Review: The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

Rating: ★★★★☆+

Synopsis

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. 

Review

Thanks to Hachette Audio, Libro.fm, the author, and the narrator for a listening copy of The Last Days of Jack Sparks in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this LC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

Since it is October, and that means you need to read AT LEAST one horror novel within the entirety of the month, my choice was pretty easy. I have had this book on my TBR for what seems like an eternity (I mean, it has been out for 3+ years) and have been wanting to get to it for some time. When I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook, narrated by one of my all-time favs, Joe Jameson (RJ Barker’s The Wounded Kingdom & Sebastin de Castell’s Spellslinger to name a couple), I dove straight in.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks is a ghastly page-turner that will have you laugh-screaming in fits. There are genuinely parts of this book where you will be rolling on the floor one minute, and pulling your feet up off of it the next. On top of that, Jack Sparks is one of the most irresponsible narrators I have ever come across, but much like a major traffic accident, I found it hard to turn away. This is one horror novel that I can widely recommend, especially if you are looking for one that will give you legit chills while poking a finger in your sides.

This story is published posthumously and has been pieced together by Jack’s brother, Alistair, after recovering all of Jack’s research, rough drafts, video commentaries, transcribed conversations, and the like. It gives a very interesting and original structure to the book; one that I believe helped this novel excel for me.

To say Jack is a bit of an a-hole is the understatement of the century. With his only concerns being his follower count and proving people to be counterfeit, it is really difficult to take him seriously. His actions are brash and his words cut like a knife, but as the story unfolds, you sort of feel sorry for the guy. Things take quite a turn for Jack after the video leaks and the story gets downright creepy. Known for diving deep into his research, Jack stops at nothing to find the answers he sicks, even if it means dying for it.

Even knowing Jack’s death is imminent based on the title of the novel doesn’t detract from the enjoyment you will get out of reading it. Arnopp has created something truly original here and it was an absolute delight to finally get to. If you want a possession experience mixed with laughs and scares, queue this one up.

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