On September 11, 2001, a man drifts in a boat off lower Manhattan as the twin towers burn. He removes a small box from his pocket and presses a button. As he waits for the south tower to collapse, he thinks: The vast majority will blame the collapse on the crazy Arabs who hijacked the planes and the Islamic extremists who funded them - the obvious choice. A few will notice inconsistencies and point fingers elsewhere, blaming the government or Big Oil or some other powerful but faceless entity. No one - absolutely no one - will guess the truth behind the who and why of this day. Years later, someone does. Repairman Jack's childhood friend Weezy Connell (the genius girl from Jack: Secret Histories) has started fitting together the pieces of the puzzle and anonymously posting her conclusions on the Web. But she can't stay anonymous forever. Someone is after her. Jack becomes involved in her troubles and in the paranoid mazes of the 9/11 Truth Movement, where conspiracy theories point in every direction. They're all wrong. The truth is stranger, darker, and more evil than anyone can imagine. It involves the cosmic shadow war into which Jack has been drafted. And if the plot behind it - millennia in the planning - succeeds, it will forever change life on this Earth.
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This is part of The Adversary/Repairman Jack/Secret History sequence. And that is the problem. It feels like a "check back later/buy my next book" filler. There's too many plot lines leftover from previous books and this story does absolutely nothing to advance the series; totally forgettable.
The story has too many new characters, all introduced to little effect. All the characters, including Jack, are pure cardboard. There's way too much chatter and exposition. (This Secret History stuff takes ALOT of telling, not showing). There's way too little of Jack "fixing" stuff. We get a few teases of thrills or horror. But it never really delivers. Although that Fhinntmanchca stuff certainly had some serious horror potential.
In my opinion, there's too much effort put into one of the author's main conceits of this series: There are no coincidences. So the author struggles to link every single person and every single momentous world event to Jack and the ancient struggle between the adversaries. Only it all really feels lazy here. Each new coincidence/linkage brought on a shrug of "so what" rather than feelings of wonder. So why keep this theme running so relentlessly?
This summer, I read some of the earlier novels in this sequence: The Tomb, The Keep, The Black Wind, etc., and it seems to me those earlier novels were never conceived as a series. And those stories are so much more satisfying than this later stuff. Wilson is a good writer, so I'd still rather slog through one of his weaker efforts than most of the stuff that's out on the market. Even so, this isn't something I'd recommend to anyone.
The origional narrator is back.
- Scott Davis