GATEWAYS by F. Paul Wilson


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Seventh in the Repairman Jack series (The Haunted Air, 2002, etc.), which keeps expanding its supernatural background while shrinking all into an amoebic typeface.

The series began and supposedly takes place in the mid- to late-’80s, while we have references to 9/11, Homeland Security, and recent songs. Although Jack fights The Otherness, an evil entity, throughout the various installments, he’s guided (blindly) by a benign Anti-Otherness entity, which apparently checks the evil entity’s each bad intent by moving Jack about to repair cracks in humankind. Wilson deepens Jack’s character by having Jack’s pregnant girlfriend Gia beg him to join the human race and stop living between the cracks—Jack has no Social Security number, has never filed a 1040 or paid a cent in taxes, is never photographed or fingerprinted, avoids credit cards, etc. And Gia has inner warnings that The Otherness wants their baby. (Jack, by the way, sounds like Arnold—who fought The Entity in End of Days—and has Schwarzenegger’s brand of humor.) Wilson hairpins away from the Gia problem by having Jack fly off to Florida to attend his comatose dad, who’s been in a car accident outside his seniors’ community, Gateways South. An accident devised by The Otherness? Jack wonders. Meanwhile, in the Everglades, white-headed young Semelee, a girl with a two-headed snapping turtle who belongs to a gang of misshapen beggars, has a talent that senses Jack’s approach by plane. At the hospital he meets Anya Mundy, Dad’s Ruth Gordon–ish neighbor, who tells Jack there’s more to his father than he ever dreamed. Seniors are dying, rather unnaturally, by spider, bird, and snake. As sacrifices? Jack must now learn Dad’s secrets to protect him. What are these weird lights floating up from the Everglades? At last he meets The Otherness, Rasalom, who lets Jack live but promises great future pain.

Repairman Jack, the adaptation of The Tomb (1984), is now in pre-production—though not with Arnold.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-765-30690-5
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2003


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