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Those of you have read my opinion on F P Wilson's conspiracies (there was at least 5 of you!) will have noticed that I disliked it compared to his other efforts because I found it to unbeleivable. So why is it that this fabulous author managed to convince me of something even more ridiculous with an effort he had written many years prior to Conspiracies?
Nightworld is the sixth part of the Adversary cycle, and the last. This cycle consisted of The Keep, The Tomb, The Touch, Reborn, Reprisal and finally Nightworld. After checking out the author's website(Repairmanjack.com) I found that the last three books were originally meant to be one book, but was split into three(too long to publish really) but they were meant to be read in the order that was set. The first three were stand alone, and could be read in any order...apparently. Anyway, I have read the first three...but not the fourth and fifth, so according to the author(and who am I to argue?) I have gone the wrong way about it. Perhaps, this is why, the first time I attempted to read Nightworld, I failed to finish it. However, that was before I had read The Tomb, Legacies and Conspiracies, and this time I felt far more comfortable with the book, despite failing to read it's first two parts. Are you confused? Sorry, so am I!
Anyway, if I could get hold of Reprisal and Reborn I would be extremely chuffed, but they are apparently difficult to get hold of. So Nightworld it is.
This time, I didn't find it so complicated. I knew of at least 4 of the main characters(Jack, Glaeken and Alan Bulmer and Molasar) but I soon saw it drawing certain parallels with Conspiracies. The references to the 'otherness' - although not as clearly as they had been in Conspiracies was slightly off-putting, and when holes started opening up(as in the end of Conspiracies) I was surprised to find I didn't feel that it was all that ridiculous. The way Wilson portrays it is entirely beleivable, something I feel he failed to do so well in conspiracies. He ties together some of his best characters(Molasar, Glaeken and Repairman Jack, Alan Bulmer) and they fuse so well, I found the book addictively enjoyable. Not that it is always enjoyable. It is freakishly disconcerting in the way it forced me to realise the monstrosities we as humans are capable of commiting, in constrast to those of make believe monsters, which Wilson makes you believe.
Since I am unsure of the whole story line(having missed the first two books doesn't help) I will outline it as best I can.
Nightworld starts with references to strange happenings in the natural world. The sun begins to rise later than it should. Then it sets before it is due to. It has scientists baffled, but the ageing Glaeken(who has obviously aged since 1941 now that he is a mere man) knows what is coming. 'For it will begin in the heavens.' What he has always feared has happened, Molasar, whom he had thought he had destroyed back in the Keep, is back. 'And then the earth.' A massive hole opens in central park, and the terror begins. As night falls, unearthly creatures plagues New York, smashing windows and killing anyone unfortunate enough to be left on the streets. Repairman Jack is brought in by Glaeken(he was doubtful naturally at first, but who can argue with someone predicting that Central Park would shrink) and Glaeken attempts to retrieve the pieces that will be able to stop Molasar in his tracks.
This is not a Repairman Jack novel, but it is better than any I have read. I am also tempted to say it is better than the keep. While the Keep offered supernatural shivers, Repairman Jack made you uncomfortable with reality(until conspiracies). This one brings the two together better than conspiracies, and it is all the more scary for it. The shock tactics Wilson used in Conspiracies(the satanic cult dreams) Wilson betters it here(Hank's suffering at the mandibles of some certain millipede creatures). Molasar is twice as evil as we saw in the Keep, Reapairman Jack just as cool. We see Glaeken as an old and weak man, but his will is as strong as it ever was. Wilson cleverly splices the action with radio segments, confirming its reality, which I feel is a great touch, and the way he shows how people would act in such a situation makes it hard not to believe it couldn't happen. Once again, I found myself unable to put the book down, and was often reading til 2am in the morning in a bid to see what happened next. The ending did not disappoint, with one of the most page turning and spine-chilling confrontations I have ever read.
I already knew Wilson was a brilliant writer. Now I know he is better than that.