Author: F. Paul Wilson
Release Date: October 2010
The penultimate book in the Repairman Jack series continues the long running storyline of Jack vs the Otherness and steps up the stakes as the Kickers and Septimus Order cause havoc on a global scale. In this installment, Jack is drafted into helping a computer programmer save his kidnapped family, a long time ally of Jack’s bites the big one, and the stage is set for Rasolam and Jack to finally show off in the final chapter.
This book does well in the series by ramping up the stakes instead of just the Lady and Jack’s loved ones being targeted. The kidnapper at the beginning is probably as despicable of a villain since we’ve seen in “Legacies,” and as a dad and a husband I even had a hard time reading some of the descriptions of his actions. Likewise, the effects of the Kicker/Order plot are felt instantly in the New York City setting which does the closest to revealing a horrific future that the series has shown since “Hosts.” Keeping Gia and Vicky away for most of the book usually helps keep the story moving as well.
My biggest gripe with this volume is “The Lady’s” storyline, which felt forced at the end of “Ground Zero,” and feels doubly (or triply) so with the three deaths twist and continued presence. The stakes just don’t feel high enough when the Otherness can continually succeed in their plans but this old lady just keeps coming back like the villain in a Stephen King novel. The confrontation between Jack and two kickers at the airport also felt out of place in this, with no real payoff besides a release for Jack for his frustrations. Leaving Gia and Vicky alone at the terminal while doing this also seemed out of character and didn’t really lead to any payoff.
Minor issues aside, the story again drew me in and I’ve enjoyed spending thirteen prior books with these characters and look forward to finishing up the series and checking out the prequels.