Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dark At the End

by F. Paul Wilson

The fifteenth and last (except for the inevitable at least three prequels!) Repairman Jack book. Following immediately after Fatal Error, Jack and Weezy (and the Lady, and Glaeken) seek out clues in the Compendium of Srem, a book full of information about the Otherness, and in their old hometown of Johnson, New Jersey.  But Rasalom has corrupted the book, and also has plans that involve Dawn Pickering and her mutate baby.  This leads to a couple of high-adrenaline, high risk plans, in which Jack and crew launch an attack on Rasalom’s house, take back the baby, and lay a trap for Rasalom himself; and a madcap trip back to Johnson to discover Rasalom’s name, which may hold the key to his power.

The attack on Rasalom’s servants and the explosive (literally) ambush of Rasalom are high points in the book, as is an incredibly chilling short scene in which Rasalom shows just how cruel he can be to those who aid Jack.  The stakes are the highest anyone can imagine, as if Jack succeeds the world spins on, while if he fails the Change will come and earth becomes a living hell for its human inhabitants.  The suspense is nail biting, as dumb luck, human error, and misplaced compassion make the best laid plans go bad.  Wilson plays fair, giving his good guys a decent chance, but not making them stupid (though I did briefly think that Jack would have drowned the monster baby as soon as he set eyes on it, which might have solved a good many problems).  A truly thrilling, action packed finale (or rather, setup to the actual finale, Nightworld).

four stars

[follows Fatal Error]

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