Repairman Jack stories are always educational and informative. These glimpses of Jack in his youth are fantastic. Believable characters, educational, informative and makes one think dialogue. Excellent story line.
“TANSTAAFL. It’s from a sci- fi book I read. It stands for ‘There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.’ And that’s what it is with this thing, this power inside me. The healings don’t come free, Jack. Somebody pays, somebody always pays. And that somebody is me.”
“A U.S. senator named Daniel Webster once said, ‘There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.’ We’ll keep that in mind as we listen to the palaver.”
I will re-read this story and always look forward to Repairman Jack.
"Jack - Secret Vengeance" is the third and (presumably, as announced a couple of years ago by the author) last in the "Secret" series of YA Repairman Jack novels after "Secret Histories" and "Secret Circles". All take place within a few months in 1983 when Jack was 14 years old. All are stand-alone novels, but at the same time, all feature significant foreshadowing of ideas and characters that will play major roles in the adult RJ novels. While chock-full of interesting tidbits that help tie together some of the events in the years to come, none is essential to a full and complete appreciation of the RJ universe and saga. That being said, of course all RJ fans (like me) will consider these YA novels to be essential reading, nonetheless.
In some ways, Secret Vengeance is the best of the three. Although the trademark foreshadowing of the "Secret History of the World" aspects of the Adversary Cycle and RJ series is much in evidence, here for the first time we see hints of the fixer - repairman that Jack will become. This comes about when Weezy is attacked and defamed, and the perp seems invulnerable. Jack decides that action must be taken, and then carefully thinks through (or tries to) the consequences of various approaches, quickly eschewing a brute force violent frontal assault for a much cleverer and indirect method. Of course, things are never as simple as they seem, and there are always unexpected consequences.
The novel clearly targets a YA audience - it is sanitized of the violence and language that is a necessary (and enjoyable) part of the adult Jack novels, and the sentence structure and vocabulary are likewise designed for a YA audience. FPW is extremely skilled at his craft, so this does not significantly detract from the enjoyment for older readers (albeit making for an ultra-quick read of the ~300 pages), while making it completely appropriate and approachable for a younger audience.
An excellent read for YA and A alike. One doesn't need to be a Repairman Jack fan to jump in and enjoy, but it undoubtedly helps. Highly recommended for YA and all Jack fans
The final volume in Wilson's young-adult Jack books, Secret Vengeance ends the series with its strongest volume; even though it never quite answers the question of why exactly these stories needed to be told, it still makes for a fun ride. The setup of the book is simple enough, with Jack trying to find a way to avenge his friend's honor in a covert way, and at its best, the book hearkens back to the first few Jack books, where the fixes were as much about their creativity and their ingenuity as their goals. And while Wilson doesn't tie up all of the loose ends of the series, he does a great job setting this up as the Jack we know and love (although with the recent announcement that he'll be writing some books about Jack's life before The Tomb, we may have some more steps to come), all while giving hints about what's to come. Best of all, the book sheds most of the cringe-worthy "those wacky 80s!" moments and proceeds on a much more even keel, even though there are still a couple of ham-handed moments along the way, including the abrupt and jarring introduction of a well-known supporting figure. But all of that being said, this is the best of the YA Jack books by a long shot, and it's really a blast to read; it reminds you of how much fun Jack can be as a character, and gives him a chance to play a little bit before moving into the dark setting of the Adversary Cycle. Lots of fun, and a must for any fan of the series.
I've read everything I can get my hands on that F. Paul Wilson has written in the Repairman Jack Series. This was in an earlier book in the series but was still a great read and I finished it in one sitting. Love Repairman Jack and it was funny to read about the people that will become key figures in Jack's later life. Enjoyed meeting the "Piney" kids. I'm going to have to go back and re-read the series I enjoyed it so much.
Perhaps the best in Wilson's "Young Jack" series. Although labeled a book for Young Adults, it really is a Repairman Jack novel, and in a certain sense, the first one, chronologically speaking. For the first time, we see Jack acting like the character he will become, avenging a friend and striking back at someone, not through mindless violence, but with cunning and subtlety, by exploting the enemy's weak points. (Mind you, as someone who started reading Repairman Jack back in the 1980s in the original version of the THE TOMB, it is still a bit of shock to find that Jack's history has been reworked so that now he is a teenager in the '80s.)
Just love Jack. This may not be the best Repairman Jack story Wilson has ever conjured up, but since he's not writing "Jack" any longer, this is an oasis in a vast desert of mediocre heroes. I still love the "just an average guy" personae that embodies Jack, which is not even subtly countered by his passion and his near-mythic battle skills.
This book, and the two others that make up the series, are as good as the "Repairman Jack" stories Wilson wrote for adults. Of course some of the scenes are toned-down for the younger reader (Wilson does have, it seems, a well developed sense of propriety), but that doesn't stop them from being first-rate adventure novels.