- Series: Repairman Jack (Book 13)
- Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765362791
- ISBN-13: 978-0765362797
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ground Zero: A Repairman Jack Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010
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“Ground Zero is not only packed with action and revelations, but told so well that fans will want the next two books now. . . . Wilson's writing has never been sharper, with the story really focused on the main problem at hand, all leading to a climax where even Jack seems to be powerless with what he has to face. It's truly going to make his fans giddy.” ―Bookgasm
“There are some writers who, once they settle into an ongoing character, become complacent and happily just write and rewrite the same two of three books over and over again. And then there's F. Paul Wilson, whose Repairman Jack series seems to get better as its hero gets closer and closer to his ultimate fate.” ―Fangoria on Crisscross
“Wilson remains in top form with By The Sword, which receives my highest recommendation.” ―Fearzone
“Sinuous plot twists and shocking revelations abound, but Wilson manages to pull these wildly disparate plot threads together, and tie them dexterously to the series' overarching chronicle of a battle between occult forces in which Jack serves as a reluctant but responsible warrior. Like its predecessors, this novel shows why Jack's saga has become the most entertaining and dependable modern horror-thriller series.” ―Publishers Weekly on Bloodline
“Part hard-boiled detective novel, part Matrix, and all fun, Wilson's latest and, perhaps, greatest kept me up all night. A pulse-pounding novel that grips you by the throat and doesn't let go even when it's over.” ―Eric Van Lustbader on Harbingers
About the Author
F. Paul Wilson is the New York Times bestselling author of horror, adventure, medical thrillers, science fiction, and virtually everything in between. His books include the Repairman Jack novels, including The Tomb and Fatal Error; the Adversary cycle, including The Keep; and a young adult series featuring the teenage Jack. Wilson has won the Prometheus Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Inkpot Award from the San Diego ComiCon, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers of America, among other honors. He lives in Wall, New Jersey.
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I picked his first novel up in an airport back in May and just finished the 13th tonight. It's been quick, entertaining reading. Not literature, but far better than most of his peers.
But there's been a change in Jack. Obviously the main theme has become more and more important and become the whole purpose of the books. And, as Wilson points out, these final books keep setting up the next and are not as focused. But Ground Zero moves beyond that. It sadly gives some credence to the conspiracy theories it's been mocking (bombs, really?), and it kind of hustles along a plot that feels, well, shallow. I suppose it's the length of the book that does it in - honestly it feels like a very thin book. Half of a book, really, as if it's missing a side-plot. Tight and focused, arguably, but lacking, especially when we know our time with Jack is limited.
Also frustrating for me is all the ret-conning of Jack's past. I'd imagine this is due to Wilson writing the young adult stories about Jack, but putting these in the canon feels wrong. Jack suddenly in his mid-30s realizes all these things from his past that hadn't been there before? It feels dirty and really pulls you out of the story.
Bottom line - good read but very quick read. It feels less like a meal and more like an appetizer, though. Too short, and too much monkeying with Jack's past.
The end of Jack is going to come too quickly.
This book ties up very nicely with Jack: Secret Circles, a book I highly recommend to adult readers. As we RJ fans all know by now, Jack's path was set for him as a young adult and this book brings a recognition that at least two of the characters we have learned about in the adult books, turn out to have been in his life before. And there's a twist about Glaeken which also harkens back to Jack's childhood. For those readers new to Repairman Jack, you will find this review somewhat incomprehensible. So I suggest that you not read this novel as your first taste of F Paul Wilson. Both the Adversary Cycle and the young adult books, as well as the novel Black Wind, give you a great background for the RJ storyline. I suggest reading the books in order and it would be even better to start with the young adult books, moving to the Adversary Cycle, and then into the main RJ novels. This is helpful because The Tomb, an Adversary Cycle book, is actually the first adult RJ series book, and because Jack: Secret Circles has a relation to The Touch, an Adversary Cycle Book. I would also read Black Wind before reading By The Sword. If you read the books in this order, you will come to appreciate Repairman Jack as more than just the fun and exiting "fixer" who is introduced to us in the early RJ adult novels. And, as many loose ends need to be tied up to bring us to the last books (I don't know what I'll do when they are all done), this book, with exposition more than "tons of action" needs to be read. But don't get me wrong, I think there is plenty of action in this book (lots of people get killed; there is plenty of shooting, an attempted kidnapping, and other exciting incidents, such as fires and explosions), even if the last part of the action turns out to be seemingly futile. Yes, I missed having more of Abe in the book, but think that Weezy made a good substitute, as she was Jack's only true friend as a child the way Abe is Jack's only true friend as an adult (not counting Gia, of course, and I don't consider Julio a close friend of Jack's). Personally, I loved to see F Paul use this novel to debunk the current 9/11 conspiracy theorists, not by supporting bin Laden vs. our own government, but by giving us an even older conspiracy. It was also nice to finally have a character who could actually learn something from the Compendium of Srem.
I read The Touch before our current health care debate and it was uncanny how Wilson predicted what happened in 2009/2010 years before. And anyone interested in or worried about the economy should definitely read a non RJ book called An Enemy of the State (from the LaNague trilogy). I think this is the scariest of all of his books - no Otherness, no monsters, no horror, but a sickening prediction of our current economic state and where it could lead us to. And this book was also written years before we arrived at our current economic woes.
One of the reasons I love Repairman Jack is that I wish I had the courage and resourcefulness to be "off the grid" the way he is. Yes, it keeps him from getting married and makes plane travel harder for him (but it's hard enough even for those of us "on the grid" these days), but the idea of keeping government intrusion at bay is a delightful one to me.
I'm an F Paul Wilson addict and recommend all his books without reservation. But for those just starting out, this book will not make much sense to you and you will wonder what all the fuss is about.
OK. Enough of the story. I don't want to say more other than it also involves more of Jack's background (old high school friends). Regarding the writing, Wilson continues to tell a good story with excellent dialogue and plotting. My only hesitancy? I wasn't sure I was ready for a 9/11 conspiracy book. It still seems pretty raw to me, and it was hard for me to put aside the sad reality for this fiction.
Still,it is a good book, and I'm sure any reader of Repairman Jack will enjoy it!