The John Cleaver series by Dan Wells

Hello everyone! Today I have a very special guest review written by my husband. Before we get into it I just want to say that while my husband likes to read, I have never seen him devour books like he did with this series. I think that really says something.

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John Wayne Cleaver is a teenage boy with homework, a learner’s permit and a crush on the girl next door. And self-imposed rules to keep himself from slaughtering everyone on his street.

The son of morticians, Dan Wells’ sociopathic protagonist is fascinated by dead bodies and serial killers. He meets with a therapist to discuss what to do when he gets an impulse to kill a classmate or neighbor. But when an apparent serial killer begins to ravage the tiny town of Clayton, only one person can out-think the killer, and give in to his impulses to end the slayings.

In I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, Don’t Make Me Kill You and The Devil’s Only Friend, John Cleaver plays the role of reluctant hero, and tip-toes the line between exacting justice and hunting down killers for the sport of it. In the process, he learns of a secret link between the killers, and becomes involved in a war thousands of years in the making.

23168838My Thoughts

I didn’t imagine myself loving a series with graphic descriptions of embalming, and gruesome scenes of violence, but I did. I enjoyed looking through the window of a character who’s mind works differently than mine. I rooted for John as he felt fleeting feelings of happiness and friendship, and wrestled with who he wanted to be.

I most enjoyed the first two books of the series. The supernatural elements in I Am Not a Serial Killer become gradually more of an emphasis as the series continues, and by The Devil’s Only Friend, John and the FBI are waging war against mythological creatures, and only John remains from the original cast of characters. I was most riveted when John was facing off with a single killer in his own neighborhood in Clayton, while dodging his nagging mother.

Overall, the John Cleaver series had me excited about figuring out what would happen next, and getting my hands on the next book as soon as possible.I don’t usually get as hyped about books as my wife does, but I didn’t know what to do with myself while The Devil’s Only Friend was on hold at my library. John himself is one of my favorite protagonists ever.

Overall Rating: 4.5, 4.5, 4, 4
Language: Mild (all)
Violence: Book 1 – Moderate to heavy
Book 2 – Heavy, with a rather unpleasant villain’s torture lair
Book 3 – Moderate to heavy, with descriptions of suicide
Book 4 – Moderate to heavy
Sexual Content: None (all)
Smoking/Drinking: None (all)

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