Customer Reviews for

I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 147 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(27)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Couldnt stop reading!!

This is one of the best books i have ever read! I could not put it down! I was reading it every chance I had! Never a boring or dull moment reading this thrilling book! Its darkness and suspense made the book so good! It's a must read! Read this book, you won't regret i...
This is one of the best books i have ever read! I could not put it down! I was reading it every chance I had! Never a boring or dull moment reading this thrilling book! Its darkness and suspense made the book so good! It's a must read! Read this book, you won't regret it!

posted by abwedige on July 27, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Prepare for Severe Novelistic Whiplash

Let's clear up what the book is about at the get-go. It is about a teenage sociopath with psychopathic tendencies who is trying hard to contain the monster within him. Then he comes up against a real monster that at first he believes is a serial killer but that turns ou...
Let's clear up what the book is about at the get-go. It is about a teenage sociopath with psychopathic tendencies who is trying hard to contain the monster within him. Then he comes up against a real monster that at first he believes is a serial killer but that turns out to be a demon that kills for self-preservation. What eventually kills the monster? The same as killed King Kong: love. If you are looking for a strictly serial killer novel, look elsewhere. Try any of these first-rate serial killer novels: Fowles, THE COLLECTOR (a classic, a career launcher); Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME (maybe the ultimate noir novel of all time); Oates, ZOMBIE (terrific, gory and compelling); Valentino, I, KILLER (probing, compassionate romp through the mind of a tormented killer racing to his death). As for I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, the first seven chapters are very good. Wells has synthesized the literature on serial killers into a compelling character. He fictionalizes his knowledge well, integrating what is known about sociopaths and psychopathic killers (not to mention mortuary science) into the fabric of the story -- unlike some authors who interrupt the flow of the story to expound on the psychology of the killer. It's the balance of the book that is problematic. From young serial killer trying to control the monster within him, the novel transitions abruptly into a supernatural tale. As you read, you have visions of FRIGHT NIGHT, of a twist on vampire fare. Wells inflicts novelistic whiplash upon you. I've given it three stars for the excellent writing and the really top-rate first seven chapters. But if you prefer the realm of reality, try the other novels I've recommended.

posted by EclecticReaderWR on December 31, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Prepare for Severe Novelistic Whiplash

    Let's clear up what the book is about at the get-go. It is about a teenage sociopath with psychopathic tendencies who is trying hard to contain the monster within him. Then he comes up against a real monster that at first he believes is a serial killer but that turns out to be a demon that kills for self-preservation. What eventually kills the monster? The same as killed King Kong: love. If you are looking for a strictly serial killer novel, look elsewhere. Try any of these first-rate serial killer novels: Fowles, THE COLLECTOR (a classic, a career launcher); Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME (maybe the ultimate noir novel of all time); Oates, ZOMBIE (terrific, gory and compelling); Valentino, I, KILLER (probing, compassionate romp through the mind of a tormented killer racing to his death). As for I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, the first seven chapters are very good. Wells has synthesized the literature on serial killers into a compelling character. He fictionalizes his knowledge well, integrating what is known about sociopaths and psychopathic killers (not to mention mortuary science) into the fabric of the story -- unlike some authors who interrupt the flow of the story to expound on the psychology of the killer. It's the balance of the book that is problematic. From young serial killer trying to control the monster within him, the novel transitions abruptly into a supernatural tale. As you read, you have visions of FRIGHT NIGHT, of a twist on vampire fare. Wells inflicts novelistic whiplash upon you. I've given it three stars for the excellent writing and the really top-rate first seven chapters. But if you prefer the realm of reality, try the other novels I've recommended.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Couldnt stop reading!!

    This is one of the best books i have ever read! I could not put it down! I was reading it every chance I had! Never a boring or dull moment reading this thrilling book! Its darkness and suspense made the book so good! It's a must read! Read this book, you won't regret it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    exciting Teen-lit thriller

    In Clayton, fifteen year old John Wayne Cleaver has helped his mom and his aunt at the family run mortuary for years. He is surrounded by corpses so death means little to him, which makes it difficult for John to sympathize with the mourners.

    However, the human predators who cause death fascinate and frighten him. Concerned he may become a serial killer one day as he admires these psychopaths, he sees a shrink and has established rigid rules that he totally adheres to. A loner by nurture, he prefers the dead to the living as they demand nothing as opposed to their relatives demanding miraculous cosmetics. When a sliced up body parts arrive at the mortuary, even John is taken aback. When more carved up corpses are found, John investigates as he wants to meet his first serial killer in person though this also means he bends his rules for the first time.

    John holds the tale together as he constantly reminds himself that: "I am not a serial killer" though surrounded by death. He is a captivating unique lead character as is his mom and aunt. Teen-lit fans will relish his mantra and amateur sleuthing, as he investigates while also mindful of not crossing the line.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Does everything right

    A friend lent me all three books, and I loved them so much I decided to write this review. Dan Wells really does his research, even more than you may realize just from the book. Can't wait to read more from him. John can be horrifying at one point, and heartwarming the next. The relationships between the characters are dynamic and believable. If you like a good thriller with a supernatural twist, then look no further.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    Great quick read. Very entertaining!

    I love John Wayne Cleaver. This book was engaging and at times, laugh out loud funny. After finishing it, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Mr. Monster.

    It was easy to get caught up in the lives of Clayton County residents and i kept thinking that having grown up in a small town, I've met, at one time or another, every one of the characters - including John. It was like going home for a visit. Loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Loved it

    I am an avid reader two to three books a week. Since I was 13 I am now pushing 60. I have read every type of novel written from Erma Bombeck to Charlie Chaplins autobiographay . From Steven King to Ellery Queen and Victoria Holt. The Kent family Chronicles, and Roots to Terry Brooks, Tad Williams, and Michael Jordan. From Ann Rule to Andy Rooney. As well as some self help books the best so far was "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff And It's All Small Stuff" also worth a read is "Raising your children with love and logic" . I have wanted to let you know that I am one of those people who's taste in subject matter is wide and varied because of the reviews that some readers were disappointed. They were disappointed because Dan Wells the author of this wonderful exciting novel that is full of factual details about the mind of pycho killers as well as the details of the embalming process (which we never get from) Patricia Cornwell Mr. Wells drifted his novel from facts to fantasy. I was not surprised or disappointed. This is a fictional novel. I also love sci-fi, and fantasy. This novel is a fictional story by an author of another series about the end of our world. This series also has a touch of fantasy. What I'm trying to get across is that Dan Wells is a great story teller but if you want a book with facts or just factual ideas you will not be a fan of the Dan Wells novels that he has published so far. They are all well done and if you love good fantasy like I do or just a good story Dan Wells is well worth your time and money. Keep writing Mr. Wells. Please. I will purchase them all. Thank you for the hours of excitement, suspense, and yes a little bit of fear, and yes even joy that you have given me with your words.
    Sanna7125

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Gripping novel that you won't want to put down!

    I had read Dan Wells dystopian series (Partials and Fragmants-- Ruins to come out in March 2014), and decided to give his other trilogy a try. The protagonist is a fascinating character and Wells gives incredible detail into the boy's psyche. For an almost 500 page book, it's a very quick read because you don't want to put it down. There is a twist you won't expect that will keep you riveted. Highly recommend and am looking forward to reading book #2 in this series, Mr. Monster.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    Welcome Break

    I just recently graduated from college and randomly chose this book while perusing the store. As a recent graduate, this book was WONDERFUL for a multitude of reasons. First of all, it was an easy read; I found myself unable to put it down! Being a psychology major, I thought the protagonist's level of personal insight was astounding and I found myself just wanting to keep turning the pages to see what other insightful thoughts John Wayne Cleaver had to offer to the reader. Even better was finishing the book and realizing it was part of a trilogy! I can't wait for the two other novels to come out. I don't frequently recommend books to others, but I've definitely recommended this one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful thriller without the hack and slash gore of most thrillers

    I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER was a great book about John Wayne Cleaver, our protagonist, and his struggles with the fact that he might be a sociopath and, even worse, he could become a serial killer.

    The best part about Dan Wells' first novel is the change of genre that occurs roughly midway through the book that offers its own unique twist, that at first, seems a little awkward but eventually it makes complete sense.

    This thriller isn't your typical hack and slash melodrama but a unique unfolding of a great story. I can't wait for the next book in this trilogy to be published.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    tedious

    and long, repetitive and not scarey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Good, solid read but end differently than it started

    This is a solid read. It has a good level of suspense and the main character is extremely well done. The main character alone makes this book worth reading.

    The book does, however, progress from a murder mystery novel to more of a supernatural horror novel. This may bother some readers and was minor mistake by Mr. Wells in writing the book. I don't fully buy into the genre classification system for books, so the genre switch that occurs about 100 pages in did not bother me.

    Overall, this book does deserve five stars for the main character, plot and entertainment value, even if the author made a few forgivable flubs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Excellent

    I loved this book. The main character John is hard to relate to, but great to watch in action. The ending was awesome.

    John Cleaver proves that just because you have all of the predictors for becoming a serial killer, does not mean you have to be one. His attention to detail and his specialized rules for himself were very intriguing. Getting to know him was scary and exciting. The ending was intense and a bit sad.

    I have an interest in real life serial killers. (BTW I am not a serial killer.) I have read many true crime and criminal profiling books. The author has done his research for this character! Well played!

    Highly recommended. (I do not personally know the author. Nor was I solicited for this review.) I really liked this book. I bought the next two books because this one was so fast paced, tense, and enjoyable. I read it in two sittings without much sleep.

    -AvidReader

    -AvidReader

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Unexpected

    Took me by surpise but not sure if i liked it or not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Dexter

    I thought it was good. Dont know who came first, John or Dexter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 7, 2013

    Terrible

    This book was cool until it went supernatural. I was instantly angry when John's neighbor sprouted horns and demon claws and began killing people. What a stupid book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Great, but distrubing book

    I started out reading this expecting it to be like most horror novels, unrealistic and therefore not very scary. After reading this, however, I found myself becoming truly scared and distrubed, mostly because it had some very real elements to it. In short, this is a book not to read on a dark night, believe me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Wonderful!

    I agree with the review below: it abruptly becomes a supernatural tale. I LOVED it, though! I loved how Wells writes about the protagonist's thought processes and how he comes to conclusions and plans his actions. This book was one of the most wonderful books I have ever read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Supernatural meets serial killer

    Great books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2012

    I love the main character! Wells did a fantastic job making his

    I love the main character! Wells did a fantastic job making his personality seep into every sentence of this story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Worth it. Worth your time

    As said before an excellent debut. I purchased and finished all three books in almost one sitting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8