Author: John Twelve Hawks
|Book Rating: 3/5|
|Bottom Line: This Thriller Lacks the Thrill.|
Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a shadow department in the faceless multinational corporation DBG. Jacob is not a businessman…he is a hired assassin…and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. Suffering from Cotard’s syndrome-a real condition that causes people to believe they are dead-Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a Shell with no emotion and no sense of right or wrong. Emily Buchanan is a bright young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting she may have stolen valuable information and a fortune from the company, Miss Holquist-Jacob’s handler at DBG-assigns him the task of tracking her down and neutralizing her. Jacob’s condition allows him to carry out assignments with ruthless, logical precision-devoid of guilt, fear, or dishonor. But as his new assignment draws him inside a labyrinthine network of dark dealings, Jacob finds himself up against something he is completely incapable of understanding. Spark is an ingenious and chilling vision of modern-day humanity under constant, invasive surveillance and a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse.
Spark has a different feel than The Fourth Realm Trilogy. Yes, the paranoia with technology and being tracked by everything we do is still there and very present in the story. This lacks the heart and warmth that Hawk’s other books had, which is what helped to draw me into such a cold world and story. This story is just cold, with no feelings attached. The main character thinks of himself as dead and is unemotional about (almost) everything, so there aren’t any redeeming qualities that made me want to root for him. I just didn’t care what happened to anyone in the story at all.
I think the book is intelligently written and Hawks is great about building the world his characters live in, even if it isn’t too different than our own. I just wanted so much more from this book and felt let down as I finished it and that was that.
Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest review