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Young Jeff, the Widowmaker cloned to take the Original’s place, so he can live in peace, ends up fighting with the second clone, who has taken on the identity of Jason Newman.
The Widowmaker realizes he hasn’t taught young Jeff all he really needs to know to BE the Widowmaker and sets about to do just that.
But of course, there is a new outlaw that forces all 3 of the Widowmakers to team up and in the process young Jeff grows up and takes his rightful place as the True Widowmaker.
This was a good ending to the Widowmaker series. It was classic Resnick with some good banter between the Widowmakers as well as Kinoshita (?).
In many ways this whole series could be thought of as shallow and trite and just some throw away space opera. And really, you wouldn’t be wrong. But Resnick’s stories always revolve around ideas that are bigger than life and instead of trying to make those ideas fit into our world, he simply turns those ideas into people and situations that are bigger than life. I find this approach VERY appealing as well as good story telling.
The Widowmaker is Justice personified. He is quick, deadly, emotionless and never lets his quarry get away. And through this tetralogy we get to see all sorts of sides to that. Old, bitter experienced Jefferson Nighthawk. Young, inexperienced but super deadly [and ironically, dead] Jefferson. Middle aged, experienced Jason Newman who is sick of it all. Young, experienced and yet teachable Jeff.
So many aspects of Justice. Cold and Calculating. Righteous Indignation. Devil may care.
It is just a lot of fun to read and it resonates with me. These Widowmaker books, along with his Santiago duology, are the best of Resnick in my opinion. Highly recommended.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Author: Mike Resnick
A Gathering of Widowmakers