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"The End of Jack Cruz" Book Review

Written by Jennifer Turner

Published by Montag Press

Book cover for A.A. Garrison's The End of Jack Cruz.

Written by A.A. Garrison
2012, 274 pages, Fiction
Released on May 25th, 2012


The End of Jack Cruz is a gripping post-apocalyptic novel set in Seattle. The story is narrated by Jack Jones, a recovering junkie who manages to survive a fatal plague. Jack, who refers to himself as the Colonel, soon learns that opiate substances provide a temporary cure to the illness and goes out seeking more drugs. He soon teams up with Jack Cruz, a tough-as-nails survivalist who invites the Colonel to stay with him in his supermarket bunker. As they search for survivors, the Colonel realizes there is a darker side to Jack than he realizes.

I was instantly hooked by how the novel jumped right into the story. Unfortunately, it quickly lost its momentum due to a lot of useless filler. While it didn't deter my interest in finishing the story, it did make it less enjoyable to read.

Jack Cruz is a great character, but there is no suspense or mystery to him. You already know from the beginning that he is not right, and you find yourself waiting for the narrator to get a clue. When a main character vanishes mysteriously, you know that he is involved. The Colonel's inability to see the writing on the wall negates the whole streetwise persona that we were introduced to.

The novel gives great attention to some of the more minor characters. Characters such as another survivor named Jack and the Colonel's love interest Gwen. In the brief time they appear in the novel, you actually get to know them. You get backstory without it becoming expositionary and character development without it being shoved down the reader's throats.

Another aspect of the novel I liked was how non-gory it was. I have read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories that turn me off due to the excessive amount of gore in them. Garrison prefers to go the emotional route and concentrates on the characters instead. He is an entertaining author and I look forward to his future works.

Despite my issues with the novel, I still consider it a good read and would definitely recommend it.


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