Book Review: Mockingbird, by Chuck Wendig
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Length: 416 pages
Price: $7.99 US/ $8.99 CAN
A lot of people have troubled pasts. Miriam Black has a troubled past, present, and future. After a dangerous series of events almost costs her life, Miriam has settled down and tried to live some semblance of a normal life for the man she loves. But torn between wanting Louis and wanting to be herself and do her thing, Miriam decides her way and the highway are the best way for her. This time, Miriam is seeing things she’s never seen before. The forces of darkness are after Miriam. They don’t like that she’s been changing fate.
Mockingbird is the second book of the Miriam Black series by author Chuck Wendig. Wendig is a self-described penmonkey. He is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a game designer. His website and blog, terribleminds.com, offers up essays, writing advice, flash fiction contests, author interviews, and any number of other interesting tidbits for readers to enjoy. Other published works include Blackbirds (Miriam Black #1), Bait Dog, 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story, and Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey.
Where Blackbirds winds up for a one-two punch, Mockingbird makes the first strike, and it’s a devastating blow to the head. True to form, Wendig’s descriptions are gruesome, graphic, and vivid. Readers are gut-punched by unexpected twists after constant misdirection leaves them dizzily hanging off the ropes. Even the ropes themselves are made of different ends of storyline being pulled out of nowhere and being twisted and braided into one neatly-plaited cohesive whole.
Wendig’s writing style is tight, fluid, and gripping, making the story easy to pick up and tough to put down. His knack for capable foreshadowing has only gotten stronger in the scant few months between the release of Blackbirds and Mockingbird. When readers are confronted with “The way is shut,” we know there’s about to be a whole lot of death going on, even though the scene it’s set into is harmless enough. I’m already looking forward to Cormorant (Miriam Black #3), due out from Angry Robot Books sometime in 2013.
I would highly recommend Mockingbird to any mature reader who enjoys a little piss in their Cheerios. If you enjoy the Odd Thomas series or The Dead Zone, you’ll find much to love in the Miriam Black books, especially if you like a little dirt and grit between your teeth. If you’ve ever thought Odd Thomas is pretty cool, but he’s a little too clean-cut and straight-laced, Miriam Black is for you.