that I am insulting I Hunt Killers by even mentioning it in a review for this book (which says a lot, seeing as how I didn't exactly love that book in the first place), and that Killer Instinct accomplished the impressive feat of being even worse than Dear Killer.

This entire book was so patently absurd, so horrifyingly bad, I am considering this novel a torture device. This book is one of the worst-written pieces I've ever read, and it sucks, because I know what the author tried to to, but it just didn't work. First off, there was the shitty psychology behind the entire book, starting, but not limited to, the main character. Her narrative voice was painfully dry, and I know that the point was to make her sound like she was emotionless, but the result wasn't the clear image of an emotionally stunted character, but an awkward, stilted, stumbling narration that felt disjointed, disruptive and amateurish. The narration jumped from one moment to the next in the most awkward and sudden ways with no apparent connection and with a tendency to just lead from one thing to another with no grace or skill. Simply put, this book was badly written, and that was the least of its problems.

There's also the characterization. Every single character in this book was irritating, cartoonish, shallow, flat and poorly written, which, of course, includes the main character but is best exemplified by the villain, which has to be the worst, most incongruous and absurd attempt at a plot twist I've ever read about, but I'll stay away from that one to avoid spoilers for whatever brave and unfortunate soul out there wants to read this stack of papers I'm very sad to know some trees died to make. I'm glad Lane called herself an idiot every couple of pages because she saved me the trouble of pointing out how monumentally idiotic this girl is to the extent that she deserves. Of course, every one else thinks she's a special genius who's like nobody else out there, but honestly, this girl is so outstandingly dumb and ill-prepared, she makes Kit from Dear Killer look like an actual Einstein of murder.

The worst thing about Lane is that she's a shallow characterization of what seems to be that one generic and vague article on Yahoo! someone may have read about people prone to become serial killers. Nothing about this character was realistic, and instead she was this cartoonish idea of what people assume are the defining traits of the emotionally and psychologically disturbed. She even had this super traumatic, repressed event from her childhood and constantly wondered about her genetics, all of which seemed to have been taken straight out of second-rate psychology textbooks. And she was so ridiculously inconsistent as well; one minute she claimed not to feel anything, the next she was listing all these feelings and emotions, then she claimed to be unbelievably smart and prepared, the next she was fumbling around because she had no idea what to do, and of course, one minute she was talking about her desire to kill and dismiss all moral code, and the next she was getting all moral about this, talking about right and wrong and wanting to make others pay for killing, which, if I'm not mistaken, is exactly what she wanted to do.

The rest of the characters aren't even worth mentioning. They stumble around as their stereotyped and badly written existences, awkwardly dropping in and out to remind you that they exist. Truth be told, not a single character was important in this novel at all. Lane remembers them when she needs them, for either information or emotional extortion for the reader, and then goes about her way. There's a very poor attempt at romance here along with a slightly disturbing and thoroughly inefficient love triangle. The romantic interests are so ridiculously generic they are not even worth remembering since, like the rest of the characters, they add absolutely nothing to the story.

The one thing about the characters that's extremely important to talk about is the horrible way this novel treated female characters. This book was so profoundly offensive and demeaning, I have no idea how I managed not to throw my tablet against the wall. For no reason whatsoever, the novel set out to destroy, humiliate, demean and devalue every single female character in there, especially the MC's sister, Daisy, by slut-shaming her to oblivion. Lane constantly refers to her as a total slut and makes off-handed comments about how everyone knows how much of a whore she is and at what sexual activities she excels. The novel even shows this 14 or 15 y/o girl blowing a guy and being totally blasé about her sister walking in on her, even asking her later if she enjoyed the show. Moreover, it shows her as this whiny, pathetic, selfish, childish creature starved for attention who beds anyone for no reason, because she doesn't even seem to like sex in the first place. The author didn't even care enough about her to find a reason for her behavior, no, she just said "here's a slut, she has sex and she's a total slut and that's it". That is offensive enough, but that the main character herself went out of her way to denigrate and put down her own sister is simply appalling, not to mention absolutely inconsistent and hypocritical, seeing as how Lane was a) supposed to be totally unfeeling, b) against all social constructions, c) willing to dry hump to orgasm (or so she claims) the fingers of a guy she's talked to only twice right in the library as a way to distract him and then have sex with him just to get it off her list.

There's also this other wildly-generic mean girl/crazy-ex girlfriend stereotype that goes around harassing Lane because she's hanging out with this totally generic guy. She quickly gets labeled as a crazy, unstable, alcoholic stalking bitch that sends pictures of herself having sex with the guy to the MC (who knows how because in this novel private phone numbers and emails are apparently public domain and are instantly downloaded into your brain as soon as you meet the person, so there's no need for the person to actually give them to you). There's no purpose to this character. She's just there to distract the reader from the fact that this book has no plot. The only other girl in the novel is this faceless voice on the phone who's there to be used by Lane whenever she needs information. That's it.

The pace of this book is disjointed and the novel has a sort of an episodic kind of flow that has Lane jumping from random case to random case for what I assume is ripping off Dexter more efficiently. The cases she randomly stumbled upon were so outrageous and Lane was so woefully unprepared for any of them that the fact that she managed to come out of every single one of them victorious was due entirely to the grace of the author's will. This book was a disjointed, absurd mess that, in all honestly, gave me secondhand embarrassment.

Finally, the ending was the cherry on top of this mess. It was just as clumsy, poorly-written, ill-fitting and ridiculous as everything else in this novel, but this one took the cake because it was all for shock value alone. I was never completely certain of who the villain was, although that was mostly due to how bumpy this whole mystery is, but the villain was still in my top two suspects, and I kept hoping that character wouldn't end up being the bad guy because of how disrespectful that would've been. It's not so much because of who the character was, even though that certainly did enough damage, but it was about how poorly that was handled and written, and how the entire purpose of having that character be the bad guy was to shock the reader. It was almost offensive, to be honest.

Awful is just one of the words I would use to describe this novel. Badly researched, poorly characterized, horribly plotted and terribly written, not to mention offensive, this book might just be one of the worst book I've ever had the misfortune of reading. Quite frankly, this book was insulting. It was a train-wreck from beginning to end, and not even an interesting or morbidly enjoyable one at that. I've yet to read a YA serial killer book that even remotely satisfies, and if this novel is any indication of where that particulay theme is heading, just count me out.
Profile Image for Kristine.
700 reviews15 followers
April 24, 2014
Original review can be found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/2...
3.5 stars

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Killer Instinct was an odd, dark and kind of weird book for me. I've read a lot of reviews saying that it is too much like Dexter and that fans will not like the book. Having never seen Dexter I went into the story with an open and unbiased mind. Did that help me enjoy the book more?? I don't know...

Lane showed all kinds of signs of turning into a serial killer with her fascination with them, her "itch" and anti-social behaviour. I was hoping the story would dig deeper into her behaviours and give us a little more insight. Yes, things come to light that could explain why she is the way she is but it is more assumed than explained. I guess I was hoping for more definitive answers.

I enjoyed the mystery of the Decapitator but couldn't quite understand the relevance of some of the side stories and characters that were mixed in with it. Also, why was it so easy for Lane to find clues and answers when the FBI couldn't. It was a little too convenient. Having said that, the book is a YA book and geared to that audience. In my younger years I probably wouldn't have questioned so much and just went along for the ride.

If you are looking for a quick and easy YA mystery this one fits the bill. There are twists and turns that keep you guessing. If you want a book that ties everything up neatly at the end, this book will not do that. I actually had more questions than answers by the time I was done.

In the end I didn't love it and didn't hate it and it entertained me for a few short hours.
Profile Image for Stacy.
227 reviews56 followers
July 11, 2014
Holy psychological thriller!

This book, from top to bottom, is nothing short of amazing. There is only one other book I can compare Killer Instinct to, The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher, and even then Killer Instinct is completely different.

That difference is the voice. Lane has this incredible semi-detached emotional voice that makes you question so so many things.

There are other great things about Killer Instinct, but I be remiss if I spoiled. I think this is one best read with little detail so you can fully enjoy the psychological thrill.
Profile Image for Sarah Swann.
731 reviews989 followers
December 15, 2017
Finished this audiobook in one sitting! It was great to listen to while I cleaned my house for a party. I really enjoyed it. It definitely gave me some Dexter vibes, which is one of my favorite shows. I thought I had figured out the ending, but I was wrong! Love when that happens. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the second one as well.
Profile Image for Joan.
21 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2014
This book has kept me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Lane is an interesting character I want to understand. Ok, I am done now. Great book. I didn't think the killer was who it turned out to be. Wow what twists!
Profile Image for Naoms.
706 reviews160 followers
June 15, 2014
I won't go into how this is a glaring rip off of Dexter, because this is obvious (especially if you've seen season 1). I will not talk about the improbability of most of the situations that Lane finds herself in. No, all those things can be easily excused and pushed aside as "suspending disbelief" and questions like "well what did you expect when you read the synopsis?"

No. My review will focus on two weaknesses of this book. 1. How easily things fall into place and 2. How boring the main character is.

Lane is boring. There is no getting around it. She spends a lot of time thinking about how abnormal she is and how she should pretend to be normal. The problem is that the only interesting thing there is about her is all plot. She has no hobbies, no interests, very few friends, no desire and no dreams. She has a crush on one of the vets she volunteers with, but that has very few layers and no real tension. Mostly, because Lane spends so much time disregarding it, the crush doesn't seem important. Then it goes nowhere.

Lane has family she loves, a sister who is a frenemy and a boy who is suddenly interested in her. Those characters are more interesting, but have no depth. For someone who apparently gets off on observing ppl and studying the intricacies of human behavior, homegirl knows very little about the people around her. She is unable to pick up clues or mannerisms that would give us a deeper view into the other characters. She's aloof and so we are aloof. Everyone is at arms length. We are not giving a chance to relate or emphasize with a single person in this book. Makes for uninteresting reading.

Add to that the lack of tension and honestly boring. Lane does not hunt for ppl to make pay. It all just falls into her lap wrapped in a neat bow. A classmate is killed by a drunk driver who inexplicably gets off without even a trial, so Lane is on the case. The house of her little brothers friend was burned down, and the cops have no idea how (because all the cops are useless and don't know the smallest thing about solving cases) so, Lane is on the case. Her house keeper's, who there is no mention of before the reveal or after, brother goes missing without a trace and the FBI doesn't have time to look into it, so Lane is on the case.

Seriously! The police, the FBI, etc can't figure things out so teenage future serial killer Lane can. What has Ms. Lane done to prepare for this skill? Well, her mom is an FBI agent, she's taken some martial arts classes and she has google. Oh, and by the way, she just happens to have a best friend who is a super hacker.

I'm sorry to be harsh, but this is b.s/sloppy writing. Situations cannot just fall into this girls lap like mana from heaven. Lane seriously did not have to search or exert herself in the search for people to punish. Bad people and their horrendous murderous actions just happen to be in Lane's every day life. I mean I can understand you know one arsonist or rapist, but two or three and all in the same month? Seems unlikely.

Also, this is the worst case of foreshadowing I have ever come across. Seriously, Lane will be like "here is a question that I have about this. Oh, and this just happened, but don't worry that's unrelated." Really? Really, is it unrelated? Cuz, I don't think so! I think you just told me the identity of the serial killer.
Profile Image for Kimberley Little.
Author 13 books509 followers
December 31, 2014
I am a sucker for a good thriller and KILLER INSTINCT does NOT disappoint! Non-stop action and thrills, along with great twists and turns - I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Can't wait to own my very own hardcover in May - I adore the cover, too! Put this on your To-Read shelf and To-Buy shelf today. :-)
Profile Image for Veronica Morfi.
Author 3 books400 followers
May 16, 2016
I did not see that coming. It has been a while since I could not guess who the killer is in a book so for that alone I would have given this book 5 stars. On top of that this is all about serial killers and the main character is kind of - sort of - a serial killer in the making. I am really excited to see what will follow.
Profile Image for Tracy .
767 reviews12 followers
November 24, 2019
Did not see this ending coming at all! Quite the thriller. My First S.E. Green book - which I have owned for years and just did not get to. . . worth the wait!
Profile Image for Lisa (A Life Bound By Books).
1,107 reviews749 followers
April 30, 2014
I don't even know what to say about this one. It's different because the character is obsessed with serial killers and she has her own dark urges. I knew I wanted to read it and didn't know what I'd think but it was very well written and the twists and danger mixed in with my own intrigue to what was going to happen on the next page kept me reading through to the end. Full review to follow on my blog - A life Bound By Books.
Profile Image for Ryan Clark.
168 reviews11 followers
February 6, 2014
Initially I was like, "Hey cool, it's just like Dexter". Now that I've been thinking about it for a while, I'm like, "Uhh...you completely ripped off the first season of Dexter..." It's not a bad book, but the parallels between Lane and Dexter are a few too many. It's starting to feel less like a simple nod in Dex's direction, and more like the dreaded P-word...
Profile Image for Amber.
2,334 reviews324 followers
April 12, 2017
im kinda...disappointed. felt very underwhelmed and felt it was very similar to dexter. the rating my change at a later date after i think some more

edit: after realizing that it mentions being similar to dexter as it's selling point, i knocked a star off because I felt a lot of it was kinda a rip off of dexter.
Profile Image for Genevieve .
242 reviews
July 21, 2021
Read in a day party wooo
This book was so gripping!!! I really thought i had it figured out at page 80 but boy was I wrong hahahahah. The only downside was that Lane being some kind of sociopath meant she had no character development and was kinda difficult to read at times. As @Faieza mentioned her being so stereotypical is just ugh... wattpad vibes 😳 but like I said it was super fast paced and in terms of plot I dont have anything major to complain about
@Faieza thanks for the rec you have saved me
Profile Image for Victoria | victoriashaz.
234 reviews398 followers
November 14, 2017
"Killer Instinct" is a good book if you're looking for a quick and easy read that's also a Dexter ripoff. The book kept me entertained and enthralled as I read it, and after I got a few pages into the book I was thoroughly intrigued by the plot line and what was going on with the characters. I was concerned that I knew who the antagonist was from practically the onset of the novel. That being said, I think there are a few flaws in this work that affect my overall review.
The blatant slut-shaming from the beginning to the end of the novel by Lane, our serial killer-in-training protagonist, was a big hindrance for me. I think that slut shaming isn't okay in any capacity, and by writing a character who DOES slut shame, the novel is effectively perpetuating that negative culture. Without getting into spoilers, I did not like how the serial killer was revealed and how the scene was handled. The manner in which the scene was handled seemed forced, as I was reading it I KNEW I was reading it. It didn't effectively suspend my disbelief, which was a problem that I found happened a few times throughout the book. I wish Lane had seemed less...mechanical, for lack of a better term. There were an abundance of opportunities for gradual character growth, but it seemed to only happen at the end.
"Killer Instinct" is interesting, fitting for a young adult reader (whether you're a young adult or not), and a page turner, albeit not one that I found particularly a good mystery. If you enjoy books that involve serial killers, murder, or mystery then you'll probably enjoy and zip right through "Killer Instinct".
Overall: 1.5/5 stars
*this book was sent to me in exchange for review. all opinions presented in this review are honest*
Profile Image for Terri.
1,354 reviews377 followers
October 17, 2014
She is a teenager who does the normal things - school, martial arts, working at an animal shelter... But she is obsessed with serial killers and thinks she might be one in time. She knows she is different from other kids and her loving family, that she has a darkness inside her.

She is currently fascinated with the case her BAU Mother is investigating - The Decapitator. And then he/she contacts her - knows she is following the case. The worst part for Lane, the killer seems to be very close to her.

I really enjoyed this story with it's twists and turns and intense self reflection and questions re. nature vs. nurture in the development of serial killers.
Profile Image for Jo.
1,122 reviews60 followers
December 4, 2013
3.5 stars
It gets downgraded for unnecessary language and sexual content. It was a good, quick read with a surprise ending. I was glad it wasn't a few of the red herrings because that would have been predictable in some cases.
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews91 followers
October 29, 2013
I am officially shell shocked! More to come closer to release date...
Profile Image for Mary Catherine.
232 reviews4 followers
November 16, 2013
Fun and exciting novel that is reminiscent of Dexter. Full of twists and drama, this was a quick read that had me wanting more because it was so great!
Profile Image for LibraryCin.
2,259 reviews46 followers
July 20, 2018
Lane is a teenager and has urges to hurt, or possibly even kill, people. She is fascinated by serial killers and begins to satisfy her urges by becoming a vigilante and hurting those people who seem to get away with a crime. In the meantime, she is contacted by a real-life serial killer, but why is the killer contacting her?

I thought this was really good. I was pulled in right away and found it fascinating (and a bit terrifying!) to be in Lane’s head! Being a YA book, it is a fast read. I listened to the audio and was kept interested. Lane did have a bit of a “softer” (somewhat) side to her when it came to her family and to animals, which I found kind of interesting, as well.
Profile Image for Dayla.
2,075 reviews201 followers
August 6, 2017
Wowwww I did not see that ending coming AT ALL. I loved how mature this book was and now I'm kind of excited to check out the sequel.

This was a really twisted book and I enjoyed how straightforward it was and how despite everything that was happening in her life, she was still doing her own thing.

I recommend this for older teens looking for a quick thriller to read.

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,729 reviews1,280 followers
August 8, 2016
3.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Lane has a thing for serial killers, and hopes to be one herself one day, so when the ‘Decapitator’ strikes in the place where she lives, her curiosity is piqued.
Who is the Decapitator? And is Lane really suited to a life of crime?

This was an interesting story, even if it wasn’t quite what I expected.

Lane was an interesting character, but she did come across as a bit weird. To be honest I personally would expect someone who wants to murder people to be weird though, so Lane felt like the right sort of character for the role. She was very methodical, liked details, and obviously had a real thirst for blood, but she did show herself to be human when it came to actually committing murder, when she suddenly wasn’t quite so sure of herself.

The storyline in this was pretty interesting, with both Lane’s after-school activities, as well as a serial killer on the loose. I did find that the story dragged a bit though, as I wanted to know what was going on a lot quicker than we actually found out.
There was some romance, although Lane’s strange methodical nature applied to losing her virginity was a bit cold and calculated!
The ending to this was quite interesting, and I didn’t guess who the killer was. I did find the identity of the killer quite surprising though, as the evidence that Lane had collected had been leading her in quite a different direction.
Overall; good YA mystery story, but it dragged a bit,
7 out of 10.
Profile Image for Jennifer Rinehart.
Author 1 book13 followers
April 21, 2014
I have been in a really serious book drought. I don't know what my problem is, but lately, every book I try to read bores me to tears. This has happened before, usually after reading something super duper cool, like when I finished Goblet of Fire I couldn't get interested in anything for days. So I did what I usually do, I switched genres. I have tried mysteries, cozy mysteries, romance, historical romance, sci fi and fantasy and all I got was a big pile of NO.

But Killer Instinct is too good to put down. It's a mystery and a coming of age story. It has a hard to like protag and believable side characters. It breaks the mold of sweet, good natured, pretty girl heroines by making the heroine into a serial killer obsessed wanna be who has secret part of her life that she doesn't share with anyone.

What I liked best about Lane is that as hard and cold as she seems she's trying to be better in her interactions with people. She is very self aware and knows that one small step could lead to slide straight into darkness.

Whenever a story has a murder mystery, people come out of the woodwork claiming to have figured out the murderer from chapter one. I guess I'm not as sleuth-y as they are because I was pretty surprised by the ending. I truly did not see it coming but in thinking back over the book it totally makes sense to me.

Not the best book I've read this year, but it was more than enough to lure me away from tv.
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