The Last Days of Jack Sparks

The Last Days of Jack SparksThe Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This funny, delightful, and at times truly terrifying horror novel took me completely by surprise. As characters go, Jack Sparks is a wonderful creation, one in a long list of unreliable narrators whose lies slowly unravel over the course of the story. His voice is funny and highly readable, and despite Sparks’ numerous faults, it’s also shockingly relatable, especially in this self-aggrandizing Internet age, where it sometimes seems the number of your social media followers is more important than your character or integrity. Sparks’ voice is charming and responsible for a good deal of this novel’s strength, but author Jason Arnopp succeeds in telling a compelling horror story as well. Exorcisms, demons, ghosts, and gruesome deaths are all here for both the casual horror fan and the devoted horror reader alike. But perhaps the novel’s greatest strength is how surprisingly touching the story becomes by the end. Jack Sparks is unlikeable from the start — cynical, flippant, contemptuous, manipulative — but by the end we really feel for him. I’m looking forward to whatever Arnopp writes next.

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