The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
THE MOST CHILLING AND UNPREDICTABLE THRILLER OF THE YEAR.
Jack Sparks died while writing this book.
It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed.
Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.
Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed - until now.
'Ingenious and funny . . . A magnificent millennial nightmare' - Alan Moore
'Wow. Seriously hard to put down . . . Chilling and utterly immersive' - M. R. Carey
'This is The Omen for the social media age' - Chris Brookmyre
'Wittier than the lovechild of Stephen Fry and Charlie Brooker, scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum' - Sarah Lotz
DISCOVER THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS - DESTINED TO BE 2016'S MOST TALKED-ABOUT THRILLER
Not a genre that I usually read and not an author I have come across before but I found it was horrifying and fascinating in equal measure.
The main character Jack Sparks is a writer and media personality. Having written a series of Jack Sparks on Drugs and on Gangs books he is now investigating (and intends to expose as rubbish) the supernatural. While researching for this in his latest series of books he is invited along to an exorcism of a young girl (he believes it is all an act) and he laughs and is openly disrespectful even when the the priest is injured and is taken to hospital he believes it's all part of the act. Things then seem to go very weird for Jack; he finds someone has uploaded a spooky video to his YouTube channel and he becomes obsessed with finding out who was responsible and embarks on his journey into the supernatural.
It was very well written with a good amount of humor which made reading it not such a chore or so dark that anyone other than a horror fan would want to continue reading it. The reader is aware from the outset that the 'author' Jack Sparks dies while writing this book and we are lead through it by his brother Alistair and the help of his notes. This book really plays with your mind, reading it you think one thing then a few pages on you realise that maybe what you have read is not what is happening at all - a roller coaster of a ride into the unknown and reality.
Vivid colourful writing perfectly sets the scenes for spooky and addictive reading, difficult to put down Jack Sparks gets under your skin, one minute you believe he deserves what he gets and the next you're rooting for him. So unusual for a writer to evoke these feelings in one character in a novel' normally you either like the central character or you don't. With Jack Sparks you have to unravel the real person as you and he go along together.
Jack is a wonderful character, flawed, realistically believable, not a hero by any stretch of the imagination who maintains his bravado through witty remarks and cynicism that creates such a likeable character in the end, the humour in this novel is extremely well executed. He is egotistical, self centered and shallow but he is also warm, funny and vulnerable which all come across in this novel. In terms of content it has the lot, exorcisms, bloody deaths, ghosts, demons and possession all the attributes that horror devotees devour in spade fulls and enough little touches to give it some realism. Along with all of this it was also surprisingly quite touching to take the journey with Jack from his arrogant and flippant beginning to his inevitable death in the end. I almost pitied him and hoped (although we know he does not survive) that at the eleventh hour he would be saved.
I really enjoyed this foray into the supernatural and although not a favoured genre I would be happy to read another Arnopp novel any time and give this a well deserved 4 stars.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.