Blood of My Blood

Blood of My Blood - Barry Lyga

Jazz has been left bleeding out from a gunshot wound in a storage unit in New York City. Connie, his girlfriend, has just been captured by Billy, Jazz's serial killer father. Howie, Jazz's best friend, has just been shot in Jazz's house by Jazz's aunt. And then things get worse when Jazz is arrested. But Jazz doubts the cops will be able to capture Billy and is determined to hunt down Billy himself. But Billy isn't working alone. He's teamed up with the Crow King.

 

The last book in this trilogy is basically more of the same. It keeps repeating the same things we've been hearing from book one. Jazz knows a ton about serial killers and killing because he was raised by Billy, and he must constantly fight his dark urges to kill. He's great at understanding human nature and manipulating people. Howie is tall, horny, and has hemophilia. Connie is black and is Jazz's girlfriend. Jazz is dating Connie because she is black and Billy never killed a black woman. Cops don't know what they're doing when it comes to catching serial killers. Billy is smarter than everyone and only Jazz has a chance at stopping him. The book makes sure to hit you over the head with all of those things over and over again. Like it did in the previous books.

 

The aspect I liked most from the previous books was Jazz's relationship with his father. With Jazz finally learning that his mother is alive and her being thrown into the mix, their family dynamic remained the most interesting part of the series to me. Right until the end where it kind of lost my interest. That's probably due to the fact that the ending just felt wrong to me.

At no point was I ever truly worried that a main character would die. Despite all of them being seriously injured, they all recover pretty well by the end of it. All charges against Jazz are dropped despite the multiple crimes he committed, including assaulting police officers. He is able to stop his parents without killing. He makes a ton of money writing about the whole ordeal. And Connie is still with him, though they're long distance at the moment. It just seems strange to me that a series that held nothing back in terms of violence and darkness would suddenly pull its punches at the end. I mean, this book revealed that Jazz's mom forced him to have sex with her in her efforts to raise the perfect little serial killer. You would think a series that went that route wouldn't wrap everything up in a perfect bow. For a series that was so dark, the ending just doesn't fit for me.

(show spoiler)

 

I'm a bit torn on how I feel about the way Connie's character is presented. I like the fact that the book isn't vague about her being black, but rather explicitly states it so that there is no mistake. The book also explicitly states other characters' skin colors, like Jazz and Howie. Often skin color is only mentioned if the character isn't white, so seeing white characters have their skin color get a mention as well is nice. However, Connie's skin color gets brought up constantly, unlike the white characters, to the point where it feels like her being black is the only important thing you need to know about her. The only thing about her that gets close to as many mentions as her skin color is her being Jazz's girlfriend, and, as we are repeatedly reminded, the whole reason Jazz chose to date her is because she is black. It felt like Connie's defining trait was that she was black and that was the only thing that mattered about her.

 

I was hoping I'd like this book like I did the first in the series, but that sadly wasn't the case. The repetition of everything over the course of the entire series just started to drive me crazy. I don't like being told the same things again and again, and that's what happened here.