2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Last Christmas by F. Paul Wilson (YES – More Repairman Jack!)

Hooray – Repairman Jack is back and as strong a character as ever! Honestly, I didn’t expect to see more from Wilson’s Repairman Jack series. There are a lot of books in multiple series that all interweave into this fabulous and incredible world, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all. The last appeared some time ago, and given how things were tied up (well, as much as they ever are/were in Jack’s world) I rather assumed that was the end.

What a delicious surprise it was to find a new title announced on here, and I jumped at the chance to request/review it. I was a little apprehensive – not that I expected nonsense from Wilson, mind you, but because it had been a while since I’d read them all and they were VERY involved and intricate plots, interwoven across storylines in such a way that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fall back in without a significant time-commitment for a refresher course. Not so at all! I jumped right back in with both feet, rather like Jack, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I’m sure there were some connections that I missed; in a very detailed world-building exercise like Jack’s universe there is likely always something you miss. But I found myself falling right back into the rhythm of these remarkable stories almost from the opening pages. Sure, it took me a minute (and occasionally a Google search) to remind myself of character backstories and relationships, but I never felt like I was lost or meandering – and that’s testament, I think, to Wilson’s excellent and crisp storytelling. It sticks with you, as do his characters, and that means that you can take a vacation – even for years – and still fall right back into the swing of things with relative ease.

There were a few new characters who added depth to the story/series, but I was mostly interested in the return of the characters I knew and loved – particularly Abe, Glaeken, and Vicky and Gia (who didn’t play a big role, unfortunately). The plot felt like a continuation of things, but also offered a fresh story that was engaging and entertaining in its own right. I think you probably could read this one if you hadn’t read any of the others, but you’d be missing a lot of what makes the Jack books so phenomenal: namely, the incredible breadth of the world that has been crafted by Wilson over the course of decades and dozens of books. Every book feels original and fresh, yet every book slowly and inexorably builds toward a conclusion that we still haven’t quite reached… Here’s hoping Wilson doesn’t decide to stop here – I’d love to see more from Jack as soon as possible!

Thank you so much to NetGalley for my review copy! Weirdly, I can’t find it listed on Amazon, so here is a link to the GoodReads page instead…

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