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WesternSFA
Reprisal
A Novel of The Adversary Cycle
by F. Paul Wilson
Tor Books; 2005, 2011; $15.99 QPB; 410pp
Release Date: December 6, 2011

I haven’t read the 2005 version, so I cannot comment on the specific changes to update this story and streamline it with the complete Adversary-Secret History-Repairman Jack sequence. I can say that it shows the ages-old Adversary, who goes by many names, including Rasalom – and all his chosen aliases have those letters in some configuration – building his power by destroying anyone who has ever annoyed or thwarted him. Hence the title.

Bill Ryan, a defrocked Jesuit priest, is a locus for misfortune that strikes others. Carol Stevens is a woman terrified of the strangeness she sees in the eyes of her son, Jimmy. Lisl Whitman is a math professor astonished by the advent of romance, excitement, and power into her safe, dull life… until it starts to go wrong. This story shows both the restrictions on free will and the host of ways a human can be tempted, suborned, seduced, tricked, deluded, and broken; it also spells out pretty clearly how important it is to have something in your life, something in your heart and mind, that is more real to you than fear and all evils that fear spawns. Not for the faint of heart, this story can sear your soul. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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