Title: Deadlight Jack
Author: Mark Onspaugh
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Hydra
Date of publication: January 3rd 2017
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal
POV: 3rd person
Series: The Faceless One
The Faceless One – Book 1
Deadlight Jack – Book 2
Standalone – Yes
Where you can find this book – Amazon
Appearances can be deceiving. Take Jimmy Kalmaku. Anyone passing him on the streets of Lake Nisqually, Washington, would merely see an elderly man. But Jimmy is actually a powerful Tlingit shaman, with a link to the god Raven and a résumé that includes saving the world.
Or take his friend and roommate, George Watters. Another ordinary retiree, right? Wrong. Like Jimmy, George is more than he seems to be. He too has a link to the supernatural. He too has saved the world.
Then there’s Professor Foxfire—also known as Deadlight Jack. Dressed in the garb of a stage magician, he seems a figure of magic and fun. But he isn’t fun at all. He isn’t even human. And his magic is of the darkest and bloodiest kind.
When George’s grandson vanishes on a family vacation to the Louisiana bayou, George and Jimmy fly across the country to aid in the search. Once they arrive, family feuds and buried secrets bring George face-to-face with the ghosts of a forgotten past; Jimmy finds his powers wilting under the humid Southern sun; and deep in the swamp, Deadlight Jack prepares his long-awaited revenge.
This is not a book to read at night.
This is not a book to read at night.
I generally don’t really creeped out by books but this one, well it creeped me out….big time. Take the cover for instance. The dude’s one orange eye and the salamander are creepy. Then add the swamp and the creepiness factor just goes up.
Now, this book starts off after the events of The Faceless One. Jimmy and George are living together, but not together if you know what I mean. After saving the world in the first book, they are expecting to be left alone and live out the rest of their lives together.
Life (and the Gods) have other plans.
Jimmy is visited by Dabo Muu, a giant albino alligator that tells Jimmy that he needs to get down to Louisiana. Actually, is was more of an order and Jimmy feels that there is more going on than what Dabo Muu is letting on.
George gets a phone call from one of his sons. His grandson, Donny, has gone missing while on a camping trip with his moms and older brother in Louisiana. He and Jimmy decide to head on down to help and offer Mel and her wife moral support while they search for Donny. George is haunted by something that happened when he was a child. Something that he blocked out. Something that could help his grandson….if he could remember what it was.
When George tells Jimmy that Donny is missing, Jimmy immediately cancels plans that were taking him to Boston to visit his son, daughter in law and granddaughter to go with George. During the flight down to LA, George tells Jimmy about his tragic past. All about his kids, his wife and the tragedies that happened. He warned Jimmy that his daughter, Delphine, will be there and it will not be pleasant when she finds out. Delphine is holding on to hurt and resentment from the past and she will make things very difficult for George.
And she does. She had to have been the most self-centered secondary character that I have ever read and I really wanted someone to put her in her place sooner than they did. I understand that she had issues with George but there is a time and a place for everything and to be a rude asshole to him and making an already tense situation even more tense wasn’t cool.
I loved how George had to come into his own during the book. He had to accept his past (read the book if you want to know what it was) in order to save his grandson and the other children.
I do wish that I had read the first book. That would have helped me connect with Jimmy a little more and would have helped me understand his character a little better. I would have loved to read more about shamanism and the indigenous people of Alaska.
The paranormal/horror aspect was fantastic. Like I said above, this is a book that you really shouldn’t read at night. Not only did it feature a swamp (which is creepy in its own right) but Professor Foxfire was a genuinely creepy. I mean, anyone who has tattoos that come alive and off their face has a special place in the creepy hall of fame. But add that he can make children into ghosts (want to know how….read the book) and he kidnaps even more kids to turn them into either food/more ghost children, he is vile.
The end of the book was great and I loved the showdown. I was expecting something to happen, just not on that scale. I also liked that the author set up for book 3.
How many stars will I give Deadlight Jack: 4
Why: I really liked this book. While it is a horror book, it also showcased how family can be forgiving (even if the person had years of hurt and resentment) and how family comes together in times of crisis.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Language and some pretty scary things on that island.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**