Author: F. Paul Wilson
Release Date: 1988
** spoiler alert ** Twelve books into this series (with only two to go, plus a handful of prequels) and I’ve finally given one of these books below four stars on Goodreads. This book follows Jack as he gets hired by a childhood friend to find Jack’s own childhood best friend and uncover the conspiracy that is trying to silence her. *Spoilers Follow* The main thing that didn’t work for me was the author tying in the events 9/11. I often say these next words jokingly, but even I thought the use of that event as a plot device was too soon.
The plans by the otherness in this book also felt more hokey than in past books, with the evil mechanism having a lame name, vague abilities and so-so payoff. The book routinely relies on nobody but Jack being able to use common sense (see Hank blindly following Drexler, or the old woman with her dog’s reaction to danger). The entire ending is then saved by the equivalent of hitting the reset button on an old video game.
Still, I’ll give this book 2 stars for advancing the plot further in the series while tying in characters from the prequel novels and answering most of the big questions about the rules of this contest and who are the players are.