by F. Paul Wilson
“He had wanted to know, he had hungered for answers. The hunger had driven him to the farthest, darkest corners of the world, where he had learned too much.”
The fourth book in the Adversary Cycle, Reborn functions as the first book in its own trilogy within the six book cycle. It’s the tale of the manly-man Jim, a struggling writer and a legend on the high school football field, Carol, his loving wife and a nurse-practitioner, and Bill, Jim’s high school friend whom a decade ago made his vows and became a priest.
Jim, adopted as an infant, finds out he has an extremely large inheritance from the real father he never knew. He and Carol move into their new mansion where Jim doggedly begins digging into the life of his deceased father and eventually uncovers the truth about his controversial adoption. As Jim tears further into the past, he becomes more and more frightened. Carol, despite Jim’s efforts to hide the truth, also learns what really happened as the story darkens.
Father Bill, a morally supportive friend busy with his own issues at a boy’s home where he helps children find permanent homes, is a grounded, positive force and helps Carol through an unexpected tragedy.
Dark forces gather against our heroes as a religious cult becomes convinced the Antichrist is about to be born into our world.
The story is well laid out, glides along quickly and displays a frightening pace near its end. The last few pages serve to rope together the first four books in the cycle, and while the first three books are standalone you’ll get an extra kick having read and understood them before this trilogy. We have this sort of stigma today with stories surrounding an Antichrist entity as over-worn, but the list of decent material is smaller than you might think. This reads as fresh.
“The Antichrist? If only it were! When it gets here, you’ll long for your Antichrist. Because prayers won’t help you. Neither will guns or bombs.”
The utter conviction of Mr. Veilleur’s voice drove a shaft of terror through Grace’s soul.
“How… how do you know so much about him?”
Mr. Veilleur gazed out the window as a stray cloud passed across the sun.
“We’ve met before.”