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THE DARK AT THE END by F. Paul Wilson

THE DARK AT THE END

By F. Paul Wilson

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-765-32283-8
Publisher: Tor

After hammering hard at evil for the 15th time (Fatal Error, 2010, etc.), Repairman Jack puts his tools away.

In an author’s note, Wilson informs readers that in their collective hands they now “hold the final installment of the Repairman Jack series.” If so, it’s a rather melancholy valedictory. At the novel’s outset, though, here’s Jack full of beans, eager to get at his long-time nemesis, Rasalom, aka the One. This malevolent, monomaniacal lowlife heads a sinister organization known as the Order, whose self-appointed task it is to bring about the Change. While no one knows exactly what that entails, all right-thinking people view it as not for the better and quite sensibly want nothing to do with it. Ever-resourceful Jack has a plan, a typically all-in cast of the dice he hopes will rid the world of the One once and for all. By novel’s end, however, the world…but that would be telling. In between, just about everything that happens is dismaying to Jack and his friends. The Lady—as much the embodiment of good as Rasalom is of evil—has been killed twice, a third strike and she’s out of the game. Glaeken, Jack’s Merlin-like mentor, fades ever more noticeably. Is it possible, thinks Jack dispiritedly, that after thousands of years he’s down to his final months? Dawn Pickering continues to chase the baby Rasalom stole from her, all the while fearing her baby might have been rendered akin to Rosemary’s. And Weezy, poor girl, who’s had Jack’s back forever, is feeling the pangs of unrequited love. At length Jack lays down his climactic, high-power barrage against Rasalom and the Order, but when the smoke clears Good vs. Evil remains an unresolved contest, the smart money sitting on its hands.

An impressive, vividly imagined saga that over its last two entries has begun showing signs of series fatigue. A good time to end it.