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Signalz: An Adversary Cycle Novel (The Adversary Cycle) Paperback – July 7, 2020
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"F. Paul Wilson...carries the legacy of Lovecraft into the 21st century and wields the banner of the champion of weird fiction in horror literature, all the while retaining a distinct style of his own. He takes Lovecraft's odd sensibilities and makes them palatable to a wider audience while still maintaining the essential strangeness that made HPL so groundbreaking."
- Publisher : Crossroad Press (July 7, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 188 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1951510429
- ISBN-13 : 978-1951510428
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.48 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #681,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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At the end of NIGHTWORLD (first published in 1992 and then heavily revised and re-released in 2012 to become congruent with the RJ novels), FP Wilson stated (many times) that there would be no more novels taking place after the conclusion of NIGHTWORLD. But he got around that by writing additional RJ (and other) novels that were set earlier in time, that continued the *Secret History of the World* to great effect. These too, were wonderful.
And now we have SIGNALZ. A brand new novella that runs in parallel with NIGHTWORLD, with all (but one) new characters, and taking place at the same time and places, but from a different point of view. It starts with a teenaged Ellie who, along with her mother is visiting her older sister attending University in NYC. Ellie hears something that no one else hears that draws her to Sheep Meadow in Central Park (well known to readers of NIGHTWORLD and other past FPW works). Something terrible happens and Ellie ends up in coma for months. When she awakens, she is... radically changed. At this point we synchronized with the start of NIGHTWORLD, give or take a day.
So far, so good, but then it all goes rapidly downhill. There is little or nothing new revealed about the Secret History. There are several callbacks to WARDENCLYFFE, an excellent one-off FPW part of the Secret History. We revisit a couple of characters and organizations that played key roles in THE ADVERSARY CYCLE and the RJ series. A couple of brand new characters are introduced. They are sort of interesting but eventually go nowhere, and by the end, which is synchronous with roughly the start of the really interesting events of NIGHTWORLD, we have really gone nowhere.
Yes, there are the typical well written FPW terror-inducing Lovecraftian scenes (but we've seen this all before) but really, there is nothing new here to see. If anything, SIGNALZ kind of leaves a bad taste in the mouths of big time fans of all the series and novels mentioned above. And if you happen to NOT have read most or all of these, I doubt that much of this novella will make much sense to you.
It pains me greatly to write this review. But I calls 'em as I sees em. FPW is a great writer. But this time he whiffed.
When F. Paul Wilson created his SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORLD (SHOTW), the amazing stories that he had previously written suddenly began to form a tapestry that he added to by the books and short stories that he began to produce that pushed the conflict between the ADVERSARY and the OTHER towards their inevitable confrontation. That final battle was originally chronicled in the first release of NIGHTWORLD in 1992. But...the author had plans!! And his entire universe exploded as Wilson began to expand on the role of Jack, the everyman who was the lead character in what became known as THE REPAIRMAN JACK series. As more and more of those exciting and thrilling stories moved the SHOTW forward. The original final trilogy - Reborn, Reprisal, and Nightworld - had become a little dated and anachronistic. But...that just gave the readers the opportunity to read new, edited and updated versions with the rewritten final release of NIGHTWORLD being released in May of 2012.
Wilson stated that he had no plans to write any further books centering around the ADVERSARY that were dated AFTER the events in NIGHTWORLD...BUT...that didn't mean we wouldn't see new adventures and new stories that filled in the gaps of the past as the Wilson gave use two trilogies set in the past during the years that would mold Jack into the force and the chosen one that he would become.
In SIGNALZ, Wilson runs the clock back briefly from the final conflict to the previous Christmas (also the setting of, and a sort of sequel to the book LAST CHRISTMAS previously released), setting events that are then brought into play as the book jumps to just days before the events in NIGHTWORLD. The story is fairly self contained and takes place over the span of four days. As an added easter egg, Wilson also touches upon events that take place during the story WARDENCLYFFE that was another wonderful brief story set in the time of Nikola Teslas attempt to harness earth power. The book does give answers to some of the questions that have developed during the past
eight years as more stories have been added into the tapestry.
This was a fun book for me and kept my interest solidly fixed on the story until the end as well as making me smiling as little facts and stories were revealed that I had questions about earlier. And...don't miss the character of P. Frank Winslow...Classic!!!
That being said the book was a decent but short read. I finished it in a day. It fit okay into the Adversary cycle of books.
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The Repairman Jack books remain one of my all time favourite series. Signalz fits into the Adversary/Jack timeline perfectly. I hope F Paul Wilson explores many more offshoot takes like this one. So many more tales to tell.