Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent, book three)
By Barry Lyga
Published 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
WARNING: Spoilers are likely ahead. Read my reviews of books one and two.
Jazz, Connie, and Howie are all in extremely unfortunate positions. Will they be able to rise above their current circumstances and stop the monster that is Billy Dent from destroying everything they love? Or will Jazz cross over to the dark side once and for all?
This was one of the books I was saddest about missing during my year of no library books. Book two ended with a huge cliffhanger, so I was full of anticipation for book three. It's the first library book (outside of Cybils reading and audiobooks) that I picked up in 2015, though actually finding time for its nearly 500 pages was another task altogether. But, it did not disappoint.
I'm not sure what I can say about this series or about Lyga that I haven't said before. He is completely unafraid to push the envelope, to take a book in a direction you don't really want it to go, to make his readers feel uncomfortable. I liked the twists and complications that arose. I liked that this book did make me quite uncomfortable at times - I think it's important to push boundaries. I liked that this book didn't back down from the level that Lyga had reached in the first two.
However, this book was probably my least favorite of the trilogy. At times, it felt a bit long and repetitive. Yes, Jazz is still questioning who he is and how far he will go, but it starts to feel a bit much as some point. The same could be said of Howie - while I thoroughly enjoyed him in the previous volumes, I was a bit sick of his schtick about midway through this one. I also don't think this book made me ask as many questions as the first two. The previous entries had me thinking big thoughts about identity and genetics and nature vs. nurture. This one still touches upon those ideas, but seems to focus more on horrifying the reader than on actually asking those questions.
Overall, though, I was still quite pleased with this conclusion to the trilogy. I still think Lyga is a daring author who I'll happily read whenever he publishes something new. I can't wait to see what he does next.