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Cold City (Repairman Jack: The Early Years #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  104 reviews
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 alr
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Tor Books (first published July 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions

Asteropê The author gives a suggest reading order here:

I've seen a few different suggestions besides that one.

The author gives a suggest reading order here:

I've seen a few different suggestions besides that one.

I'm going to say, it's probably not necessary to start with the prequels. I tried to Google this myself and there were differing opinions.

Also, you can start with The Tomb or you can do what I'm doing it start with The Keep.

I'm going based off this order:


Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 961)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This book get's a five star rating, but just you know why it gets the rating just barley?????? BECAUSE I HATE _______ CLIFFHANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I!!!!HATE!!!!CLIFFHANGERS!!!!!!!!

If you're going to write a trilogy...I don't know at least tie up each volume!

Okay...whew takes deep cleansing breath now that I got that out of my system...

Here we have the first of a trilogy that's a prequel to the Repairman Jack books...and so far it's good. I placed this on my fantasy and urban fant
4.5 Stars F. Paul is a master at weaving a tale and controlling the elements to such a degree that we have a seamless storyline that spans over 20 years. This book is the first of a bridge trilogy that will span Jack’s young adult years to Jack’s place in the History of the World storyline. When F. Paul wrote the Tomb, Jack was a side character that wasn’t supposed to survive the ending. He didn’t actually kill Jack; he just left him there in the end severely wounded. F. Paul got such a response ...more
21 year old Jack is hot. Maybe it was vivacious Cristin. Maybe it was Wilson. It was very naughty and I liked it. Oh yeah, the parts without sex (which is most of the novel) were really great too. :-) Nothing in Jack's life is a coincidence. Fans of Repairman Jack will have lots of fun with Cold City discovering clues and connections to the future books. And talk about loose ends! I want book 2 of this trilogy tomorrow. How fast can Mr. Wilson write? Hurry please. And aw, I just love Abe, especi ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review by John posted at Layers of Thought.

2.5 stars actually.

A book that goes back in time and sets the foundation for the popular “Repairman Jack” series of novels. He is the “urban mercenary” and fix-it man who helps victimized people that have nowhere else to turn.

About: Jack is a 21 year old college dropout who decides to sever all home and family ties and move to New York City. With absolutely no personal documentation or links to his past life, he moves “off the grid” and leads a
Nathan Washor
Original Review Here

What to say? This book was awesome! I typically read and review fantasy, so this was a break from the norm for me. Apparently this series delves into that genre later on, but there wasn’t any of it in here. I’m glad I read it though as everything about it I loved.

I have never read a “Jack the Repairman” book by F. Paul Wilson before of which there are a lot already. This is the first of a prequel series to those other novels (which I will read). Consequently, I already knew J
The first of three planned Repairman Jack prequels. I had expected three stories but it's clearly going to be one story in three books. By the end of this one, Jack has made an assortment of enemies--the Order, a human trafficker, a group of bloodthirsty Dominican landscapers, a skeevy con artist, and a small cell of Gambino mobsters--not one of whom has been sorted out.

Cold City begins shortly after Jack abandons his family and drops out of college to find his fortune in the Big Apple. We meet
Aaron Rosenberg
Repairman Jack has been one of my absolute favorite characters since The Tomb, so I'm always happy to read more of his adventures. And it was nice to read one that's early Jack, before he really because Repairman Jack. I only had three complaints about this book:

1. The Adversary. I hated the fact that every RJ book had to center around the Adversary, and this one is no different. It's completely unnecessary here, and gets in the way of what's otherwise a fun story.

2. The Indiana Jones and the La
This book is everything I love about Repairman Jack, but he isn't really Repairman Jack yet. F. Paul Wilson has taken the reader back to Jack's beginnings and we find out the hows and whys of Repairman Jack. We find out why he has chosen to live off the grid and how his mother died and what he did to avenge her. We see his attachment to his friends and how be discovers what he wants to do and be in his life. No mysterious "The Other," no weird aliens, this is just pure adrenaline with some philo ...more
William Bentrim
Cold City by F. Paul Wilson

When I read Dark City a few weeks ago I stated that I may be one of the few action adventure readers who has just discovered Repairman Jack. This is a series that documents one man's quest to right wrongs in a unique vigilante/godfather manner. This is the first book in the trilogy that documents the early years of Repairman Jack.

Dark City is the middle book of a trilogy chronicling the early years of Repairman Jack and you can read my review on the link at the beginn
Chris Cosci
The first in a trilogy that looks at the formative years of the character known to many as Repairman Jack. In this first book, fans of the Repairman Jack series are introduced to a couple of familiar characters (including Abe, the "sports shop owner," and Julio, the barman with many grudges), as well as a few new ones.

For fans of Repairman Jack, there are some great moments that connect to the original series. For those new to the world of Jack, this is a terrific intro. There are definite refer
Jessica Bronder
This is the start to Repairman Jack. He is a 21 year old that has just moved to New York after dropping out of college. He lives off the grid and is just getting into the business. You can see how Jack is stumbling into his calling and just starting to use the black rages.

I have yet to start the Repairman Jack series although I do have the first book. It was recommended that I start with these first so I have a foundation for Jack. I fell in love with him. He’s tough, no nonsense, and takes car
If you have read and enjoyed The Repairman Jack Series, then you will enjoy this book. This really fills in all the pieces of Jacks past. We learn more about Abe. What Jack did for Julio and basically how Jack came to be Repairman Jack. I will say I am glad F. Paul Wilson wrote early Jack after the Repairman Jack Series. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book as much if it was the first repairman jack book I read. I enjoyed it because it fill in all the empty pieces from the series. I wo ...more
Tim Healy
So, I'm continuing on my way, slowly, through the "Secret History of the World". That brings me back to Jack, who is now finished with school and settling in to his new life in New York City. He's not quite Repairman Jack, yet, but he is on that road. This gives us kind of a snapshot of how he started developing his skills. This is enjoyable, but it's clearly not meant to stand alone. None of the major story lines are really tied up at the end of the book. On the one hand, I'm not sure why he ch ...more
Michael Mcnally
There's not much more that can be said about Repairman Jack - he's the iconic Mr. Fixit for those problems that resist ordinary solutions. Cold City is interesting, because it goes back to the time before "The Tomb", to when Jack was just getting started to live off the grid in Manhattan.

Cold City is a good tale and a solid introduction to Jack. A few gripes brought this down to 4 stars. First - being close in age to the Jack character and living though the same era, I find it hard to believe t
Seth Tucker
This was a great book, it was also a great start to a bridge from the Young Jack novels to the Repairman Jack we meet in the Tomb. This is not the Jack who is always prepared and has fail safes for everything. This Jack doesn't own a gun or have nearly as much knowledge of the city. We get to see him meet Julio and start to perform his first "fix-it" in New York. Along the way Jack runs afoul of jihadists, mobsters, and the ever present Septimus Order. This was a great starting point for those w ...more
"Cold City", first in the Early Years Trilogy, is set in 1990. A young and naive Jack quits college, moves to New York City and become our literary hero, Repairman Jack. He tackles jihadists, child sex traffickers and gardeners holding a personal grudge. Not to mention meeting up with the lovable Abe and helping out bartender Julio. All in a days work. As you'd expect,it's an action packed thrill ride. Jack has to be the best literary character never to make it to the big screen. If you're new t ...more
Jack is living under the radar in NYC as a landscaper, when he is provoked and nearly kills a co-worker in fury. With no income, he starts driving a truck smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina, and through a series of unfortunate events, gets forced into human trafficking. This triggers his moral compass and he decides to rescue the victims from their captors, invoking the wrath of yet another group. Meanwhile, we get introduced to Julio (bar owner of Jack's favorite haunt) and Abe, of Isher ...more
Dominick Cancilla
I enjoyed this book, and it's fun to see the roots of many of Jack's feelings and situations. It's also entertaining to see him work through what will become his life philosophy.

The only thing that prevents me from giving this book five stars is that it is in no way a complete novel. The ending resolves nothing. I'm assuming that this is the first book in a trilogy, and it would have been nice knowing going into the book that it was part of a single novel split into three parts instead of a stan
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
Michael Parrish
F. Paul Wilson never fails to deliver, and this tale from the initial time that Jack moves to NY and begins to develop the contacts and hone his skillset to become the Repairman Jack we've come to enjoy so much in the past doesn't disappoint either. In fact, this tale is easily one of the best of the tales he's written involving the character, as he see him reach out Abe and encounter Julio for the first time, whilst people from his past reach out to embrace him, and the inevitable snowball - th ...more
Eric Bauman
I love Dr. Wilson's books. I am in the process of rereading the Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack books (or rereading most of them, anyway--I haven't read the later Repairman Jack books yet). Since this book came out recently and since it is about Jack as a young man just coming to New York City, I read it out of chronological order, but that's okay, because it fills in some knowledge.

For the uninitiated, Repairman Jack is not an appliance repairman. He fixes problems. Someone harassing your sister
Nov 20, 2012 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
2.5 stars.

It didn’t take very much for me to be quickly absorbed into Wilson’s Repairman Jack world. His writing deft and infectious, particularly with how well he creates a cast of characters and manages to make them all at least a little distinguished from one another. This is a prequel to all the Repairman Jack novels and is the first in a new trilogy. It says in the beginning of the book that you needn’t have read any books in this series before to enjoy this and it’s true: I didn’t feel lik
I feel like prequels in general are a bad idea. No matter how valid the story concept is, most authors seem unable to resist the temptation to throw in references to the story-to-come. I'm not sure if this is meant to be an Easter egg for the fan, or if it's meant to inspire a feeling of dramatic irony, but personally I feel that it almost always requires too much suspension of disbelief and it takes me out of the story as a result. I thought this was a problem with the 'Jack: Secret History' se ...more
Once again, F. Paul Wilson provides a solid entry into the Repairman Jack mythos. This book begins the Early Years trilogy that bridges the gap between the Young Jack: Secret Histories trilogy and the original Repairman Jack series.

There is so much to like about this book. Long-time Repairman Jack readers get to see the beginnings of Jack's new life in New York. This book outlines the origins of some of Jack's most important freindships and relationships. There is also lots for readers who start
Jack has recently moved to the Big Apple and is making do with a landscaping job. His mother's death is still fresh on his mind and after exacting revenge on her killer he's cut all ties with home. Here in New York, he's living under the radar with no phone and no paper trail. He doesn't even tell people his real name. An altercation at work leaves him out of work and searching for a new job when fate steps in: an acquaintance of a friend has an opening for a delivery driver. No, it's not all on ...more
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy

Beware of spoilers!

This is my first book in the Repairman Jack series, I was completely caught off guard because in the synopsis it says ” contemporary dark fantasy” and in the book there were only a couple of times that even gave a tiny hint at anything out of the ordinary, with the darkness overtaking Jack. Other than that this story was more like a crime drama/suspense/thriller. I have read The Keep, which was a dark fantasy horror/thriller novel. But, am c
Critter Reyome
If you've been following the Repairman Jack saga as I have, you've probably lamented the fact that there was a large portion of Jack's life unaccounted for, the portion between where the "Jack" young adult books end and where he appears in "The Tomb". Well, F. Paul Wilson has heard our moans and is filling in the blank spots with three books intended to placate us…and then, NO MORE! Or so he insists, which doesn't leave much room for any future…but that all got wrapped up in "The Dark at the End ...more
I first read an F. Paul Wilson Repairman Jack tale more than a decade ago. This book is the first in a prequel trilogy that goes back in time and introduces the Jack that was before he became the Repairman Jack of the main series.

There are many reasons why this is one my favorite series, not the least of which is nostalgia, having been a constant companion these many years. This satisfies on many levels, a multi-faceted series with thriller, urban fantasy and horror angles. It also set in modern
Lelia Taylor
Sigh. I adore Repairman Jack and, along with all his other fans, I hate that his story has come to an end. Sort of. Being a kind man, F. Paul Wilson took pity after the final story, Nightworld, and has a three-part prequel for us telling how Repairman Jack got to be…well, Repairman Jack. Cold City is the first of that trilogy.

I’ve “known” Jack for years, since I first discovered The Tomb along about 1996. That book actually came out in 1984 but I was behind the times. (My introduction to Mr. Wil
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Francis Paul Wilson is an author, born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He writes novels and short stories primarily in the science fiction and horror genres. His debut novel was Healer (1976). Wilson is also a part-time practicing family physician. He made his first sales in 1970 to Analog and continued to write science fiction throughout the seventies. In 1981 he ventured into the horror genre with t ...more
More about F. Paul Wilson...
The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1) The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) (Repairman Jack, #1) Legacies  (Repairman Jack, #2) Conspiracies (Repairman Jack, #3) All the Rage (Repairman Jack, #4)

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