Reviewed by Mighty Mom (The Adventures of Mighty Mom)
Not much happens in Johnson, New Jersey until the day 14-year-old Jack discovers a dead body in a wooded area near his home. Soon after, members of an exclusive lodge in Johnson begin to die, one after the other. Driven by intrigue, Jack and his friends work to uncover the secret behind these suspicious deaths. But can they do so without becoming victims themselves?
Jack: Secret Histories is the first of three prequel novels to F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series. As such, Jack's fate is predetermined: we know he's going to make it. The question is this: Can Mr. Wilson keep readers engaged when the hero's fate is not in mortal jeopardy? I would say, yes. There is an adequate mix of whodunit intrigue and paranormal creepiness to draw the reader to its final pages. My only reservations revolve around his injudicious mention of 1980's paraphernalia and the questionable relevance of some secondary characters and their respective scenes. While the significance of such oddities as the old lady with a dog may become clear later in the series, for now I am left feeling the narrative could have been tighter.
Jack: Secret Histories would be best read by the young adolescent or any fan of the Repairman Jack series who wants to step back in time.
What Other Bloggers are Saying:
Bookshelves of Doom: "There was also some effort made to explain some of the differences between 1983 and now (no internet, cultural stuff), but those bits felt disjointed and inorganic, and so they were also distracting, felt a bit teach-y and made me feel like the author might not think much of the audience's reasoning capabilities" (read more...)
Au Courant: "If you want a quick read thick with mystery and secrets, and a little supernatural icing that will leave you wondering what would happen next, I suggest Jack: Secret Histories." (read more...)
BookMoot: "...I must say that Jack is one of the most amazing characters I’ve ever encountered. He has no last name, no SSN and no official existence. He earns a living “fixing” problems for people who have no where else to turn. And he’s very good at it." (read more...)
Jean Little Library: "This is a great mystery, suspenseful and well-plotted. The mysterious secret societies are fascinating and Jack's character is a perfect foreshadowing of his future persona." (read more...)
Jen Robinson's Book Page: "I must admit to having a hard time assessing whether or not this book will stand on its own for teen readers who haven't read the Repairman Jack series. But as someone who has read that series, this book is a lot of fun." (read more...)
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen (May 27, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765318547
- ISBN-13: 978-0765318541
- Source: Review copy from publisher