Book Review: The Last Days of Jack Sparks

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

In 2014, Jack Sparks - the controversial pop culture journalist - died in mysterious circumstances. 

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He'd already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy. 

Then there was that video: thirty-six 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. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack's final hours.

I was tipped that this book would be one of the books to watch out for this year. Orbit has kept on surprising me with their releases and Jack Sparks is again one of them. When I saw the cover of the book I thought it would be just another generic crime novel, but just after a few pages I knew this would be more than that. The catchy line of "Jack Sparks died while writing this book." is just brilliant by the by. Now lets meet Jack Sparks.

Jack Sparks a well known British author has written many successful stories over the year like Jack Sparks on Gangs and Jack Sparks on Drugs but the critics mentioned that with the last books that he wrote his level declined bit by bit. Now he is determined to get back in the game with his latest idea. Jack Sparks on the Supernatural. But he died while writing this book... his brother Alistair took it onto himself to finish and publish the book. 

It all start when Jack witnesses an exorcism in Italy that he mocks and says it is all a load off * on social media. But he doesn't quite leave unscathed. Psychically not physically. But then it all starts to get weird as a mysterious video appears on his own YouTube channel. Jack holds true to denying that he doesn't know anythings about this video, he knows nothing of its origin and what is happening and that an even odder thing happens. One day the video disappears agains from Jack's Youtube channel, but the damage had already been done. The media has gotten word of it, the social media sphere not to forget as well. However most importantly it has left a big scar on Jack's mind. He is the only one who hears certain words being said on the video. This is just one of the things from where he is starting to loose it slowly, or is he? From this point on in the book you see Jack's character going through more than one length to get to the bottom of it all. Jack to drugs in his corresponding book to get the best experience, so you know he will do just about everything to get his right, and the attention of course.. but as you can make up from the synopsis these are the last days of Jack Sparks, it isn't a spoiler at all, because as one has mentioned it is not about the destination, but the journey... 

If you look at Jack's character you just know he is messed up. Did his brother Alistair, who partly narrates this book, started it when he locked Jack up? Or did Jack grow into the attention seeking person that he became with some of the successes he made in his life?  In just about everything that Jack undertakes he seeks a certain degree of acknoledgement, he is furthermore quite full of himself and thinks he can get away with most of it all. But what these kind of people often don't see is that others see them as merely superficial. This gets reflected though parts of the books, by the remarks that Alistair make but even when Jack is doing the narration... 

Jason Arnopp did a solid job in building up the story. It follows a unique narration with parts being Jack writing his accounts on paper and on the other side Alistair doing the final editing with also some parts of the investigation that he has been carrying out to see what Jack was doing. This type of narration gave a true dynamic feeling to the story, one that never grounded down to a halt but always kept calling you back to read more. A bit like that YouTube video...

Another part where The Last Days of Jack Sparks  draws a strength is with the whole setting that is created within the pages. Some part are pretty dark, occultish and supernatural but despite this darkness, Jason Arnopp leaves enough room to maneuver to get some witty and funny moment in. This added only more to the dynamics of the story. 

If I hadn't been tipped about this book I probably wouldn't have picked up this book but luckily I was. The Last Days of Jack Sparks is solid summer-read for this holiday and a gem to be sure. 


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