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.)
Wife and I both finished reading the third and final edition of young Repairman Jack in less than a day. Later, we agreed it was an outstanding book and a fitting climax to the series. We enjoyed the parade of reoccurring characters sprinkled in other RJ novels: RJ's siblings; lady and her dog; alcoholic glove wearing hobo; white suit wearing Septimus Actuator; future gun selling Saul; and even the pre-teen kid buying target marbles (Nightkill)in RJ's second hand store. 1983 Johnson, New Jersey must have been a busy year for Young Jack. He must have worn out his bicycle driving to all his adventures, day and night. Plus, he was working two part-time jobs and going to school full time. Of course to a 14 year old, that one year must have dragged on to seem like five years. I think I would like to read the adventures of an older RJ, in his mid-to late 20s. Dr. Wilson could call the series: The Developing Repairman Jack. When the RJ character is first introduced, he has all his...
"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...
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