Nightworld. For F. Paul Wilson fans, it’s often in the top two or three novels by the legend, surpassed only by the first book in the Repairman Jack series, The Tomb. Nightworld signaled the end of civilizations as we know it (kinda fitting these days, isn’t it?) and was so popular, Wilson rewrote it to fit the series canon after the original Adversary sextet concluded. While that novel hit on all cylinders and checked every box that satisfied both thriller and horror fans across the globe, plenty of mysteries remained. Wilson has plugged some of those, most notably with last year’s Jack novel, The Last Christmas, and prior to that, Wardenclyffe.
The Last Christmas: A Repairman Jack Novel by F. Paul Wilson
Crossroads Press (September 2019)
370 pages; $25.94 hardcover; $18.06 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia
It can be a dicey thing when an author brings back one of their beloved series characters after closing off that character’s series with such a satisfying conclusion. In the back of your head, as a reader, you’re thinking, “I just want one more adventure with one of my favorite literary characters.” And yet, when that does happen…there’s enough anxiety to give you pause. Maybe the story just won’t read the same as the others. Maybe it won’t have that same snap the other installments had, or, if the author is creating a new adventure in the middle of an already completed series, maybe the story will cause too many continuity errors to be thoroughly enjoyable.
As I’ve written this series, I’ve found it necessary to achieve a tenuous balance in my recommendations and recountings of the horror which has impacted me as a reader and writer. I’ve bounced a lot between the descriptions “fun and fast-paced” and “literate and full of substance.” The truth of the matter (as I’ve come to discover it) is this: good fiction and, even more importantly, a good reading diet, shouldn’t ever cater to one end of the spectrum exclusively. Stories should move us emotionally, they should make us ponder the world around us, our existence, and life in general. They should say something about the human condition.