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By the Sword (Repairman Jack #12)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,871 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews

"Jack is back, tangled in a battle to retrieve a stolen Japanese katana, the fabled Gaijin Masamune. Half a century ago, this legendary blade disappeared from the Hiroshima Peace Museum. Now the sword has been taken from the son of the original thief who in his desperation naturally turns to all-around fix-it man and reluctant hero - Repairman Jack." "Jack soon finds that

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC (first published May 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,822)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Well Jack finally (view spoiler). I guess we've been waiting for that for a while. We're sort of starting to tie things together.


This book builds on another book by Wilson titled Black Wind. Personally I didn't care for that book much but the story in it does fill in some details and answer some questions you may have as
Mar 03, 2012 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror
Might be time to take a break from Repairman Jack. Like the previous book, I found this one tedious as I really do not care about the Kickers or Dawn Pickering, who seem to have become the primary focal points of the story, rather than Gia, Vicky and Jack. In this story, everyone is still trying to grab Dawn because of her unborn child and a katana, forged by a famous Japanese artist which supposedly survived the nuclear blast in Hiroshima is also sought by the Kickers, a Japanese corporation, a ...more
Nov 11, 2008 Furb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grown-ups
Recommended to Furb by: Freedom Book Club
I can't remember when I've enjoyed a book more. Repairman Jack is not your ordinary fix-it man. He's a man that fixes things, but he won't clean the lint out of your dryer if that's what you're looking for. He's more of a man that fixes... situations.

I was sort of skeptical when this book was selected by Freedom Book Club, but this book did not disappoint. Up until this book was chosen all the selections of the FBC had been non-fiction titles. Boy was this book a change of pace. It holds up to t
Jan 14, 2009 Debi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm having an affair with Jack. Even though we havn't formally been introduced he's got my mind occupied with his antics. F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack is one bad boy in his lasting outing By The Sword.

Jack lives off the grid and has no identity. He's an anarchist, an urban mercenary. Jack fixes those problems the establishment can't. I love a character who walks the edge of the envelope between good and evil and battles back when I would under the same circumstances turn into a ball of goop.

David Agranoff
Wow is it Book twelve of Repairman Jack already? Where has the time
gone. This was the book in the series I was looking forward to because
in conversation with Wilson at the Borderlands writers boot camp he
referred to it as being his Yojimbo influenced novel. Being a fan of
series but also of Akria Kurasawa's classic Samurai movie(which was
also remade into the western fistful of dollars) I was excited to see
how Wilson wove the concept into the world of Jack.

It was done with his typical plotting gen
This novel picks up right where Bloodline leaves off and features some of the same characters. Central to this story is the Matsumune Gaijin, the name given to a rare Japanese sword (Katana). This particular sword was forged from a meteorite in the 14th century by Matsumune for a "foreigner" (Gaijin). Jack is hired to locate and obtain the sword which was recently stolen on Maui and taken to New York City. Jack's not the only one after the sword--the others are Hank Thompson, the leader of the " ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Kellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy series with large story arcs and evolving characters with a touch of the fantastic.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you like Repairman Jack you will like this book. Jack is your everyday man of average height, build, and looks who hires out to fix peoples problems vigilante style. If you haven't read any of the series you want to start toward the beginning. There are many story lines that are drawn together through the books and it is becoming more and more important that you have read previous books. None of the books will change your life but they are always a rip roaring fun read if you just want to be ...more
William Crosby
Mar 03, 2014 William Crosby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Various conflicting groups seeking the pregnant woman and the katana and good ol' reluctant Jack caught in the middle of it all. If you want your Gia & Vicky fix they are not really in this book.

It is possible that you have to be a cult follower of Repairman Jack to truly appreciate this book. Also I would not advise just picking up this book as your casual read if you have not read any of the prior books in the series.

The author describes the series as "The Secret History of the W
Mar 03, 2009 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Convoluted plot. The earlier Repairman Jack novels are much, much better than this. I'm just waiting for the end of series, as promised, to see how the author will tie this into the last book of the Adversary series, or maybe I'll skip it altogether.
Mar 28, 2016 Monique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel Jack is asked to find a lost sword, a katana. He is told he is looking for it because the original owner had it stolen. The owner can’t go to the police since the sword was previously stolen from a museum. When Jack begins to search for it he ends up getting mixed up with other groups. The Kickers, a cult called the "Kakureta Kao" and Rasalom are all searching for it. As Jack is trying to retrieve and keep this sword he is also tasked with another job, search for Dawn Pickering and ...more
Grant Howard
Dec 05, 2015 Grant Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take something already pretty awesome and add ninjas! Gold.
This is a very action packed violent entry in the series which also sees Jack (finally!) meeting up with the other major player we've all been waiting for.
Feb 02, 2009 Jud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you really need to review a Repairman Jack book?

A fast-paced, entertaining read, as always. The loose ends are starting to come together. Wilson is preparing us for the end.
Mar 07, 2014 J.D. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I have read this entire series from the beginning but decided to stop 25% of the way through on this one, book #12. It's just not holding my interest any longer. "The Otherness" and all of that was just "part" of the story of Jack with me; I was more into Jack and his unusual fix-it jobs and living "off the grid" - the strange passive aggressive relationship with his father - the developing relationship with Gia and her daughter Vicky - and his strange friend Abe. All these characters "made Jack ...more
An exciting thriller with sci-fi infusion. At times it got very crowded with almost too much action., probably why it was never a movie.
Aug 02, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This novel tried to reel me in, to keep my interest, and I guess I just kept throwing the hook. A few weeks ago, I finished "Black Wind," upon which a few characters in "By the Sword" draw their histories. "Black Wind" was a good read. "By the Sword" seemed to drag out, not a page turner, as many of the other RJ novels. The body count was extraordinarily high, but Jack had little to do with that this time. Several factions played against each other for control of an ancient sword, giving rise to ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Ensiform rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In this Repairman Jack novel, things get a bit convoluted as Jack is hired by a Japanese professor to retrieve an stolen katana with holes in the blade. It turns out not to be old junk, however, but the “Gaijin Masamune,” a sword made by the master from an asteroid, which later survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Things get complicated when a second Japanese group tries to track down the sword, and it turns out the one who hired Jack isn’t a professor at all, but an imposter representing an ...more
Jul 06, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hitchcock was fond of the term, "Macguffin", which was something that characters in a story pursued, hoping to capture or possess. In "By the Sword", there is a Macguffin. One guess what it is. Yes, it is a sword. It is a sword which everyone in the book wants. Like the movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", this book is about groups of characters all after the same thing, the sword. Unlike "Mad, Mad", there are not a lot of me memorable characters to enjoy along with the pursuit.
This book
Mike Kazmierczak
Apr 15, 2012 Mike Kazmierczak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Repairman Jack stories are now getting to the interesting point where the plot lines from one novel are bleeding through to the next. This helps build the excitement for the forthcoming, new and revised edition of NIGHTWORLD. It also helps to break the pattern that the Repairman Jack novels have been taking. Now things are happening and continuing to happen across books.

BY THE SWORD continues Jack's interactions with the Kickers movement and with Dawn Pickering from BLOODLINE. Additionally h
The Repairman Jack series was very slow getting into the course for which it was intended, but it is now rushing along at a great rate.

Jack is simply looking for a stolen ratty looking katana. This leads him to Dawn Pickering again, Hank Thompson-founder of the kickers again, a small group of Japanese mafia Yakuza, a Japanese ninja death cult bent on a terrorist act to make the twin towers look like small stuff, Glaeken-aging champion of the Ally, Rasalom-super Otherness agent, The Lady and her
Sep 23, 2009 ScottK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession to make........initially I did not care for this installment much at the beginning. Too many new people being mushed in with old people and 2 different groups from Japan ( 3 if you count the oringinal owner of the Katana. F. Paul Wilson was considerate enough to put an Author's note in the begining of the book warning us the books from here on out are going to be different, since he is only doing 2/3 more to close the series. But once I was able to establish who was who and w ...more
Aug 25, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2014
If the previous entry in the Repairman Jack series (Bloodline) was a slow, suspenseful exposition, then this one was the resultant explosion. Jack has to contend with three groups of enemies (not even counting Rasalom), a scary sword with a bit of Tolkien's Ring syndrome, a woman with the most sought after fetus since Rosemary, and probably a higher body count than all the previous books of this series combined. This one is ruthless and intense. Wilson's earlier stand-alone book, Black Wind, has ...more
Andrea Yargeau
Aug 23, 2011 Andrea Yargeau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I don't give this book 5 stars is because these are no longer self contained stories. I am enjoying these final segments of Repairman Jack and all of the connections to the other F. Paul Wilson books creating the Secret History of the World. I do feel a little pressure to read Black Wind, which is a major connection in this novel, however, you do not need to have read it to understand By the Sword. Mr. Wilson gives you enough information to understand it. The only other thing I d ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're familiar with Yojimbo then you'll absolutely be able to see its influence on this book. If you're one of those people who likes to dive into a book from a series regardless of the series order, I can't recommend starting here, you may want to go back at least a few books as the plotlines have all merged into one long story by this point. It's definitely a much different series now than it was when it all began.
Robert Follis
Nov 17, 2015 Robert Follis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just gets better

This is an amazingly involved saga and I need go back a few volumes to catch up. The base stories of Jack are good, but as the overarching saga develops it gets more and more intriguing. I don't want it to end but can't wait for the denouement
Aalok Wyckid
Oct 09, 2015 Aalok Wyckid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wraps up and completes threads from Bloodline which seemed a little unfinished. I guess Wilson needed more pages than go in one book for this. Of course, now there are new bits of unfinished business, but we're not left hanging as much.
Jeff J.
May 29, 2014 Jeff J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 12th book in the Repairman Jack series not only advances the struggle with the adversary, but also furthers an attempt by Wilson to tie together his entire body of work into a single universe.
Sep 30, 2009 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007to2009, scifi
A Repairman Jack novel that ties several different Jack adversaries-an evil sect from the Black Wind novel, my favorite F Paul Wilson novel; the kickers; and Mr. Osala which is an anagram for Rasalom, a Japanese conglomerate- in an adventure to retrieve a sword forged from a primary metal, and rescue pregnant Dawn. Gaekon (sp) appears and Abe and Julio, several familiar characters. Gia, Jack's love interest, and her daughter Vicky usually seem out of place and nearly superfluous to the plots, an ...more
Jul 20, 2008 Kenji rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Repairman Jack (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) (Repairman Jack, #1)
  • Legacies  (Repairman Jack, #2)
  • Conspiracies (Repairman Jack, #3)
  • All the Rage (Repairman Jack, #4)
  • Hosts (Repairman Jack, #5)
  • The Haunted Air (Repairman Jack, #6)
  • Gateways (Repairman Jack, #7)
  • Crisscross (Repairman Jack, #8)
  • Infernal (Repairman Jack, #9)
  • Harbingers (Repairman Jack, #10)

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