This is one of the first books I received after joining the Leisure Horror Book Club. I've been waiting to read this book for awhile now. I even shared my anticipation with everyone. John Skipp is one of the masters of splatterpunk, and anything written by him is usually gory fun. And Jake's Wake is no exception.
Jake's Wake is about Jake's wake. Jake is a television evangelist who doesn't practice what he preaches. He exploits people's beliefs to make money and to gain minor fame. He lives for sex, drugs and violence. When he dies, most people close to him count it as a blessing. But at his wake, there's an unexpected guest: Jake himself, resurrected from the dead, ready to wreak some more havoc. But was he resurrected by God or the Devil?
The action doesn't really start until about 50 pages in, but once it begins it doesn't stop. The body count is high and those bodies endure a lot of torture. Characters are brought into the book just so they can be brutally slaughtered. There's a lot of gore, but what else would you expect from John Skipp?
But there's more to the plot than just gore. Skipp's novels often tackle some sort of issue. The Bridge was about the effect of pollution on the environment. The Scream tackled censorship, Christianity and abortion. Jake's Wake is also about Christianity and what people believe in.
The characters are flawed, almost to the point where you dislike them. Jake's ladies, the three main characters, are weak, weaker, weakest. But it makes them more realistic. But thankfully they grow as the story goes on and become stronger.
I give Jake's Wake a 4/5. Even though I enjoyed it, the book started off too slow for me. But it's worth getting through the back story to get to the action. And the ending is definitely worth your time.