The first of three Repairman Jack prequels, revealing the past of one of the most popular characters in contemporary dark fantasy: a self-styled “fix-it” man who is no stranger to the macabre or the supernatural, hired by victimized people who have no one else to turn to.
We join Jack a few months after his arrival in New York City. He doesn’t own a gun yet, though he’s already connected with Abe. Soon he’ll meet Julio and the Mikulski brothers. He runs afoul of some Dominicans, winds up at the East Side Marriott the night Meir Kahane is shot, gets on the bad side of some Arabs, starts a hot affair, and disrupts the smuggling of preteen sex slaves. And that’s just Book One.I actually haven't heard of this series although it is popular. I don't often read "contemporary dark fantasy" so it makes sense that I might have missed these, but the premise sounded interesting so I gave it a go. Plus, this is the first book of 3 prequels and the book guaranteed me that I need not read the other books to get into this one. It's true. I didn't need to read the others. This book is also set in 1990s.
I will say I had a problem with Jack at first. I didn't connect to him. He was cold and a bit of a jerk. When he started making friends, some you could tell would become his self-made family, I really started to connect to the character. He started to show real compassion to the "innocent" and I believed he wanted to help. He was also young and just starting to feel his way through his life and his coldness made sense since he had a hard time trusting others. When that trust started to appear, it made his character much warmer.
I also had a personal problem with the racial slurs and prejudices within the book. I want to make this clear... I'm not saying that about the author at all. It fits his "bad" characters to say those things, and wouldn't have made the bad guys as bad without them. It's a personal thing and it seemed worse before I really got to know Jack. Perhaps because if that, it seemed more pronounced but it also seemed to lessen in frequency once Jack became more interesting. However, I will say that it did make sense for the characters. Again, it's just a personal problem many others may not have.
Even with these problems, and as I said above, once Jack got involved with his new friends I found myself rooting for him and much more interested in the chaos surrounding him. The adventure did have a feel to keep you wanting to know what happened next.
The ending is odd for me. I get that this is a trilogy of prequels, but it didn't give you closure on everything that was going on. There were many (almost too many) things going on, but yet they all seemed to fit together in one way or another. I say the ending is odd because in one way it does feel complete even without the conclusions to events currently going on. It also gave me a taste of what Jack becomes and I have to say that I am curious enough to pick up one of the other Repairman Jack books. This is odd for me because I crave closure in my books but didn't seem to hate this ending.
I give this book 3 stars. I think this is perfect especially for men who enjoy dark urban books with a lot of action. It is also great for those already into the Repairman Jack series. Even if you haven't read them, I think you'll start to get a feel for the character Jack and like his growth in this book.
I was given this book by Tor for review and no compensation was given.
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