Spark

E Book Spark I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway but that had no effect on my review Jacob Underwood works for the Special Services Section of a large NY investment bank His job is to take care

E-Book Spark I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway, but that had no effect on my review.Jacob Underwood works for the Special Services Section of a large NY investment bank. His job is to take care of problems unconventionally: he is a contract killer. Jacob was recruited by Ms. Holquist, following a near fatal motorcycle accident, in which he was transformed into an unfeeling, unemotional shell that thinks he’s dead (called Cotard's syndrome.) He lives in a society where "Big Brother" watches everyone to detect abnormal behavioral patterns. After a mundane job or two, he is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a banking analyst, who was given some secret information by a guy from India she met at a conference and told to release it if she does not hear from him. As Jacob investigates, he begins to question his instructions, and draws the attention of a rival when he does not follow orders, starting with his refusal to (view spoiler)[ kill an innocent child. (hide spoiler)] I liked Hawk's creativity and the development of Jacob's character. Not quite 4 stars, but I rounded up.. Spark go inside Kindle Jacob Underwood is not like other people.He has Cotard s Syndrome He believes he is dead Which makes his job as a hired assassin neutralising problems for DBG, a massive multinational corporation, very simple He carries out the task and feels nothing.Now DBG has such a problem A key employee, Emily Buchanan, has disappeared, taking with her a fortune and pricelessJacob Underwood is not like other people.He has Cotard s Syndrome He believes he is dead Which makes his job as a hired assassin neutralising problems for DBG, a massive multinational corporation, very simple He carries out the task and feels nothing.Now DBG has such a problem A key employee, Emily Buchanan, has disappeared, taking with her a fortune and priceless information which could destroy the company Jacob must track her down In previous assignments, he had worked with cold logical precision, but this time he has to confront a threat that he first must understand before it destroys him. John Twelve Hawks aka J12H JXIIH.His real identity is unknown He communicates using the internet and an untraceable phone and has never met his editor.Several guesses have been made regarding his identity that he was Thomas Pynchon, Dan Brown, or Steve Hawking among others. Bestseller Book Spark This is a clever book, because it manages to be a fast paced action thriller, with dystopian themes, but right at the heart of it is a pure character piece.Jacob Underwood is definitely one of the more fascinating characters you will find in fiction – emotionless and unfeeling it is hard to judge him for the things he does, which are lets face it, pretty horrific, because despite his actions he is eminently likeable. He doesnt make excuses or justify, he simply is…but as the book progresses there is a spark of life somewhere in there just waiting to emerge…The flow of it is very intense…I dare you to put it down once you pick it up…but still, the characters are key all the way. Seen through Jacob’s eyes throughout, referred to by him as the “human units”, his outlook on life will often strike you as very sensible, sometimes funny but realistically speaking quite dangerous for those around him. As the story goes on and we find out how he got to be the way he is it is endlessly compelling and terribly addictive.The “backdrop” if you like, about his latest task, to find and neutralise upon instruction one Emily Buchanan, a young lady who has in her possession some very dangerous information, is the perfect plot within which Jacob can function, evolve and draw you into his world…and he will certainly do that. There is plenty of action, some dark themes explored well, and a strange kind of life affirming humanity to the whole thing considering you are travelling the road alongside a character who believes he is dead..The author has created a wonderful mythology here, using some standard dystopian themes, but then putting front and centre a character from which everything else flows…I absolutely loved it, certainly one of my reads of the year, and I can only hope that there will be more from Jacob. Whilst this particular adventure is satisfactorily complete it is obvious that as far as our main protagonist is concerned, the surface has barely been scratched…Highly Recommended: Most especially for fans of character driven genre novels with heart.Happy Reading Folks!

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  1. John Twelve Hawks aka J12H JXIIH.His real identity is unknown He communicates using the internet and an untraceable phone and has never met his editor.Several guesses have been made regarding his identity that he was Thomas Pynchon, Dan Brown, or Steve Hawking among others

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Spark Comment

  1. This is a clever book, because it manages to be a fast paced action thriller, with dystopian themes, but right at the heart of it is a pure character piece.Jacob Underwood is definitely one of the fascinating characters you will find in fiction emotionless and unfeeling it is hard to judge him for the things he does, which are lets face it, pretty horrific, because despite his actions he is eminently likeable He doesnt make excuses or justify, he simply is but as the book progresses there is a [...]


  2. I won this book as a giveaway, but that had no effect on my review.Jacob Underwood works for the Special Services Section of a large NY investment bank His job is to take care of problems unconventionally he is a contract killer Jacob was recruited by Ms Holquist, following a near fatal motorcycle accident, in which he was transformed into an unfeeling, unemotional shell that thinks he s dead called Cotard s syndrome He lives in a society where Big Brother watches everyone to detect abnormal beh [...]


  3. John Twelve Hawks, the mystery man of literature I read his first trilogy and liked the first book Sadly the next 2 books of that series after a promising and interesting start bogged down in Eastern Cosmology.Here we are again starting out with an eye to the loss of privacy The story is told through a protagonist who has an unusual delusion he believes himself to be dead.The story is interesting as we learn a little about unnamed protagonists he shows certain symptoms of high functioning autism [...]


  4. I was really torn between and 3 and 4 star rating for this realistically, it was somewhere in between.I thought the overall premise of this book was really interesting Call me morbid, but I m a sucker for cold blooded assassin characters The idea that there was an actual scientific explanation behind Jacob s condition was especially interesting, and I liked the descriptions of how he functioned in the world Definitely different than anything I ve read before I ve recently become a fan of the who [...]


  5. Once I started this book, I couldn t put it down From the very beginning this book grabs you with it s originality, it s perfectly paced action and most of all with the questions you need answers to.Jacob is a contract killer for a seriously creepy group of people He is particularly good at his job because he is dead He is unable to feel fear, remorse, or much of anything really He is a Spark inside a Shell He wasn t always dead He used to be a normal guy with a job and friends and a girlfriend [...]


  6. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian fantasy, Spark A Novel is an exciting, fast paced book set in a future where the government controls every aspect of life and corporate greed has created an underground economy that operates on its own set of rules Jacob Underwood is a man with a rare psychological condition that makes him the perfect enforcer in this new economy Underwood is an emotionless and methodical assassin, until something goes wrong on one of his jobs and his world begins to u [...]


  7. If you thought our world of The Fourth Realm Trilogy was paranoid with The Vast Machine, the world of Spark is paranoia on steroids Surveillance is even omnipresent and omnipotent than in the earlier books The Vast Machine is even vaster The protagonist is a hit man who has Cotard s Syndrome, so he thinks he s dead A good trait for a hired killer His employer adds to the feeling of paranoia.The book goes on with the present story, with flashbacks explaining how the hero got that way While readi [...]


  8. Some of the premises of this futuristic dystopian thriller seemed mildly promising It is set several years after the Day of Rage, a group of terror attacks in which bombs were set off at Eton, the Dalton School in Manhattan, and elite schools in several other countries We re never told how many victims died, but it s a day with obvious overtones of 9 11, and it results in the creation of a total surveillance society Congress passes a series of laws with Orwellian names such as The Need to Know A [...]


  9. This is the book I have been most looking forward to over the year I absolutely love John Twelve Hawk s Fourth Realm Trilogy The Traveler rates upon my top 10 favorite books and it s in a genre I don t read enough of because I don t usually enjoy it so much 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 i [...]


  10. I love Hawks writing and this book was no different I really, really liked this book.Written in first person, Jacob s voice and point of view is like nothing I ve read before Jacob, along with the world he lives in, is clearly written with just the right amount of description I felt like I was a ghost following Jacob around Which is funny considering that Jacob believes himself to be dead Or at least a being that does not entirely exist.This book is a great metaphor for how we live now and where [...]


  11. I received this book for free through First Reads.I do not read much science fiction and I did not have any expectations about this novel But from the first page I was sucked in and I finished the book in two days John Twelve Hawks presents such an interesting concept about freedom and choice The main character is Jacob Underwood, a hired assassin who does not have any emotions because he suffers from Cotard s Syndrome he believes he is dead This was a fast paced story with a weaving plot The il [...]


  12. This is about a Jacob Underwood who suffers from Cotard s Syndrome an actual condition that makes you believe you are dead even though you aren t He is a hired assassin who does his job very well since he has no feelings or concept of right or wrong Things do change though, and when that happens, this good book becomes great The good writing made me want to keep turning pages which led to a very good ending Gerard s review


  13. Excellent slightly dystopian and futuristic thriller featuring an intriguing leading figure who believes he is already dead Surprisingly touching in places for a novel with such a high deathcount.


  14. LoglineIn a dystopian future, an assassin with no emotions is asked to locate a missing woman When his emotions start returning, he has to decide whether to carry out his orders to kill the woman or break with his employers and protect her and the secret she has uncovered.Plot SummaryIn the near future, androids known as nubots have replaced most human workers, causing mass unemployment The anti nubot underground, known as the neo ludites, carried out a terrorist attack known as The Day of Rage [...]


  15. I am so sorry guys but this review might be a little short and a little shite due to both physical and mental illness.This book was incredibly easy to sink into It was a fast paced, easy read and I did enjoy it The only problem I had was that it had very similar themes to his previous novels and so was not a breath of fresh air Religion, history, and philosophy are just fictions we ve invented to explain our meaningless world The novel followed the story of Jacob Underwood, a man who believes he [...]


  16. Jacob Underwood works for the SSS, Special Services Section of a large NY Investment Bank But he s not a banker He s one of an elite group of contract killers, employed by the bank who go after and eliminate bank enemy s who commit crimes that can t be reported to the authorities What makes him a good hit man is not his steady gun arm or his excellent eyesight It s that because of a near fatal motorcycle accident he was transformed into an unfeeling, unemotional shell that thinks he s dead His b [...]


  17. Jacob Underwood has been transformed because of a motorcycle accident He cannot identify, understand or experience human feelings and believes he is dead he has Cotard s Syndrome Other than the crazy and different yet disturbingly believable world Jacob exists within, Jacob himself is fascinating He tells his story, including his current job as an enforcer, and his history and what has happened to make him the way he is Despite Jacob s lack of ability to experience or understand emotions, he has [...]


  18. If you re concerned about electronic security, and surveillance, this is the book for you If you d like to toss cogito, ergo sum, around the dorm room this will give you something to play with If you re at all curious about Cotard s Syndrome, and who wouldn t be, this will be right up your alley And if you d like a quick read, thriller diller with a totally whacked out assassin as a protagonist, bad guys who give great bad, and altruists who are as flaky as they are moist, i.e impossible and lov [...]


  19. Read all my reviews on urlphantomhiveoklikes Jacob Underwood makes the perfect assassin as he s very good in his job, only capable of three emotions boredom, curiosity and digust and most importantly he s dead.At least, that s what he himself believes He suffers from Cotard s Syndrome, a very rare psychological disorder in which people believe they re dead This makes a cool premise of a book doesn t it It starts really good, as I was immediately sucked into the story and even though I haven t re [...]


  20. This is a book on philosophy, disguised as a novel Don t let that deter you The plot is inventive and will keep you interested, but to the discerning reader will serve as evidence in a developing hypothesis cleverly set forth by the author and slowly discovered by the main character What is humanity What makes us human Are we or less than computers, robots, even ancient buildings Yes, it contains its fair share of social commentary on the surveillance state, but it is about our role and our ch [...]


  21. I don t know what it is about John Twelve Hawks, but every time he releases a book, I think, Meh, and decide to pass Then a good review comes out, I get the book, I read it, and I wonder what the hell I was waiting for Spark is just such a book One of the best thrillers of the year, and it kept me riveted throughout the book It s about an assassin who already thinks he s dead I know it sounds stupid but it works He suddenly gets a conscience and it makes him question every assignment he goes on [...]


  22. Mr Hawks latest book seems a bit scattershot, searching for something to be outraged about, but never quite finding it His near future world of panopticon ish surveillance is not realized enough to make us scared However the brain damaged assassin is an interesting enough main character to carry the tale.


  23. Fascinating character study Since my total disability, I have found a partial emotional disconnect, though not enough to kill Like Jake, animals are on the top of my pyramid of course cats outrank dogs in mine My mom didn t think I d like this book and wasn t going to pass it on to me I m really glad I found it


  24. At first I started reading out of curiosity, and then the story hooked me I got to say even though I am not sure I liked the ending too much it was good and it wasn t a dissapointing book.





  25. 3.5 Stars An assassin who thinks he s really dead and only drinks complete, a whole meal replacement drink The whole robotic feel to his dialogue was annoying to me.Overall, a good read.


  26. I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review Jacob Underwood is not like other people He has Cotard s Syndrome He believes he is dead Which makes his job as a hired assassin neutralising problems for DBG, a massive multinational corporation, very simple He carries out the task and feels nothing Now DBG has such a problem A key employee, Emily Buchanan, has disappeared, taking with her a fortune and priceless information which could destroy the company Jaco [...]


  27. This particular novel I m finding very difficult to place in a review sense, and I m feeling very uncertain as to what I want to say about it In the basic sense, it was intriguing to say the least, and have decided to mark it as a 2 5 purely for the it was okay aspect of the star rating system.Don t get me wrong, the book was amazing and it was incredibly well written, which I can see that for sure, I just don t think this book was for me.Spark is narrated from first person by Jacob Underwood, a [...]


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