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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant finale to the trilogy, 8 Jan. 2011
This review is from: I Don't Want To Kill You (Paperback)
Back in March 2010 I wrote this about Dan Wells when I reviewed Mr Monster, the second book in his John Cleaver trilogy that started with I Am Not A Serial Killer: "....the likes of Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson and Jack Kerley are no doubt already glancing nervously over their serial-killer-novel-writing shoulders for fear that Dan Wells is about to steal all of their glory." And nothing has changed in the ten months since then as I Don't Want To Kill You is yet another stunning addition to the horror/serial killer genre, and in my opinion the best book in the trilogy.

For me, the books' greatest strengths have always been in the voice of teen sociopath John Cleaver. By writing the books in the first person we have really been able to get inside the head of Wells's protagonist, and it has been a genuine pleasure to witness the way his character has developed over the three books. He started off as a very confused young man, with a rigid set of self-imposed rules and something of a social outcast at school, and now by book three he is a fully-fledged vigilante monster hunter, a self-appointed guardian of his home town, Clayton. And he even has a girlfriend who likes him for the way he is (not that she knows the full story of course).

Having already dispatched two of the ancient monsters that have been preying on the local population, at the end of Mr Monster John managed to get his hands on the mobile phone of one of these, and with it set in motion what he hopes will be a trap for a third, the otherwise anonymous Nobody. Of course, John has no idea who Nobody is, and when (or even if) she will take the bait and head for Clayton. His methods of trying to detect her arrival are more than a little creepy - he observes (for that read stalks) anyone who seems to be doing something out of the ordinary, often calling their houses and implying that he is stalking their children, just to gauge their reaction. This is so unnerving that it leaves a slightly nasty taste in the mouth, but he is after all a sociopath, and in his mind the end would certainly justify the means. And then someone is killed, and early signs are that it is the work of a notorious serial killer who has been operating out of Georgia. Could this be the Nobody that John has been waiting for?

John also has to contend with emotions that he had previously thought it impossible for him to feel. When he developed a closer relationship with long-time friend Brooke in Mr Monster, he still spent most of his time imagining her laid out on the mortuary table. Now he has to accept that he can feel affection for another human being, and with this comes a confusion that he hasn't felt before. He also has to confront another uncomfortable fact - he cannot save everybody, although the anger he feels when first one, and then another girl from his school commits suicide is understandable; in his words: "What's the point of saving someone's life if she's just going to kill herself anyway?"

It is always interesting to look back over a series or trilogy and see how a writer has developed and/or matured during that time, and this is definitely the case for Dan Wells. I Am Not A Serial Killer was a fairly straightforward horror/thriller, albeit with a fascinating main character, the likes of which we had never see before in YA literature. Mr Monster showed great character development, and a few more plot twists than we had seen previously. In I Don't Want To Kill You Dan Wells's storytelling skills reach an even greater level, with his plotting so tight you certainly won't guess all of the plot twists, and maybe not any of them at all.

I am not going to say any more about the story as this could spoil it for the legion of fans who have loved the first two books as much as I have. I will say that it is very likely to scare you or creep you out in places, but you may also find yourself chuckling from time to time thanks to the elements of gloriously dark humour, and you may even find yourself shedding a few tears as well. However, I do feel the need to say that although this is a great book, and the ending is brilliant, I am also very disappointed that we will not be seeing more of John Cleaver - I hope Dan Wells has got a new project up his writer's sleeve that will be just as disturbing as this trilogy has been. Thank you Mr Wells for giving me so much shiver-down-my-spine entertainment over the past couple of years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bold end to a refreshingly different series, 3 Feb. 2014
By 
GOTTON - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: I Don't Want To Kill You (Paperback)
This final book in the John Cleaver series was nothing short of brilliant.

It had much the same start as the previous books which isn't bad as those books were good as well but about the half way mark the author really started to break up the formula a bit and by the end of the novel it was almost impossible to guess what could possibly be coming next.

One of the strengths of this series is that Dan Wells was brave enough to let his title character do the things that a sociopath might do but not the things that readers necessarily want their hero to to do. This book was no exception and the ending of the book was by far one of the bravest endings I have read in a long time and really made this trilogy stand out for me.

Speaking of endings, in an article I read with Dan Wells the other day he said that the final book in the John Cleaver series was a definite ending and here I have to disagree, this was the most obvious set up for future novels that I have ever read. Leaving it there was like being a kid who was taken to a toy store window and being given a glimpse inside but never actually getting to go in and play with all the toys. It's quite frustrating to know that for now at least there will be no follow on novel.

Still, that isn't really a flaw with this book just me wanting more and so I am happy to give this book five stars. The series as a whole took a bit of time to properly find its feet but once it got going it did a really good job. I think it is the sign of a good author when each book is better than the last and that was definitely the case here.

Fare well John Cleaver, I hope to see more of you in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final book in a trilogy of terror, 16 May 2012
By 
M. King (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
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The other books in this series are Mr Monster and I am not a Serial Killer . They deal with our young heroes battle with his dark side whilst at the same time having to deal with a number of serial killers who target his home town.

At first I thought it was quite reminiscent of Dexter but, the nature of Johns opponents differentiates this as does his ongoing struggle with his nature

First two books get 4 stars for me with the third getting 5 as it rounds off the trilogy very nicely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!, 11 Jan. 2012
This review is from: I Don't Want To Kill You (Paperback)
Dan wells is a freaky genius. The first two books in this trilogy were incredible, but he surpassed them all in the finale. I laughed, I cried, I didn't want it to end!
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4.0 out of 5 stars good, 29 Aug. 2014
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It is a bit disturbing in places, but is overall a good book.
With 6 words left I finish... Moo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great YA book, 24 Sept. 2014
By 
A. Loughrey (UK) - See all my reviews
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Gripping. I loved it.
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I Don't Want To Kill You
I Don't Want To Kill You by Dan Wells (Paperback - 6 Jan. 2011)
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