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The Dark at the End: A Repairman Jack Novel    by F. Paul Wilson order for
Dark at the End
by F. Paul Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Now that Jack is being groomed and showing signs that he will soon be stepping into the shoes of the failing immortal, Glaeken, he decides it's time to strike the first blow against Rasalom before he initiates another attempt to assassinate The Lady. Such an assault could truly destroy her and pave the way for the Otherness to obliterate this reality and enslave humanity. Jack's only hope is to turn Rasalom's right hand man, Ernst Drexler, against him, by convincing him that all the power he wields will ultimately mean nothing in Rasalom's greater scheme. The only question is, will Drexler fall into Jack's snare?

This is the book that many Repairman Jack fans have been anticipating - or maybe dreading - depending on how dedicated a fan you are. Wilson first introduced the enigmatic Jack in The Tomb in 1984. The novel was a one shot deal that pretty much left readers convinced that Jack wasn't coming back out of the warehouse alive - he'd effectively been disembowelled by a Rakosh monster. Readers however, embraced the nameless, off-the-grid enforcer. Over the last quarter century of the Adversary Cycle books, Jack has continued his relentless, often bloody, and sometimes heartbreaking quest to stop not only the millenia-long quest of two cosmic forces to swallow up this reality, but also the wrongs people do each other.

Despite Wilson's adamant pronouncements that The Dark at the End was to be the final instalment of his long running series, Jack's trials, tribulations and long battle with his dual otherworldly enemies are not over; they will continue in next year's heavily revised edition of Nightworld. Savvy marketing all around. I was actually looking forward to Jack's story concluding - one way or another - in The Dark at the End after finding the last couple of instalments somewhat overblown with plot points that could have been tied up much earlier, or, after plenty of build-up, ending with a disappointing whimper.

Even so, this particular fan isn't ready to abandon Jack just yet; she'll keep following the series to its eventual end - even if Nightworld pretty much implies that there probably isn't going to be a happy ending in Jack's or mankind's future.

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