________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 26. . . .March 13, 2015


Killerís Instinct.

Dawn Dalton & Judith Graves.
Powell, WY: Leap Books (www.leapbooks.com), 2014.
368 pp., trade pbk., $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-61603-024-7.

Grades 6-10 / Ages 11-15.

Review by Laura Dunford.

**** /4



Set mainly in Old Quebec City, Killer's Instinct focuses on the developing relationships and festering secrets of four young adults as they struggle through the training program at The Most-Wanted Monsters Organization. Hope, Kain, Hyde, and Caddoc are members of the Wild Card team, and together face their worst fears in order to become professional monster hunters.

      While the novel begins with a simple premise: humans vs monsters, it soon becomes apparent that not all monsters are evil and not all monster-hunters are good. Dalton and Graves weave several Gothic literary allusions into their narrative in order to flesh out this complex relationship between human and monster, or, more specifically questioning how monsters are created and by whom.

      The wonderful Gothic backdrop of Old Quebec City is a fantastic way to establish a dark and alluring atmosphere, particularly if the reader has had the chance to visit the city. The reader can follow the Wild Cards' steps and imagine the monsters they face in a real place they may have been or could be. The gore and gratuitous violence are described with a fabulously nauseating flair, and the non-stop action and suspense make Killer's Instinct just plain old fun for any young teen who savours a sensational horror novel.

      Also, with a strong female heroine, Killer's Instinct offers an appealing touchstone for female readers who have traditionally been cast solely as victims in the horror genre.

Highly Recommended.

Laura Dunford is a graduate of the University of British Columbia's MA in Children's Literature.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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