Review of BY THE SWORD by F. Paul Wilson (see his website)
A REPAIRMAN JACK NOVEL
Forge Books, October 2008
Repairman Jack takes a break from beating up Central Park muggers when he's contacted by a supposedly Japanese-American businessman looking for a lost sword. The sword, supposedly worthless because it's full of holes, is actually being sought by two Japanese groups (one, a set of mutilation-oriented monks dedicated to the Japanese Emperor and supposedly eliminated in the Hiroshima bombing) and the other, a Japanese conglomerate which owns everything. It's also being sought by the Kickers, a thug group which has recently become popular in America. Jack ends up having to battle all of these people--which definitely leads to bloodbath possibilities as well as some interesting triangles.
Meanwhile, pregnant but annoying Dawn is still pregnant but desperately wants an abortion. She manages to escape the man who is holding her, supposedly for her safety, but is captured by the Kickers when she approaches the abortion center. Jack would prefer to rescue Dawn as well--but that gets messy.
Author F. Paul Wilson (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by F. Paul Wilson) continues his Repairman Jack series with Jack preparing for the end of times and the ultimate showdown between forces which go beyond good and evil (but hey, those are pretty good descriptions). There's a lot of adventure, some good fight scenes, and a lot of danger. Wilson tries to make us care about Jack by giving us his damaged sweetheart, Gia. It didn't quite work for me.
Wilson's Repairman Jack series has reached best-seller status and Wilson is a talented writer who writes great description and action. If his characters lived up to the rest of the story, he'd have a masterpiece here. As it is, BY THE SWORD is a pleasant read.
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