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This is the way the world ends...not with a bang but a scream in the dark. It begins at dawn, when the sun rises late. Then the holes appear. The first forms in Central Park, in sight of an apartment where Repairman Jack and a man as old as time watch with growing dread. Gaping holes, bottomless and empty?until sundown, when the first unearthly, hungry creatures appear. Nightworld brings F. Paul Wilson's Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack saga to an apocalyptic finale as Jack and Glaeken search the Secret History to gather a ragtag army for a last stand against the Otherness and a hideously transformed Rasalom.

401 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 21, 1992

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About the author

F. Paul Wilson

402 books1,780 followers
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 the international bestseller, The Keep, and helped define the field throughout the rest of the decade. In the 1990s he became a true genre hopper, moving from science fiction to horror to medical thrillers and branching into interactive scripting for Disney Interactive and other multimedia companies. He, along with Matthew J. Costello, created and scripted FTL Newsfeed which ran daily on the Sci-Fi Channel from 1992-1996.


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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 184 reviews
Profile Image for Phil.
1,624 reviews104 followers
July 5, 2022
Wilson finally brings all the pieces of the previous novels in the Adversary cycle together in the final volume Nightworld. Reviewing this is difficult, however, as there are two different versions of the book-- the one I have first published in 1993 and a later, heavily revised version that came out over a decade later. When Wilson wrote this, there was only one Repairman Jack novel, The Tomb, but Wilson after this spun off the Repairman Jack character into something like a 15+ novel series. I believe he attempted to rewrite Nightworld to bring not just the Adversary Cycle to a conclusion, but also the Repairman Jack arc. I was not very happy with the 15th and supposedly final Repairman Jack installment (it has since been expanded even more, with several volumes on a young Jack), so maybe the revised form of this book tackled some of my issues there.

In any case, this review is for the 'first cut', original Nightworld. The Adversary Cycle, when read in order, did not really seem related at all really. We had the first, The Keep, set in 1941 or so in Romania where Wilson's cosmic clash between 'Dark' and 'Light' can to a head. Wilson took great pains throughout this series to inform the reader that this 'alternative world' clash was not rooted in some Judaeo-christian mythology, but something much more cosmic and eternal in the universe. The Dark feeds on suffering and misfortune like a psychic vampire while the Light just aims to thwart the Dark, not really caring that much about humanity at all. Nonetheless, the 'champion' of the Light was human and the Dark manifested itself also as a human.

The Tomb gave us Repairman Jack, who features here, and the seemingly unrelated book in the series, The Touch, finally became relevant here as the main characters there also played a role here. Hence, Wilson wraps up several loose ends here and gives us something like an epic showdown between Light and Dark after building this new clash up for the previous two volumes in the series. No doubt it was fun, but just like how Wilson ended the Repairman Jack series originally, I was not very satisfied.

First, (and the rest is a bit spoilery) with Rasalom's defeat in The Keep the Light had supposedly fled this part of the universe, leaving Glacken to age naturally after thousands of years. Yet, in book three (Rebirth) is seems Light did not really disappear after all, as the Chosen had something of an aura that Glacken recognized. So, did the light really leave or not? This really is key as the main plot line of this installment is Glacken's attempt to send a signal to the Light that the Dark is still here. Meh.

Second, while there were lots of fun beasties and such here as well as some great action sequences, some other plot holes became apparent that were just too glaring to let go. The Dark seemingly has won. Indeed, the title refers to how the Dark was managing (gradually) to stop sunlight from reaching Earth, resulting in an endless night. Fine-- cool 'end of the world' story! We can only hope Jack, Glacken and friends can find a way to end the nightmare and that is the gist of the plot. But this raises another big issue. If the Dark feeds on suffering and such, then what is going to happen when sunlight stops? Will not everyone/thing die? If so, what will Dark feed on? It is really that short sighted? Questions, questions and no answers from Wilson.

If you go into this and just read along, not thinking too hard, it works and is fun. Repairman Jack is a great character after all-- Wilson did spin of over a dozen books of his adventures to rabid fans. Yet, as the book progressed, the two aforementioned plot holes/questions (and there were more) started to stick in my craw. While Nightworld did bring the main story line of the Adversary Cycle to an end, it left open too many questions for me. Also, you kinda knew where it was going and what would happen in the end, so no real surprises either. 2.5 iffy stars, rounding up just because Wilson did manage to finally make the Cycle seem like a series. h
Profile Image for Mark.
73 reviews11 followers
May 3, 2012
Nightworld is the climax of the Adversary Cycle. It uses the characters introduced in the first five books and concludes the over-arching plot introduced in Reborn. It's an apocalyptic Lovecraftian tale of the end of the world. I believe that it does fulfill the promise of the previous books: it's action packed, hard to put down, and epic in scope. It's a good read.

The Plot

Rasalom, the baddie from the very first book, The Keep, has returned and he's recharged his batteries with the fear, pain, and suffering of his personal enemies. Now, he starts to flex his muscles and the darkness he serves begins to break through the ethereal barriers into the world. The sun begins to rise later and set earlier, in defiance of all physical laws. Gigantic holes that have no scientifically detectable bottom have opened up all over the world. At night, the holes spew out horrific, Lovecraftian creatures that attack, kill, and eat humans; returning to their holes at the first sign of dawn. The resulting fear and suffering of humanity feeds Rasalom even more and he begins the process of turning his physical, human form into a godlike, horrific form in which he will rule the world once the days have shortened into nothing.

The only opposition to this is Glaeken, the hero who faced down Rasalom in the first book, The Keep. The problem is that the light has left the world and gone on to other battlefronts with the darkness, leaving earth in the lurch. Glaeken has been aging normally since his last confrontation with Rasalom in World War II and he's now an eighty year old man; his magic sword fragmented and scattered over the earth. To combat the coming of the darkness, Glaeken assembles a team of special people together to make a last stand against Rasalom, even though they have no hope of victory, having been deserted by the light.

The Good

The conclusion to the Adversary Cycle was every bit as epic as I'd hoped it would be. I couldn't put this book down after starting it, and I started it immediately after finishing the previous book, Reprisal. A lot of authors write Lovecraftian horror, but they don't always craft the elements together very well. It's done well here. Wilson kept it personal by showing what happens in this terrible new world to individuals we've come to know from the previous books in this series. He gives a true sense of the end of the world as we know it by interspersing the plot with snippets from mass media and their take on what's happening.

The characters themselves are also compelling. They're all unsure of themselves and are trying their best to fight against the rising tide despite the odds being against them. They all fit into the archetypes that you see in this kind of book, but there's enough variation to keep them interesting, and to invoke some pathos towards them on the part of the reader.

The Not-So-Good

There are some plot holes that kind of brought me out of immersion in the plot; although I freely admit I may have missed some kind of key information that explains these holes.

First of all, the light which opposes the darkness supposedly took a hike to another dimension back in World War II when Rasalom was defeated. However, in 1968, a bunch of religious nuts were compelled to go and actively oppose the rebirth of Rasalom. Who or what compelled them? Certainly not the light, correct?

Secondly, if Rasalom (and his boss, the darkness) subsist on human fear and suffering, then it becomes self-defeating to kill humans. Certainly, "people scare better when they're dying" (bonus points if you can tell me what movie that quote came from), but once they're dead, they don't suffer or feel feelings anymore. Therefore, your food supply is cut off. That's perhaps no problem for the darkness, because it will move on to a higher dimension or elsewhere in the universe for sustenance. However, it's decidedly inconvenient for Rasalom, who is human at heart (or at least calls planet earth his home). What happens when the Lovecraftian horrors, which all seem to operate on some kind of instinct (or at the behest of Rasalom) and not on any kind of higher intelligence, kill off the last human? In a world of constant fear and violence, will human beings still propogate the species? I think they'd be too busy trying to survive to have kids...and any kids that were born would have a laughably low survival rate.

I don't know how I would plug these holes, especially the second one, and still keep the story interesting, so I'm willing to suspend my skepticism and disbelief a little more in order to enjoy a good story.


This is certainly not "high literature" and I don't think it was intended by the author to be high literature. I think it was Mark Twain who said, "classics are books that people talk about but don't read". This book is meant to be read. I don't really care for snobs who denigrate genre fiction, or call it a "guilty" pleasure; as if it's something of which we should be ashamed. Writing a book that compels a reader to finish it in as few sittings as possible is something that takes talent and intelligence. There's certainly room for criticism, but I don't think derision or ambivalence is fair.

The Adversary Cycle is a fun way to pass the time. If you're a fan of horror apocalypses and you're tired of zombies, then you really need to read these books. If you're looking for Cormac McCarthy or Leo Tolstoy, then you should look elsewhere.
Profile Image for Karl.
3,258 reviews264 followers
Want to read
October 2, 2017
This slipcased hardcover is numbered 223 of 300 signed editions signed by F. Paul Wilson.
Profile Image for Leigh Terry.
252 reviews
August 19, 2013
F. Paul Wilson wrote the Adversary Cycle in the nineties -- six books about the Secret History of the World, and a cataclysmic battle between the Ally and the Adversary for all of the Earth. Then, he wrote more than a dozen books about one of the characters, Repairman Jack, expanding his particular mythology and wrapping in the details of the Adversary Cycle to boot. Then, Wilson edited several books in the Adversary Cycle to supposedly accommodate this expanded presence of Repairman Jack.

It didn't work.


He was already losing me with too many loose ends. But within the first few pages of the revised version of "Nightworld," Wilson introduces Jack as he gets ready to shakedown muggers in Central Park in order to get funds for a local Little League team. While this was an activity that Jack would undertake before he became aware of the Secret History of the World, it is completely at odds from the character Wilson had been building 15+ book series around. Jack had his eyes opened to what the primary villains were up to for almost 4 books, yet he's acting like a babe in the woods at the beginning of "Nightworld."

Sloppy editing. Sloppy story pacing.

I stuck with this series because I fell in love with a character called Repairman Jack. And I realize and acknowledge that no matter how much we may love a character, he belongs to the creator. We might think we know how a character should react in certain circumstances because we've followed them and learned so much about them. But a character lives the fullest life in the hands and mind of the author.

But Wilson fumbled the ball here. By creating a whole new series in the middle of an already existing series, he was working with some preset limitations. Then, he went and redrew those limitations by editing and expanding the original series. All fine and dandy. But the stark difference in behavior by Repairman Jack at the end of "The Dark at the End" and the beginning of "Nightworld" is unforgivable.

Boo. Hiss.
Profile Image for Dave.
767 reviews
May 28, 2012
Well, I just finished Wilson's 'new' version of Nightworld. Let me explain:
I read the 6 book "Adversary Cycle" in 93-94. LOVED it! The 1st 3 books can be read as "stand alones"-The Keep, The Tomb, and The Touch. Reborn and Reprisal draw from events in the Keep and add to events in the Touch. And the last novel Nightworld (1st written in 1992) draws ALL the books together. A GREAT series. Reprisal gave me nightmares. Again, A GREAT series!!!!!!!
Repairman Jack, the main character in The Tomb, and also a player in Nightworld, was very popular with readers. Wilson ended up writing 14 Jack novels, along with 3 Young Adult novels.(PLUS several Short stories!) Now, he set the novels and short stories between The Tomb and Nightworld, adding much more to the Adversary Cycle in the process.(The YA show us a teenage Jack and add to the novels) While I LOVE Jack, I didn't like the fact Wilson was adding to what I felt was a perfect series.
So I was not sure I wanted to read this new version of Nightworld, since I thought the 1t one was great as it was. It seemed Jack was going to be a much bigger part in this version than he was in the 1992 novel.
Well............ It's a good book-I'd say GREAT, if you've read ALL the Jack novles as well as the other 4 books in the Adversary Cycle. While Jack does have a bigger part then before, Nightworld is about so much more, and other characters shine as well.
I was really worried that Wilson changed something from the 1992 novel-something that stuck with me since I read it in 94, but he didn't-so I was happy.
But I was when I read it the 1st time....
Back then I was telling everyone to read the Adversary Cycle. that was when it was 6 books.
Today? Well, we're talking ove 20 books if you read the YA novels....Wilson is a great writer, and it's hard not to love Jack....you'll have to decide if you want to read that many books in one series.
Profile Image for Graham.
6 reviews
September 26, 2008
The final installment of the Adversary Cycle, Nightworld is possibly my favourite book of all time. Thanks to its epic storyline, cast of wonderful, rich characters, and the tieing up of all loose ends, this book is a joy to read.
Beginning a short while after the climax of Reprisal, the newly reborn Champion of Chaos, Rasalom begin his final march toward victory. Having discovered that his ancient adversary, Glaeken, is now powerless and decrepit, Rasalom is unnopposed for the first time since their battle began during the First Age.
The final battle takes place in New York, soon encompassing the world in darkness with only one team on the playing field. However, Glaeken isn't beaten yet.
Gathering together an unlikely band of warriors, Nightworld sees the characters of the previous books in the Adversary cycle united in a battle to save the world from its greatest foe and eternal darkness.
This book is superbly written and Wilsons attention to detail is outstanding. Perhaps most remarkable is the manner in which the tiniest little snippet of information featured in the previous books of the series, is suddenly made vital in Nightworld. It's a very clever technique which makes readers of the series stop, think and then recall where the information came from in the first place, only then to marvel at the clever device Wilson has used.
The book itself moves along at a comfortable pace, picking up speed as the final stages of the battle approach, and the characters are so well developed that you find yourself with new emotions for each and every one of them.
All in all, a fantastic climax to a thrilling series and any avid readers of the cycle, desperately hoping for a final confrontation between the ancient adversaries, Glaeken and Rasalom, will not be dissappointed.
Profile Image for Marina Fontaine.
Author 7 books45 followers
August 7, 2012
Three stars... That means I liked it. Didn't love it, not after investing so much time and emotion into the series. As I said in one of the progress reports, the general problems with Wilson's writing are still here, and probably this final chapter is a condensation of the whole series, the problems are distilled as well. Massively stupid decisions by characters who are supposed to be smart, both heroes and villains continues to be my main problem. Militant atheism is at this point just a distraction (yeah, we get it, there's no G-d, no heaven, but does someone actively need to object every time an expression using those terms is uttered?). Horror parts get repetitive (how many descriptions of someone getting eaten alive do we really need?) Lack of faith in humanity as a whole is quite astounding. Is it Wilson's actual worldview? I know we are in NYC, but what about the rest of the country, the rest of the world? Is NYC the representation of humanity? The best we have to offer?

Now for the GAPING plot hole... At some point a character "figures out a way" to set back forces of darkness, at least slow it down. I put it in quotes because this is KNOWN to our heroes from the outset. Yet they don't use it. They don't let anyone else in the world know. In "real life" this particular stuff would have been happening naturally, HAS in fact happened more often than not during disasters, but again, Wilson's worldview does not seem to allow for it.

Be that as it may, the ending is satisfying enough, although a bit stretched out. I wouldn't call it altogether happy. A few wonderful, touching moments do make the book as a whole worth it, but it could have been so much more.
97 reviews1 follower
September 22, 2014
I honestly do not know where to start with this review. I think I can honestly say I have never read a long series such as this with such a satisfying ending. After reading this, I'm honestly surprised that anyone who has read the entire Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack story arc could rate this book anything less that 4/5 stars.

I started reading Repairman Jack quite by accident. About book 4 or 5, I realised that I was missing something and upon a quick google search learned of Mr. Wilson's Secret History of the World. I decided to read the entire Secret History in "chronological order". That is, not the order that they were published, but rather in the order of the History. So of course I had to go back and fill in some gaps. 27 books and 9 short stories later, I was ready for Nightworld. I personally was not too happy after "The Dark at the End". I was frustrated with how things had gone. But the series drew me through - I loved how the stories all wove together - even though many of them could be read as stand alone books.

But Nightworld is where it all comes together. Everything up to the point of Nightworld was just setting the stage. Having read all the previous books, I honestly did not know which way this book was going to go. It was not predictable. There were enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged up to the last minute. I literally was tingling for the last 40 or so pages.

It was a long ride - but the ending did not disappoint.

I'd love for it to continue - but I know that Mr. Wilson has been adamant that Jack's story had a finite arc. I'd love to hear more of Jack and Glaeken, but alas, that is not to be.
Profile Image for Michael.
168 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2012
This is like the 14th or 15th book in the series. It did a good job at closing up the series. I have liked the books less and less over time. I really enjoyed the earlier stories of Repairman Jack and the vigilante justice he imposed on bad guys. The problem is the series is such a commitment and the stories become sub par towards the end. I don't know if I would recommend the series to anyone. Why did I keep reading? The first 5 or 6 books were entertaining enough that I kept reading. Then I read 3 or 4 more and they weren't as good but I kept hearing that the series was going to end soon so I read them. Then once I was 10 to 12 books in I felt like I had to read them to find out the end, even if I cared less and less about the characters. If I was you, I would never start these as they aren't worth your time.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,288 reviews395 followers
May 20, 2013
The final Adversary novel has been significantly revised by author F. Paul Wilson some 20 years after its first publication to dovetail the ending of the Repairman Jack series. Rasalom begins the process that will bring about the end of the world, starting with a bottomless sinkhole in Central Park, unleashing nightmarish creatures seen earlier in the Florida swamps on NYC. Glaeken and Jack have to assemble a weapon from Hawaii and Eastern Europe as well as rally various disbelievers to their cause, as days are ever shortening to become the endless night of Rasalom. There are also many cameo appearances by central characters from earlier books, at least the ones who are still alive. The intermittent radio broadcaster comments, accompanied by pertinent songs, and the movie lists are an excellent side narrative.
Profile Image for DeAnna Knippling.
Author 163 books259 followers
January 10, 2017
Once again, a book in the series that I didn't especially care for but that was a masterful, unputdownable page turner. This brings all the various threads in the series together as parts of an overall plan--lots of "aha" reveals.

What I didn't like about it was the sense that the theme of the book was "people suck," while portraying people as caricatures and then demanding that people not suck in order to resolve the book. I could do one or the other but not both.
Profile Image for Eric.
3 reviews
August 31, 2008
This was my favorite F. Paul Wilson book- the end of many of his series, principally started in "The Keep", but included his cross-over work from "The Tomb" and "The Touch". One of the best apocalyptical novels I've ever read! While you do not need to read all of his other books to enjoy this one, I do recommend reading "The Keep" first. This was a very, very good book- a true page-turner!
Profile Image for Kevin Lucia.
Author 90 books305 followers
January 2, 2016
Wow. Just...wow. What a way to end. A very satisfying ending. The only bad thing is...no more Repairman Jack....
Profile Image for David.
410 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2019
After 20+ books and other stories, at last the Secret History of the World is fully told. The long and very involved story had a few lows but many more highs, spanned Jack's life from school through to its grand finale, and I'll certainly miss it. 4.5* overall
Profile Image for David.
2,224 reviews45 followers
March 29, 2015
Note: This review is of the 2012 heavily revised edition which is, frankly, a gift from the author. Repairman Jack grew to be such a major character since its original publication, and the author took the time to weave the backstory of the additional 14 books and their characters into this one. I've never read the original version, but as for this one:

Wow! After 24 novels, 2 short story collections and a number of miscellaneous short stories, the massive Secret History of the World from F. Paul Wilson has finally reached its finale. The only books I've missed in this series are the ones that make up the recently published trilogy of Repairman Jack's early years. But Wilson has built and built up to this point. He's referenced this pending doomsday book in at least 1 stand alone novel, in the Adversary series, in the Repairman Jack series and in numerous short stories...all leading to this endgame, where the world comes to an end.

It'd be so easy to be disappointed by this novel. How many final novels of an epic series, especially when you know it's the final novel going in, fail to meet the hype? The Dark Tower didn't wholly succeed. The Hunger Games had an epic final scene, but floundered around in the last book before that. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings came through, but so many other series just don't finish as well as expectations demand, and this book has all the hype! It has a cast of characters from most of the previous books.

The horror is nearly incessant, and the action is intense. Several characters from earlier books die, and many who don't are frequently in danger. This book covers NYC, Long Island, Hawaii, Romania, Pennsylvania. There are Lovecraftian creatures. The laws of physics are changing. And as far as light vs the dark metaphors, it's right up there with the best stories written. It's a masterful narrative that delivers a powerful conclusion to one of the most unknown series in popular fiction. Seriously, I've not met one person outside the internet who has even heard of this author or these great books.

As a stand-alone dystopian, it wouldn't hold its own with The Stand, Swan Song or any of the classics. No, you need to read your way through Black Wind, The Barrens and Other Stories, Aftershock and Others, The Repairman Jack series (including the younger trilogy) and the 5 previous Adversary books and EARN your right to read and enjoy this one. This book by itself is probably still pretty good, but you will be missing out on the masterful buildup that has taken place piece by piece. Do yourself a favor, click on the author's name, go down to the Secret History of the World series and read ALL the books in the order it suggests. If you like horror, action, suspense, a creative use of the supernatural, and wonderful characters...you will not regret it.
1 review
February 28, 2017
Best one yet

Gripping! Keeps you on edge the whole time, great book! Wish this wasn't the last of the series, but it was the best one to end with!
Profile Image for Ann Werner.
Author 14 books48 followers
June 20, 2012
I loved this book! I've been a fan of F. Paul Wilson ever since reading The Keep years and years ago. In Nightworld, a body of work by this prolific author is bought to fruition. Those who haven't read the Adversary series and the Repairman Jack (one of my all time FAVORITE characters!) series, won't have a clue about what's going on. But the silver lining is, you get to read all those wonderful books to find out!

Nightworld opens with the late rising of the sun, a portent that signals the final battle for dominion over the earth has begun. Humankind has been abandoned by the forces that have protected it and the Otherness is about to take over. All of the threads from previous books are woven together in this last Herculean effort to save the world as we know it. And what a tapestry!

If you've never read F. Paul Wilson, then you're in for a treat. But take my advice and start with The Keep and follow the progression from there. If you're familiar with the Adversary Series and the Repairman Jack series, then run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore or your computer and order the hardcover or the digital but get your hands on this one because it is a thrill ride.

The only disappointment for me is now the ride is over.
Profile Image for Becky.
64 reviews29 followers
July 19, 2012
I am usually a big fan of the repairman Jack series. It is generally well written, even though it's pretty easy reading, so I was looking forward to this final installment in a very long series of books. This time, however, it felt choppy and I had the hardest time caring about what was happening. The most interesting parts of the story were never fully resolved, though I did enjoy the way that the heir was ultimately revealed to everyone.

I give it three stars, because it's still better than a lot of books out there right now.
Profile Image for Frankie C.
50 reviews
May 20, 2014
Most of what I read are long drawn out epic series. Unfortunately, when it comes time to wrap them up they fall short of expectations on occasion. This was not one of those times. A fantastic ending to what has been a fantastic series. By far the best book in the adversary cycle. Not my favorite Jack book though. Now that I am completely through both series I can say with all certainty that you must read the adversary cycle and the Jack books in their entirety to truly be able to enjoy this book.
Profile Image for David.
180 reviews9 followers
November 16, 2012
A pretty good horror book (much more horrific than the Repairman Jack books, though I don't know whether the style fits the other Adversary Cycle books), but melding the Jack book series into an already completed novel (back in 1992) and making it the end of everything doesn't work that well. Most of the Jack characters (except Jack himself, who is much more important) are either superfluous or wiped out without any ceremony whatsoever.

It just seems forced.
Profile Image for Brent Ecenbarger.
643 reviews9 followers
April 29, 2018
**Note - This is a review for the 2012 revised version of Nightworld, not the original**

If you're a Repairman Jack fan and have just finished The Dark at the End, before picking up Nightworld I would recommend reading the other books of the Adversary Cycle first. It's not a lot of extra reading, as it's only a six book series and fans have already read The Tomb and Nightworld itself is the last book in the series. By doing so, you'll spend some time getting acquainted with several of the main characters of Nightworld and make it a much more rewarding conclusion overall. Without reading it, you'll still be well aware of Glaeken and Rasalom and the big picture struggle, but details like the Dat-tay-vao and Father Bill's/Carol's storyline will leave you with plenty of questions.

As for the overall quality of this book, this was a terrific conclusion to one of my favorite sprawling book series. I have two main gripes with this book, but even with those this was a thrilling ending. This book picks up shortly after the end of The Dark at the End, with Rasalom basically victorious in the ongoing struggle and ready to ascend to godly power. The events are first noticed by the world at large by daylight being late one morning, and the sun setting earlier than scheduled that night. The pattern continues the next day, and throughout the book we proceed closer and closer to the titular never ending world of Night. In addition to the shorter day times, massive bottomless holes begin appearing throughout the world. At night, all sorts of violent bugs and creatures begin exiting the holes and wreaking havoc until daylight.

Unlike the rest of the Repairman Jack novels, which dealt primarily with small scale weirdness that could go unnoticed by the general public, the events in Nightworld are very much global and catastrophic. Along with Jack, there is a large cast characters in peril in this book, including series regulars Gia, Vicky, Abe and Julio, plus Adversary Cycle gang Glaeken, Dr. Alan Bulmer, Jeffy, Ba, Carol, Father Bill, Sylvia Nash, Nick and Ba. This isn't the sort of book you should read as a stand alone. Wilson heavily revised this book to tie it in to the events of all the books he had published over the prior twenty years.

The plot of Nightworld reminded me a bit of The Stand by its conclusion, with bands of survivors coming together for the chance of standing up to evil. I pretty much loved the book, except for two pretty major issues. First, was that Glaeken's method of fighting back against Rasalom came out of nowhere and definitely entered deus ex machina territory. The other problem was that Rasalom was pretty impotent as a villain for this book, only once trying to actually screw with the main cast and even then coming up empty. Instead he basically just allowed every opportunity to defeat him go unopposed and had way too much of the main cast survive to the end.

One almost ends up thinking that Wilson was leaving the door open for more Repairman Jack and Adversary Cycle novels (which he has written, but instead has opted for prequels) by keeping so much of the cast alive at the end. Although it's not a perfect book, and not even my favorite in the series (at this point I'd give the edge to Hosts as I'm a sucker for body snatcher stories) this was a blast. My favorite moment in the book was an airplane encounter with a leviathan that was a nice microcosm of how terribly the world had gotten in a short period of time. I'm still going back and reading the young adult books in the series, and I'm sure I'll read the three new prequels as well. Unlike the Jack Reacher series, Wilson hasn't burned me out yet on the continuing stories from his fictional universe.
Profile Image for Christopher Henderson.
Author 5 books17 followers
March 1, 2020
Just give me a moment to get my breath back.

'Nightworld' is a tapestry on an extraordinary scale, bringing together and tying up threads spun and woven across numerous novels. For me, the story began over a quarter of a century ago when I first read 'The Keep' (1981). There was no internet back then and I had no idea until very recently that that book had long ago become part of a much larger tale.

I loved 'The Keep'. It was one of my favourite books in my teens, and so when I did learn about the larger story I had little choice: I reread (or rather re-re-reread) 'The Keep', and continued on through the entire six-novel saga now known as The Adversary Cycle. Having discovered that the author's website recommended a reading order that differed from the official numbering of Book 1, Book 2, etc. I followed that, so I next read 'Reborn' and then 'The Touch' and 'The Tomb', the latter two books having originally been stand-alone novels that were retroactively brought into the Adversary Cycle. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for helping me sense of all this!) The fifth novel was the amazing 'Reprisal', and then, finally, I reached this culmination – 'Nightworld' – in which all the various protagonists from across the Cycle are brought together.

What a ride! It did sometimes feel a little forced as the multiple narratives were combined into one over-arching story, but the characters were too strong, and written with such conviction, for that to be more than a minor niggle. In fact, I didn’t realize how emotionally invested I'd become in some of those characters until various events (which I'm not going to spoil here) occur or are described.
And Wilson really comes through at the end. The pay-off is truly epic. Like I said, I'm still catching my breath.

Soon, however, it will be time to delve back in. I may have finished the six-novel saga, but I know I missed out numerous related Repairman Jack novels along the way (with the exception of Jack's appearance in 'The Tomb' – a key part of the Cycle). That was deliberate, and was because I was too caught up in the greater story – I wanted to know the entire wood, and decided there would be time to go back and inspect individual trees later. Based on this, I definitely will.
Profile Image for David.
342 reviews
December 2, 2017
Hats off to F. Paul Wilson! This is the final book of his "Secret History of the World" and it exceeded my expectations in just about every way. The "Secret History" spans God knows how many books. I have read all bu the "Young Jack" and the prequel trilogy. Each of these books is entertaining, some are downright fantastic in terms of imagination and plot. The last couple in this series dragged a bit because Wilson was transitioning towards his big finish.

And, a big finish it certainly is. The plot is inspired and I was surprised that no one had thought of that idea yet for a novel. The world progresses towards an endless night throughout the book is all that I will say. There is a great science fiction aspect to this book as Wilson asks, "What would it be like if... So, as a standalone novel it is readable, even if it is the first "Repairman Jack" book that someone reads. However, it is the characters from past book that makes it so enjoyable and special. So, if you are a reader who has trekked through the preliminary books in the series, it is a great reunion of folks we thought that we had left behind.

Many of the major characters who were the subjects of novels in their own right return for the big finish. So, we are reunited with folks from "The Keep" and "The Tomb". Each has a part to play in taking on the villain, Rasolam. This makes the book really fun and stretches the mind a bit. I think that I first read "The Tomb" maybe 10 years ago, so I had to think a bit to remember what went on. Fortunately, most of Wilson's books are quite memorable due to his great imagination.

The ending of the book is a bit hokey, but in a good way. I loved people gathering together in Central Park to sing, "Happy Together", for example. Wilson wraps up the history in ways that tie up loose ends and that are satisfying, and also unexpected. I spent a lot of time reading the "Secret History" over the years, and "Nightworld" wraps things up in such an entertaining way that all of those hours were truly well spent. Bravo, Mr. Wilson!
Profile Image for Chris.
65 reviews
June 26, 2017
I started reading the adversary cycle after The Keep, which I loved. The next four books were a complete let down in comparison and I kept plugging away because I hoped that one book would return to what made The Keep so great for me. Nightworld brings together all the plot lines, and was... a little disappointing. At one level, there were many scenes which were genuinely disgusting and disturbing, and for that it goes beyond the Keep. However, it feels a. It like a one trick pony with the bugs being the only horror in a world where Rasolom could do anything.

It felt drawn out at times and some plot lines seemed a bit forced, probably due to the book being rewritten to make it work for all of the authors other books.

The biggest disappointment though is the climax. Rasolom describes his new form to be something so scary everyone will shit themselves when it is complete, but you never really see him before he dies. You get descriptions of a few parts like spider legs and tentacles, but as Jack says "“You really wanted to look like that? You think you’re scary? Seriously? What an asshole.” Then he falls to a pit and everything returns to normal. I was hoping the ending would be much darker, with the bugs not so much a part of Rasolom's control but something from the dark side that once unleashed could never be rid of. Humans could have to have lived in a very dark and scary world even after he is gone with survival a new priority.

Anyway, the book is done and the series was an utter let down. Read The Keep, it is worth it, and maybe some of the Repairman Jack books (I've not read any), but skip the cycle.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for John.
59 reviews2 followers
August 18, 2018
For me this wasn’t so much an end to the ‘secret history of the world’ but an end to Repairman Jack. I have to say it took me a while to get into. I was never much a fan of the of the adversary cycle, but I took them on for context, knowing Jack was going to meet up with these characters at the end.

I did find a new appreciation for the characters from the other books. And I enjoyed a healthy reprisal from Kolbati (who I wish had been re-featured in some of the other books) and an extended appearance from Abe.

The last half of the book drags you along at a cracking pace and I appreciated the unrelenting nature of that. The horror elements of the adversary cycle are a bit out of place in a repairman Jack book, but they certainly gave the final book the desperate edge it needed.

I would have liked an epilogue, found out if Gia’s brush with violence had a lasting effect on her, found out if Jeffy ever made much of a recovery, found out who of Jack’s acquaintances had survived, so as it stood the ending was probably ‘sufficient’ without quite being ‘enough’ for me.

Repairman Jack is one of the best / if not the best characters I have accidentally stumbled across in recent times and I would read another 10 standalone novels about him and his in a heartbeat.

I should also add that the adversary cycle was retrofitted to accomodate the more popular Repairman Jack series, and so that some of the loose ends stem from that. And that FCW deserves some kudos for making that happen. Not an easy task.

4/5 - not quite the ending this saga deserved.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carolyn Veloria.
14 reviews1 follower
November 22, 2019
This book was great for me. To be honest though, there is little that FPW could write that would put me off. I read the first edition version in print. At first, I was trying to switch between the kindle and print versions but the differences were too great. So now the print version is read and I’m off to read the ebook one.

I have only two main issues with the storyline. The first is that I feel it is counterproductive for the darkness to want to kill off humans when they feed off of fear. What happens to the world when all the humans are gone? Are they just taking over worlds, sucking them dry, then moving on? I guess that’s the only line that makes sense to me.

The second issue I have is that I can’t help but feel sorry for Glaeken. In the RJ series, I was led to believe that Jack would take his place. And now Glaeken has to live forever again without the love of his life by his side. I get that that’s the sacrifice he made but...I still feel bad for the poor guy.

I’m looking forward to seeing if any of my questions and other thoughts not expressed will be addressed in the next version.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jason Blahnik.
3 reviews
February 15, 2023
While I definitely enjoyed this book (I read Wilson's definitive) , my criticism lies mostly in the fact that there were references to events and characters from some of the other Repairman Jack novels that I didn't read or think I had to read. Most of the references are small, and can be overlooked. But I'm the type of reader who wants to know every little detail, and that was frustrating to see references that I didn't get.
That being said. This was a fun ride with a satisfying ending to an overall great series. Wilson definitely turned things up a notch. Things go to shit in this novel on a Lovecraftian scale. The pacing is great and the characters all coming together was nice, though I would've liked some follow up on what Happened to some of them after the main plot is resolved.
I could read about the battles of Rasolom and Glaeken of the past millennia over and over if Wilson wrote about them.
Profile Image for Tanvir Muntasim.
950 reviews21 followers
June 7, 2021
The impressive mythology that Wilson has built over the span of 20+ books comes to a definitive conclusion. What a ride it has been! Took me 10 years to complete the series, but it was worth it, even if the quality dipped in the last few books, this final volume redeemed the series with flying colors in its heady mix of apocalyptic Lovecraftian horror, action set pieces , human drama and all in all rewarding the reader with visits from a large number of characters from the previous books, even if not all of them had a happy ending. I feel a genuine sense of accomplishment after completing reading this and kudos to Wilson for conceptulising and executing this ambitious and epic hybrid genre fiction.
Profile Image for Lin.
304 reviews16 followers
June 20, 2018
Not the best in the Adversary or Repairman Jack series, but not the worst, either. I enjoyed the final battle, and the connection of the two series storylines for one epic conclusion. I agree with the author, though, that both certainly have reached the end of the interest (Wilson noted that he's done with writing for these characters, don't ask anymore, he needs to move on...) for me. As much as I love Jack, there are only so many fights he can blaze his way through, evils he can conquer, and times he can rescue his family/friends before it gets dull. This was a decent way to bring it all to a close.
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