The end doesn’t come in a blaze of fire as nuclear bombs erupt and some mutant zombies travel the world, feasting on the flesh of the living, as everyone thought it would. Instead The Slick, a dreadful disease that takes those in a most uncomfortable manner, is what the apocalypse is all about. Only a handful of lucky people figure out how to veer off the disease, and “the cure” is found in a quick fix. Jack or “Colonel” as everyone knows him, an ex-junkie and one of the few survivors who accidentally figured out how to survive The Slick, finds Jack Cruz on a routine run to the Seattle Methodist Hospital. Here he meets the man, the marvel and likely the only serial killer still walking the earth. Who knows? But with a roof over his head, food in his belly and a fix from time to time, Colonel has no other option than to turn a blind eye and hope for the best… Well, that’s until Cruz sets his sight on Colonel, then it comes down to survival of the fittest.
The End of Jack Cruz is a post-apocalyptic novel that is along the lines of I Am Legend, except, we don’t have some mutated freaks trying to kill the survivors. Here we rather find the comprehending, and apprehensive, novel that puts humanity to the test ultimately. When everyone’s gone, who will we be? That’s what it’s about and that’s what makes you think long after you’ve finished the book. A.A. Garrison was able to bring to life the ultimate questions when all forms of justice and laws have disappeared and all you have is yourself to blame for your trespasses and sins.
With a first person narrative, we are presented with the background story of Colonel and his time with Jack Cruz since he met him to his demise. Though it is an interesting story, it gives a more humane feeling to the book, instead of telling the reader what goes on behind Jack Cruz’s chilled out façade. It’s a well-edited book as well as well-written in the most part (the only problem being the parenthetical phrases that is common with informal writing, but giving the background of our narrator it was more than efficient). Another problem was that sometimes there were over-descriptive text, but it didn’t hinder the flow of the book.
A.A. Garrison was also able to bring pure horror in a most eloquent manner, in the form of turning a post-apocalyptic novel into a slasher festival, which is not for the faint of heart. The rapture clearly only left the drug addicts alive and although there are good druggies out there, not all of them are saints and Jack Cruz is definitely the complete opposite of being a saint (even if he thinks himself as being God’s gift to mankind).
It’s a good book. The End of Jack Cruz is one of those books that would easily be portrayed on-screen by some great actors and its slasher content would give some folks a proper squeamish read as blood, sex and murder gives us insight into a terrifying psychopath’s mind.
(Review originally posted on Pissed Off Geek)