Review: Killer Within by S.E. Green

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Killer Within by S.E. GreenKiller Within by S.E. Green
Series: Killer Instinct #2
Published by Simon Pulse on May 19, 2015
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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In the heart-pounding sequel, teen vigilante Lane must face the secrets and unexpected consequences that arise in the wake of her first kill.

It’s been three months since the sadistic Decapitator’s demise, and Lane feels both closer to and more alienated than ever from her united, grieving family. Haunted by conflicting memories, she resumes the role of Masked Savior vigilante—but her heart just isn’t in it. For Lane now knows the rush of deeper thrills. Darker thrills. And a growing part of her wants to revisit its seductive power.

To Lane’s chagrin, the Masked Savior inspires its own fan site, where groupies gather online to praise, document, and debate each delivered act of justice. But then one of Lane’s secret admirers becomes a cunning copycat, assaulting the defenseless with escalating violence. And Lane suspects someone is spying on her, edging closer to making contact-someone who knows her secrets.

Will Lane be able to stop the copycat and keep her identity protected? Or will she give in to the thrills that tempt her? Because as her life continues to unravel, the revelations shake Lane to her core.

I read Killer Within in roughly six hours. I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t go to sleep without knowing how it ended. It captivated me just as much as Killer Instinct did, if not more. My brain still hurts from all the epic twists and turns. This incredible sequel had characters we know and love from the first book, plus some new ones that drew our attention for both good and bad (creepy, suspicious bad) reasons; and it had an epic plot that will keep you guessing until the very last page – and long after you close the book!

Once again, Lane was fascinating and creepy. She doesn’t have a huge amount of character development throughout the book, but I can definitely tell she’s a different person from who she was at the end of Killer Instinct – which is completely understandble given the things that happened to her and the things she did. I like the way she tries to stay connected with her stepdad and siblings. I love that one of the few things that grounds her is working with animals. She’s still a thrill-seeker dealing with urges she doesn’t completely understand and she’s a bit impulsive and reckless at times, which led her down some scary roads in this book. She’s blunt and hilarious and the flashback scenes were pretty creepy. My heart broke for her at the end.

I loved Daisy’s character development. She was like a whole new person in Killer Within. It’s sad that it took a tragedy to make it happen, but that tragedy made her re-evaluate her life choices. I loved her relationship with Lane in this book and their continued relationship with Justin. The revelation with Daisy was shocking and I’d love to see what – if anything – comes of that, so I’m definitely crossing my fingers for a book three!

We didn’t see as much of Reggie in this book, which made me sad because I adored her and was hoping to see more of her, not less. It saddened me the way she and Lane fought, but I can see both sides of the argument: On the one hand, Lane wasn’t a very good friend and she could have tried harder. On the other hand, Lane had a lot going on in her life and, if Reggie were a true friend, she would have understood that. I really, really want a book three because I’m crossing my fingers for a reconciliation between Lane and Reggie.

Zach’s an intriguing character and I never know if I should be praying he and Lane make-up or if I should be handing Lane pepper spray to keep him away! There were times when he really had me suspicious of his behavior. Especially after his ordeal in Killer Instinct. It makes sense that he’s traumatized and I expected that to effect him in profound ways. Dr. Issa was another one that had me dancing between heart eyes and suspicion. His personality and attitude in Killer Instinct always had me suspicious, but I never expected what happened to happen.. I mean.. Whoa… And… *Zips lips* Read the book!!!

I never trusted Catalina or Tommy. They were always behaving oddly. Catalina was like a mirror image of Lane in many ways. And Tommy was just as big a thrill-seeker as Lane. I knew nothing good could come of either character/story line. The only thing with Tommy, though.. As much as I love Zach and ship him and Lane, I also really shipped Tommy and Lane. Though I’m still convinced Zach is her perfect match, I think Tommy is more the yin to her yang. And the way the Catalina story ended… Whoa…

And then there’s the Margie story line. Holy crap, that was intense! And… I can’t say much more than that..

I thought the twists and turns in Killer Instinct had me going crazy, but they were NOTHING compared to the twists and turns of Killer Within. I mean, like I said, I read this book in roughly 6 hours (Less because about 1.5 hours of that was a dinner break) and I stayed up till 3am reading, knowing there was no way I’d be able to fall asleep until I found out the truth. Every time I thought I had nailed down a suspect, I was wrong. And every time someone was “cleared,” I let my guard down with them and then… BAM! Something would happen and I’d suspect them again. S.E. Green is such a master of red herrings! Plus, she does an amazing job with her endings,, They’re quick and precise and the “reveal” and final scene get wrapped up in just a few pages. With other books, the ending would feel rushed. But Green does such a wonderful job, it doesn’t feel rushed at all.

Overall, this book was deliciously creepy, epic and intense. I can’t even properly put into words how much I enjoyed it, though I’m sure you can guess from my fangirl review! S.E. Green is definitely one of my new favorite authors. My fingers are crossed she writes a third book in this series, or at least a book similar to it, within the same genre. As with Killer Instinct, I highly recommend Killer Within if you love psychological thrillers and books with epic plot twists that leave you guessing with every flip of the page.


Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. GreenKiller Instinct by S.E. Green
Series: Killer Instinct #1
Published by Simon Pulse on May 6, 2014
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.

And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

As someone who’s fascinated with psychology, forensics and Criminology, this book was all kinds of epic in my eyes. Especially since I’ve been on a Criminal Minds kick lately and this felt like Criminal Minds for YA. It especially appealed to me because there aren’t a lot of YA books like it. I’ve seen a lot of serial killer/FBI YA books that have supernatural elements, but I’ve never seen one that was pure fiction/psychological thriller WITHOUT supernatural elements. So this book really filled that void. Not to mention the fact that the writing was amazing, the characters were epic and the twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end!

I loved Lane. She was such a fascinating character. She was also a bit creepy, but seeing into her mind was epic. I was pulled right in to the psychology of it all – her thoughts, her actions, her justifications for the things she did. At times, I felt very sympathetic towards her and the things she was going through and the revelations she dealt with. At other times, I looked at her character purely from a psychological viewpoint, profiling her using things I learned when I took psychology classes (and from watching Criminal Minds). As unrelatable as she was in certain ways, she was also very relatable in other ways. She just wanted to be a normal, carefree girl with no drama and no worry. The whole Masked Savior thing was an interesting outlet for Lane and, from what I can tell, plays a major part in the plot of Killer Within.

Lane’s mom was incredibly fascinating, as well. Since I’m on a Criminal Minds kick, she reminded me of Hotch, since she was the Director of the BAU. I don’t know what else I can say about her because of spoilers, but holy crap.. Holy CRAP!!! Victor, Lane’s stepdad, was an interesting character. I liked his relationship with Lane and the way they got along. I’m so tired of the evil step-parent cliche, so it was really refreshing.

Lane’s sister, Daisy, was like the complete opposite of Lane. I didn’t like nor dislike her. She was just there. I liked Lane’s brother, Justin, and the relationship he had with Lane. Also, Justin seemed to be one of the few people who brought out Daisy’s good side. It was nice seeing them all bond in their own way.

Reggie was an awesome character! And, since I’m on a roll with Criminal Minds comparisons, she totally reminded me of Garcia. I definitely hope to see more of her in Killer Within!

I really liked Zach. He was like Lane’s perfect match. He understood her, he gave her space when she needed it and he let her be herself. I totally shipped them and, though the ending of the book made me sad, I’m crossing my fingers for them in Killer Within! I couldn’t stand Belinda, though Lane definitely took care of her, which had me cracking up! And the whole Dr. Issa thing was.. Odd, but in an interesting way. I have a strange feeling we’ll be seeing more of him.

The whole Decapitator story line was deliciously creepy. And the role that Lane played was creepy, terrifying and fascinating. The twists and turns involved in this story line left my head spinning!! One second, I thought I had it all figured out; the next, I had a whole new set of theories. I was suspicious of just about everyone. But then that ending.. I have no words for how shocked, horrified, terrified, surprised and… (here’s that word again) fascinated I was by the big reveal. I NEVER saw that coming and I couldn’t believe it. My head is still spinning from the shock of it all!

Overall, I can’t begin to describe how epic and amazing and creepy and wonderful this book was. I was so excited when I first heard about it, but honestly, it exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable. I highly recommend it if you love psychological thrillers and books with epic plot twists that leave you guessing with every flip of the page. S.E. Green is one of my new favorite authors and I can’t wait to read Killer Within!