20409231Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALA2014
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel. – Goodreads


I was so excited to find out that The Naturals series was continuing on. I loved and adored the first book, and while it was very much Criminal Minds in book form, I didn’t care. I ate it up and wanted more AND THEN THERE WAS MORE. Sadly from there it all went downhill.

While the characters were all still there, the story did not flow the same way as the first for me. I spent most of the novel confused about what was going on and trying to figure out why there were so many characters and then trying to keep track of all of them. I consider myself to be a fairly smart character, but I spent so much of my time trying to figure out who was who that I never could pick up the actual story with the murder. Which disappointed me, particularly after the first book, which hooked me right away. The plotting throughout Killer Instinct seemed off. I was interested in the new serial killer, which sounds super weird to type out, and I was interested in learning more about the Naturals, but I was never invested in them throughout Killer Instinct.

I was fine that the main focus on this novel was Dean and not Cassie, which makes sense as the new serial killer is a copy cat of Dean’s father, a man Dean wants nothing to do with. Of course to solve the crime, Dean will need to work with his father. A man he never wanted to see again. While I found the relationship dynamics between the characters to be fascinating, I spent so much of my time trying to keep up with the characters that the relationships often fell to the side for me and left me wanting more.

If there is a third book in the series, it will not unfortunately be because of the writing and the first book in the series, not Killer Instinct.