Thursday, March 31, 2011

And the first 10 of the year goes to...

I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells. I just finished it about five minutes ago, actually. It's the third book in his serial killer series, and Dear Mr. Dan, you just keep getting better and better. I'm really sorry that this series is over... but wait... what's that I hear? Another possible series? Mr. Wells, I love you.

The difference in Wells' writing is astounding from his first book, I am Not a Serial Killer. I'll be honest, that first book took some effort to get through, but only until the midway point when it got interesting. One of the biggest criticisms of this series is that it reads like straight fiction until halfway through, when it gets supernatural. If you didn't know it was coming, I could see why that would shock some people, but the story he set out to tell was not a straight fiction story. It was a supernatural story. And it rocked.

The main character of these books, John Cleaver, definitely makes list of favorite characters of all time. He is badass, he is funny, and right when you start getting comfortable with him he starts thinking about embalming his girlfriend and you remember that he's a high-functioning sociopath—and then you get creeped out, and then you remember how awesomely Wells crafted his story.

The third book had a finesse to the writing that the other books have lacked. It fit together beautifully. And even when I could see through the foreshadowing from the beginning (read: girlfriend) I still had no idea HOW Mr. Wells was going to do it. And then he had me cringing the entire time waiting for attacks around every corner.

I've listened to Writing Excuses religiously since the sixth episode, so I have followed Mr. Wells' career from writing part time to getting the book deal to quitting his job and forever since. I don't mean to get sappy (ok, I do), but I'm so glad he has really grown as a writer and hasn't stagnated with his subsequent books. Each one really is head and shoulders above the previous. If a little iffy about his YA series coming up, but I can't wait to keep reading his adult books. And let's be serious, I'll read the YA one too. Mr. Wells, you have me hooked for life. Don't you ever stop writing.

I know I sound like a major wash from this blog post, but you have to understand that this is the third book of the series. I'm already in love with the characters and the story, and I'm eager to see how it ends and if Wells can pull it off. I've read the conclusion to a couple of series recently, and this is the first one that didn't leave me lacking. And that makes me pretty damn happy.

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