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    Review of HARBINGERS by F. Paul Wilson (see his website)


    Forge, September 2006

    Repairman Jack is ready to hang it up. He's tired of fixing problems and wants to grab an identity, marry his girlfriend, help her with the baby she's pregnant with, and help her raise her daughter. Still, when a bar regular's daughter vanishes, Jack can't exactly walk away from the problem. It turns out, though, that that particular problem is already being dealt with--and Jack comes into contact with a new group featuring in a strange war between two entities--nicknamed the Ally and the Adversary. Considering that coming to the attention of either of these divinely powerful forces is dangerous, even the friendlies can be deadly.

    The 'men in black' are as conflicted about Jack as he is about them--and they alternate between wanting to draft him as their champion (the heir) and wanting to kill him. But for Jack, personal issues are a lot more important than any abstract ideas, and nobody is going to get between him and his relationship with his fiancee and her daughter--especially considering that virtually everyone else he loves has been killed.

    Author F. Paul Wilson writes a compelling story and puts Jack through the wringer, both emotionally and physically. The semi-divine battle makes an interesting backdrop--and Wilson's descriptions and analogiest to the way these semi-divine entities consider humanity and, indeed, the entire planet, add to the fascination.

    For some reason, though, I never really bought into the emotions, and the character of Repairman Jack himself seemed unsympathetic. Too often, he seemed to kill for the purpose of killing--with the massacre scene in the MV more gross than satisfying, at least to me. There is a lot of good stuff in HARBINGERS and the story definitely kept my attention and kept me reading. And perhaps in a universe where two uncaring entities battle it out, it really does makes sense only to look out for onself and those few people to whom one has a special attachment. Still, it was hard for me to care much about Jack--after all, I don't suspect he'd care much about me.

    See more reviews of novels by F. Paul Wilson.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 2/12/07

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