I Don’t Want to Kill You – Book Three of The John Cleaver Series
This is a continuation of my look at Dan Wells’ John Cleaver trilogy. It started with I Am Not a Serial Killer, continues in the second novel Mr. Monster and finishes here, in I Don’t Want to Kill You.
“John Wayne Cleaver has called a demon—literally called it on the phone—and challenged it to a fight.”
I Don’t Want to Kill You is the third and final book of Dan Wells’ John Cleaver trilogy. It is a supernatural horror novel with a YA label. It looks like Mr. Wells saved the best for last. I find book three is a better-written story with better characterization. In fact, it seems as if characters that just sort of existed in the first two books, finally got personalities, including the main character. If you read my last two reviews, you would know that I have had a problem with the main character’s woodenness for the last two books.
What “I Don’t Want to Kill You” is About
There is much personal growth to the main character in this one. He is still the angsty, misunderstood youth from the first two books, but this time around, he is actually learning as he goes, and finding out new things about himself. After all, he just recently bested two supernatural killers so his confidence level is through the roof. He also seems to have much less of a struggle in this book with his “Mr. Monster.” This is a welcome change for me. He doesn’t spend the book focusing on how different he is.
At the end of the previous novel, he sent out an invitation to another supernatural beastie and so there is no surprise when one comes to his town. However, once the killings begin, John realizes that not only does he have no idea who the killer could be, but there may also be more than one of them.
One small peeve I had with this book was the character of the pastor. The author builds him up and then just…lets him go later on in the book. It is only a small peeve, amongst a few others, but they are not worth mentioning here. They do not make the story any less good.
Just as book two was slightly longer than book one, book three is slightly longer than book two. The extra length does not make this book any less of a quick read than the previous ones. Dan Wells managed to pack in a lot of action, a few twists, much character building and it all still flows quickly and evenly.
Read my review of Book 2, Mr. Monster
Read my review of the John Cleaver Series as a whole