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Spark [Kindle Edition]

John Twelve Hawks
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

The extraordinary and prescient new thriller from the bestselling author of The Traveller

Product Description

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. 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…

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1678 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (9 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593073312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593073315
  • ASIN: B00KY3MZE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,119 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John Twelve Hawks (also known as J12H or JXIIH to his fans) is the author of the 2005 dystopian international bestselling novel The Traveler and its successors, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm Trilogy.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spark - an assassin with a difference, maybe?? 14 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Spark and so didn’t really start reading with any particular expectations of where I would be led, just more a sense of curiosity to find out more about this ‘assassin who believes he’s dead’! Who wouldn’t be curious about that?? And, I enjoyed this very much. It’s very readable and actually difficult to put down once it has it's hooks in you.

The main protagonist is Jacob Underwood. Following a serious motorcycle accident Jacob suffered brain damage and now has a rare neurological condition whereby he believes himself to be dead. Known as Cotard’s syndrome – as I understand it Jacob believes his ‘spark’ is now unconnected, merely contained within a human unit which needs a certain level of sustenance in order to maintain functionality. Jacob is an odd character. People usually feel afraid of him without knowing why exactly and in order to blend into society he has a few simple rules that he abides by – such as ‘wash each day’ or ‘cut your hair and nails each month’. He consumes approximately 2,000 calories in the form of a nutritional drink (as he doesn’t enjoy eating). He has no interactions with people other than his employer, quite often thinks in colour and cannot abide anyone touching him. He actually behaves sort of like a robot which is a little ironic given the world in which he lives.

The setting is easy to imagine. Futuristic, urban, dystopia. ‘Nubots’ have succeeded in pushing much of the population out of jobs and onto the borderline of survival and underground movements have arisen as a result. The population are controlled massively by ID cards and surveillance cameras.
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Jacob Underwood believes he is dead. He exists as a Spark contained within a Shell. His Shell can brush against those of other human units but his Spark cannot be touched. It cannot smell, taste, empathise or love. Doctors might label this as Cotard's Syndrome but to Jacob Underwood it is nothing more or less than a living death. Were Jacob to feel anything, this might trouble him but as it is he passes his time doing a job to which he is peculiarly suited - assassin.

Set in a near-future New York City, Underwood operates in a mildly dystopian world. Society has been altered by the Day of Rage, a brutal, organised campaign of terror that left countless children dead. A state of calm has been restored thanks to the faceless multinational corporation DBG, masters of surveillance, which now controls matters, keeping an eye on politicians and police, watching out for those who stir. Jacob Underwood works for their Special Services Section, his job is to put down those who question the new order.

Unable to care or feel guilt, or to distinguish right from wrong, Jacob's violent non-life continues on an even keel until the day that his handler, Miss Holquist, gives him the task of finding Emily Buchanan, a DBG employee who has disappeared without trace, suspected of carrying stolen valuable information with her. Jacob is ordered to follow her trail, to eliminate those who have come into contact with her, and, once he has apprehended her and questioned her, to neutralise Emily. Jacob is a valued employee. He will be suitably rewarded.

But the hunt that Jacob begins will transform him and we are party to it all because Jacob himself is the one who tells us his story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best thriller I've read this year. 27 Oct. 2014

In 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 Summary

In 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’, since when the world has become a police state where a surveillance system known as EYE monitors everyone.

Jacob Underwood is an assassin ‘solving problems decisively’ for a multinational bank. He has undergone what he calls Transformation, and has no attachment to the world, feeling only a few minor emotions such as boredom, curiosity and agitation. He describes the essence of a person as their ‘spark’ and their body as a ‘shell’. Most people’s spark is closely connected to their shell, but because of his Transformation his are not connected.

Underwood’s controller, Miss Holquist, assigns him to find a missing worker from the bank, Emily Buchanan. Underwood discovers Emily has information about illegal transactions by an Indian bank. He travels to India, where the bank president asks him to assassinate his son-in-law, who has stolen bank funds.

In a couple of flashbacks, the reader learns that Underwood was involved in a fatal motorbike accident but was revived, leaving him in a coma with terrible head injuries. When he recovered consciousness, he felt ‘transformed’, with no emotional response to his friends, mother or girlfriend (this is known as Cotard's Syndrome).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Does as it says, arrived promptly, thx
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Robert Smylie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you, delivery was very fast
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars another fantastic book by twelve hawks
I have enjoyed the book, the story line asks questions of the reader, the rights and wrongs of society are brought into question,who side should you be routing for?
Published 2 months ago by Colin Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good read only gave it 4star because it didn't live up to my expectations. After reading the fourth realm trilogy I hoped to be blown away by this book like I was with them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by gareth herbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Great new book
Having read John’s work before I pretty much knew what I was getting into with him, a book that had not only a kickas plot but one that once grabbed wouldn’t let you go until the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
4.0 out of 5 stars Good run crunchy ending
Well the pace was good the characters intricate. Perhaps one of JTH 's other endings would brighten the revenge.
Enjoyed it though
Published 2 months ago by Allan Jeff
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A little disappointing compared to his trilogy
Published 3 months ago by barbara gould
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile!
Really enjoyed reading this book, couldn't put it down. Thought provoking & well written. Highly recommended & time very well spent.
Published 3 months ago by andrea o'connor
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