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Spark: A Novel
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Published:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2014
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
THE MOST DANGEROUS ASSASSIN IS THE ONE WHO BELIEVES HE IS ALREADY DEAD.

A razor-sharp, high-tech, wildly imaginative new novel from internationally bestselling author John Twelve Hawks, Spark features a narrator unlike any in recent fiction—a man whose view of life and death is different from anything you’ve ever imagined.

Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a small shadow department buried within the multinational corporation DBG, headquartered in New York City. Jacob is not a businessman . . . he is a hired assassin . . . and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. But Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. After a catastrophic motorcycle accident leaves him with Cotard’s syndrome—an actual condition that causes those afflicted to believe they are dead—Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a “Shell,” with no emotions and no tether to the concept of right and wrong.
     Emily Buchanan is a bright  young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting that Emily has stolen either vast sums of money or valuable information from the company, Ms. Holquist, Jacob’s handler at DBG, assigns him the task of tracking down the young woman 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.
     Shifting with riveting precision from New York to London, Paris to New Delhi, Spark is a thriller that delves into the surveillance state we prognosticate  today . . . and will live in tomorrow. In the hands of master storyteller John Twelve Hawks, a unique character’s startling transformation comes to life, making Spark a thriller that resonates and satisfies on many levels.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
10/07/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553399080
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Twelve Hawks. (2014). Spark: A Novel. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Twelve Hawks. 2014. Spark: A Novel. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Twelve Hawks, Spark: A Novel. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Twelve Hawks. Spark: A Novel. Unabridged Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:23:21
Date Updated:
Dec 09, 2020 18:06:46
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 26, 2022 09:02:42
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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title
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fullDescription
THE MOST DANGEROUS ASSASSIN IS THE ONE WHO BELIEVES HE IS ALREADY DEAD.

A razor-sharp, high-tech, wildly imaginative new novel from internationally bestselling author John Twelve Hawks, Spark features a narrator unlike any in recent fiction—a man whose view of life and death is different from anything you’ve ever imagined.

Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a small shadow department buried within the multinational corporation DBG, headquartered in New York City. Jacob is not a businessman . . . he is a hired assassin . . . and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. But Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. After a catastrophic motorcycle accident leaves him with Cotard’s syndrome—an actual condition that causes those afflicted to believe they are dead—Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a “Shell,” with no emotions and no tether to the concept of right and wrong.
     Emily Buchanan is a bright  young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting that Emily has stolen either vast sums of money or valuable information from the company, Ms. Holquist, Jacob’s handler at DBG, assigns him the task of tracking down the young woman 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.
     Shifting with riveting precision from New York to London, Paris to New Delhi, Spark is a thriller that delves into the surveillance state we prognosticate  today . . . and will live in tomorrow. In the hands of master storyteller John Twelve Hawks, a unique character’s startling transformation comes to life, making Spark a thriller that resonates and satisfies on many levels.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Janet Maslin, The New York Times
      • content: "Spark is an even better introduction to the abundant dystopian talents of John Twelve Hawks than The Traveler was... exhilarated... breathless action ...[The] protagonist lives in an ominous, technology-dominated world where machines aid or spy on all aspects of life. Sometimes, they can do both, and the few free souls left in society fear that a takeover by artificial intelligence isn't far away...Mr. Twelve Hawks sets up the battles in Spark as more than simple combat. His appeal lies in his pairing of one system of belief against another and letting them duke it out."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post
      • content: "In Spark, by John Twelve Hawks, memory becomes a twisty beast to get rid of, especially if it is the last part of you that is really human...a fantastic blend of action and deeper questions about what it means to be human."
      • premium: False
      • source: LINCOLN CHILD, New York Times bestselling author of The Third Gate and coauthor (with Douglas Preston) of White Fire
      • content: "What sets Spark apart is John Twelve Hawks's expert characterization of Jacob Underwood, a first-person narrator whose view of the world is so unexpected and strange that we can't take our eyes off him. This is an adrenaline-charged thriller--endlessly inventive--that winds through a landscape of cutting-edge technology with great assurance and skill."
      • premium: False
      • source: CHRISTOPHER REICH, New York Times bestselling author of RULES OF DECEPTION and INVASION OF PRIVACY
      • content: "Spark is a marvel. An utterly gripping, unbelievably imaginative tale with all the heart, drive, and humanity that it's hero, Jacob Underwood, a contract assassin, lacks. Underwood is an amazing creation--a man afflicted with Cotard's Syndrome, who believes himself to be spiritually and emotionally dead. Yet as he travels the world, seeking his most important target, he discovers that somewhere inside of him, a spark still fires. At once a heart pounding thriller, a bitter indictment of our growing surveillance state, and a life affirming story of the indomitability of the human heart, Spark is the most satisfying book you will read this year!"
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (Starred review)
      • content: "The author of the Fourth Realm trilogy returns with a thriller about a contract killer who, following a brain injury, suffers from Cotard's syndrome, a (genuine) form of mental illness in which the afflicted person believes he or she is dead. Jacob's injury has totally changed his life; he needs a highly structured, uncluttered environment, and he needs to learn how to simulate all of the forms of human behavior that used to come naturally to him. But his new assignment, which involves locating (and then possibly killing) a missing woman, soon leads him into situations that are exceedingly disorganized and full of human emotion (which, as a "dead" man, he no longer experiences or understands). It's been several years since the Fourth Realm trilogy ended, and some readers might have wondered if the author had only one story to tell. But guess what? As good as the Fourth Realm books were, this one may be even more appealing: less fantastic, more grounded in a contemporary real world, with a narrator who is deeply scarred and endlessly fascinating."
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Jake Underwood, the contract killer at the center of this futuristic thriller, believes he's dead--he suffers from "Cotard delusion," a rare condition in which the brain refuses to acknowledge its existence. The setup poses a challenge for an audiobook narrator. How do you keep the thrill in a thriller when the main character, the book's narrator, is emotionally flat-lined? Scott Brick succeeds by emphasizing tempo over tone and by occasionally infusing Underwood's resigned persona with a spark of excitement, a maneuver that also helps to make the ending more palatable. Fans of dystopian tales will feel at home in this novel's dark near-future, a bleak, frightening controlled world of corporate surveillance, robotic interactions, and morality-free decision making. R.W.S. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 4, 2014
        In his first outing since concluding the Four Realms trilogy, bestseller Twelve Hawks returns to the same dystopian milieu in this engaging but predictable thriller, set in a future landscape of paranoid government control, blanket surveillance, and extreme economic disparities. Jacob Underwood, an assassin, works for an enormous New York City multinational that often needs to eliminate a threat. Underwood’s strength as a hired killer is the emotionless, robotic nature that allows him to operate with logical, ruthless precision. Doctors have long told him, however, that the condition that makes him so effective could gradually wear off. And that’s exactly what happens when he is tasked with killing the fascinatingly offbeat Emily Buchanan, a minor employee who has absconded with financial secrets from her company and is threatening to expose them on a WikiLeaks-type website. Twelve Hawks’s prose, cold and clinical at times, yet punctuated with moments of great sensitivity, matches the tone and mood of his setting perfectly. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 2, 2015
        Twelve Hawks’s new novel, set in a
        dystopian near future, is told from the perspective of Jacob Underwood, the survivor of a terrible motorcycle accident that left him spiritually and emotionally dead. Lacking conscience, empathy, and fear, Jacob is the ideal contract killer for a secret department of a multinational organization named DBG that will do anything to smooth out corporate ruffles. Trouble begins when Jacob is ordered to kill the embezzling son-in-law of a brutal Indian power broker, along with the man’s daughter and young grandson. He quickly murders the thief, but can’t bring himself to dispatch the others—especially the child. He becomes even more reticent when he’s sent to find Emily Buchanan, a young DBG employee who’s gone missing with a flash drive containing information harmful to the corporation. He’s to recover the flash drive and kill Emily. When that doesn’t happen, both of them are on the run. Reader Brick uses an appropriately affectless voice for Jacob, but subtly adds just enough emotion to keep the narration engaging. Among his best interpretations are Jacob’s handler, Ms. Holquist, whose Southern accent doesn’t quite disguise her iron purpose; the gruff, sadistic Larkin Tate, another assassin and Jacob’s bête noir; the youthful Emily, who quickly loses her sunny disposition; and her eager and slightly naive boyfriend, Sean. A Doubleday hardcover.

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shortDescription
THE MOST DANGEROUS ASSASSIN IS THE ONE WHO BELIEVES HE IS ALREADY DEAD.

A razor-sharp, high-tech, wildly imaginative new novel from internationally bestselling author John Twelve Hawks, Spark features a narrator unlike any in recent fiction—a man whose view of life and death is different from anything you’ve ever imagined.

Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a small shadow department buried within the multinational corporation DBG, headquartered in New York City. Jacob is not a businessman . . . he is a hired assassin . . . and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. But Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. After a catastrophic motorcycle accident leaves him with Cotard’s syndrome—an actual condition that causes those afflicted to believe they are dead—Jacob...
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