Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DEVIANT by Adrian McKinty

Title: Deviant
Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: ABRAMS' Amulet Books (October 1, 2011)
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, from publisher
To Purchase: Amazon

Description: Danny Lopez is new in town. He made a mistake back home in Las Vegas, and now he has landed at an experimental school in Colorado for “tough cases.” At the Cobalt Charter School, everything is scripted—what the teachers say, what the students reply—and no other speaking is allowed. This supercontrolled environment gives kids a second chance to make something of themselves. But with few freedoms, the students become sitting ducks for a killer determined to “clean up” Colorado Springs.

Review: Adrian McKinty's Deviant is a twisted mystery with a cat serial killer as wicked as a young Hannibal Lector and an unlikely hero in Danny Lopez.

When Danny Lopez and his family move to Colorado, everything is just plain weird. From his scripted school to the secret groups to the mysterious cat killings, he longs for the bright lights of Las Vegas, but a killer has other plans. As Danny and his friends investigate, they quickly realize they might be in over their heads in this new thriller.

Deviant is a master class of what makes a good mystery: a devious villain slowly revealed, an unlikely hero, twists, turns, and the sprinkling of red herrings to throw the reader off the trail. McKinty did a fantastic job with the character developments. I loved how Danny is an introvert. He wants to stick by himself, but is a good kid who needs to find this killer. The budding serial killer is perfect: dark, twisted, a young Hannibal Lector or even Dexter. I did suspect the killer not caught, but I was blown away by the accomplice to the crimes. Although I enjoyed reading Deviant, it took a while to feel the teen voice within this novel. Minor head hopping also threw me out of the story, but it wasn't significant enough to stop me from reading. McKinty uses moments of humor, grossness, and a psychological mind game throughout the novel.

I would recommend Adrian McKinty's Deviant to readers looking for a dark mystery filled with weird, gross, and deviously wicked fun.