I love the Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson. The series as a whole has it all; a nice mix of action, suspense, humor, conspiracies, nice character moments and development and, as the series progresses, more and more of a supernatural element. The series started off with each novel able to be read as a stand-alone; but as the series nears completion that's become impossible for the author to maintain as he moves pieces into place and continues the overall story of Repairman Jack and his fight against The Adversary.
I recently finished the most recent book in the series, Ground Zero, and in doing so realized I had missed the one before it (By The Sword)! Ground Zero finds Jack continuing his fight against The Adversary and his inadvertant earthly minions, the Kickers and the Septimus Order which has been part of the last few books. Jack even meets some old friends from his childhood (and the Jack YA novels).
Ground Zero is an excellent installment in the always entertaining Repairman Jack series and it hits on all the fine points I mentioned before: action, suspense, humor, character development, and that supernatural element that permeates the underlying achitecture of the series.
I'm currently reading By the Sword, and have Jack: Secret Histories(the first in the YA series) on my TBR shelf.
Disclaimer of Disclaiming: I picked up this book at my local library. No cash or freebies exchanged hands at all (unless I had to pay an overdue fine...). The link above is an Amazon Associate link: if you click it and buy something you help fund my "pay the bills" addiction.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I finally - finally! - got to read The Facade, by Mike Heiser. I've been hearing about this book for what seems like years now at places like PIDRadio and FutureQuake, among others, touting how great this book is as both a fiction novel and a manifasto of sorts on what I call the fringe of Christian conspiracy theorists (of which I probably am a member...)
The Façade opens with a Roman Catholic priest-astronomer (yes, they really do exist) at the Vatican making a discovery and quickly being murdered by a supernatural something or other. Scene change to America and down-on-his luck ex-college professor now video store clerk Dr. Brian Scott is abducted by government agents telling him his country needs him just before he blacks out from being drugged. He awakens in a secret facility who knows where, along with several other scientists, psychologists, and a few other scholarly types, including a priest and Brian's mentor from his Christian college, who happens to be an undersecratary for the U.S. Government and part of The Group that runs the military facility Brian finds himself in.
Brian has become part of a secret program to come up with a way to convince the citizens of the United States of America that ETs are real, have been visiting Earth for awhile, want to move in and won't take "No" for an answer. Only, as more and more is revealed to Brian and his co-researchers, he begins to think that there's more to it than that.
Brian quickly finds his antagonist in UFO abduction researcher Dr. Melissa Kelley who does her best to discredit and embarass Brian at every turn, but she too begins to think there's more to the program they've been coerced into than simply aliens looking for a nice condo on the beach.
Soon enough, people around Brian are assaulted or killed, and he's led on a mind-twisting exploration of the ET phenomenon throughout recent history, and must make life-changing decisions both about aliens and his own lifestyle.
This is a good book. In between adventures, the characters of the research panel in the book participate in meetings where they are presented with a dizzying array of facts and historical documents all seemingly supporting or hinting at the existence of extraterrestrials among us. These meetings serve to present factual information to the reader as well as to present the author's viewpoint on the overall field of the alien agenda, which is necessary exposition but can slow the story down. However, the action scenes and character interactions make up for that by definitely keeping you turning the pages.
This is a book with true Christian characters among "normal" people; and it has a Christian message which I won't spoil. However, The Façade reads like a mainstream book, with very light cursing, sexual situations (but no sex), brutal murders, and "normal" people acting like normal people - not acting like Heathens or potential believers about to be converted like you'd find in many CBA books.
And the end? Remember that priest killed in the opening pages? His astronomical discovery that he was killed for could open the way to a sequel... if the author had the time and motivation to write it. I want a sequel!
Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own moolah! Nobody gave it to me free! (However, I did purchase it used.)