I Don’t Want to Kill You (take 2)

This is something different for the blog.  I just finished re-reading the book I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells.  The fact that this wasn’t my first reading of the book really isn’t new – I had read the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series as well as the first four Harry Potter books before posting reviews here – but it is different.  The difference is that for the first time on my blog I re-read a book that I already had a review up for.

I’m glad I re-read the John Cleaver series, if for no other reason than I would rather have reviews for all three books up rather than just the first one, but also because I really like the books.  But re-reading the third one brings up a question: should I do another full review, or just link to the one that I did last time?

Reading a book for the second time is a very different experience than the first read.  Especially for a book like this where there is a pretty big twist at the end.  It’s kind of like a mystery novel in that way.  If you know the twist ahead of time (or figure it out very early in the book) is it still worth reading?  For this book, the answer was yes, it was still well worth reading.  In this case, knowing the twist actually made the book a little better because it allowed me to see the foreshadowing that Wells did early on in the book more clearly than you can see it in the first reading.

So back to the question, am I going to do another full review?  No, I’m just going to post a link back to the original review for the book.  After finishing the book a little while ago, I went through my review of the book, and I still agree with everything I said.  The book still gets a 10/10 rating, and it’s still a wonderful read.  There’s actually only one thing I have to change in the review, and it’s that in this book he finally says what state Clayton County is in – North Dakota.  It’s a pretty good choice of a state to put a book in, I mean, I’ve never met anyone from North Dakota, have you?  For all I know, North Dakota doesn’t even really exist.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve met anyone who’s ever been to North Dakota, I’ve never heard of anything happening there, and I’ve never heard anyone say that they have any intention of ever going there.  So when you look at it that way, there probably isn’t a North Dakota at all, just a big whole in the center of the continent.

Overall Grade

A second reading helped show exactly how well everything in the book was foreshadowed, the ending was perfect because it was perfectly set up by everything in it.  A great book.


I apologize to anyone who actually does live in North Dakota, I’m sure it’s a wonderful place to live.  Imaginary places usually are.

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  1. The movie, “Fargo,” played out in North Dakota, but of course that was fiction “based on actual events,” so it could still be a hoax. My fathers family came from Minnesota, but I don’t recall any of them every mentioning ND.

    And come to think of it, not long ago, an NPR story said the state of North Dakota was in the black – and this at a time when lots of states were deeply in debt. Hmmm – that does sound like a fairy tale, doesn’t it.

    You may be on to something.

    • It’s entirely possible that they said North Dakota was in a black hole. Actually, that would explain why no one ever says they’ve been there. If they try to go there, they get sucked into a black hole and disappear forever.

      I’ve never seen Fargo, but in saying it’s based on actual events, does it ever specify that those events actually happened in North Dakota?

  2. Interesting. I come across this book a lot but I never thought to pick it up. Thanks for the review. I’ll be sure to grab a copy the next time I hit the bookstore! 🙂

    • Keep in mind that this is the third book in the trilogy. The first book is I Am Not A Serial Killer and the second is Mr. Monster. They’re all wonderful books and well worth reading.

  3. I often think about re-reviewing when reading something again – I always go by what I put in the previous review. If I think it’s a good review and I still agree with everything, then I won’t re-review.

    I do like books that aren’t set in a place that everyone knows about – it means the author has to do a lot more work to get you to understand the place and it’s people – usually resulting in me being better immersed in the book.

    • I don’t think the setting is ever the part of the book that really causes immersion in a book. The characters and the plot are what drive me to read a book, not the setting. In some ways it can be harder to have a fictional setting feel real than to study a real setting and write about it.

  4. hannahrose42

     /  January 30, 2012

    I know someone from South Dakota, but I don’t think even they have been to North Dakota… Also, if you haven’t seen Fargo, it’s excellent. That may come from my Coen brothers bias, but who cares, really?
    Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy… Now there is a series I need to read again. I wore my, “DON’T PANIC” button today, and it surprises me how many people have no idea what that is from.
    In unrelated news, my friend lent me And Then There Were None, so once my homework calms down a bit, I should be able to read it!

    • For Christmas my brother got me a stuffed rabbit with fangs from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It currently serves as my team mascot for bowling on Thursdays. Anyway, I had it sitting out on the table today, and one of my teammates thought it was cool but had never seen the movie. It’s frightening how some people just don’t know these things. I mean, were they really that deprived as children?

      In related news, And Then There Were None is awesome.


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