Entries in Miriam Black (7)

Monday
Jan282019

Vultures

It's the final book in the Miriam Black series and it is a fantastic end to this series. Wendig totally nails the landing. If you're already a fan of the series, you won't be disappointed. If you've been waiting for the series to end before you start reading, now is the time and this series is worth it!

You can find my review of the first book, Blackbirds, and the previous one, The Raptor and the Wren. Chuck wraps up all the threads in a satisfying way that's true to the dark grit of this series. I have a 6-book hangover now.

The book is gritty, gory, hard-hitting and snarky. Everything you expect and love about the series.

Miriam doesn't have much time left to stop the Trespasser and save both Gabby and the baby. She meets a delightful ace/aro trans dude named Steve who is an absolute cinnamon bun and totally made the book. He's like that rug in The Big Lebowski. Ties the room together.

Steve and Gabby are Miriam's sidekicks while she tries to save them all, get rid of her powers, and stop a new serial killer.

And that's all I'm going to say spoiler free, because it's hard to talk about a book like this without spoilers. You don't like spoilers, stop reading now.

Anyway, at the end of the last book, Miriam is pregnant and sees that her baby is going to die. This book starts with her waddling miserably through the shitshow nightmare of pregnancy. It is a morbidly un-sentimental take on pregnancy and motherhood and is so much the way I felt through pregnancy that this book could have been written about me.

There are so many things to love in this book, but I love that pregnancy doesn't really slow Miriam down. That motherhood doesn't fundamentally change who she is. That, much like me, she ends up teaching her kid context (don't swear in school) rather than quit swearing. (haha, yes, there's a spoiler, the kid lives)

Wren's 5-second cameo was SO GOOD, though it did leave me a little baffled. I know there's a side novella about her out there somewhere that I'm probably going to need to read to be less baffled about how she ended up where she did and when she did. It felt a touch deus ex machina, but I also don't have all the info.

But anyway, as dark as this series is, the ending is a hopeful one. True to the series, but still full of hope. Get out there and read it!

Tuesday
Feb202018

The Raptor and the Wren

I've finally cleared enough backlog from my life to get back to a proper reading schedule and I just finished this newest release from Chuck Wendig. This is the 5th (and penultimate) book in the Miriam Black series and it packs a serious punch.

If you like foul-mouthed, hard-hitting anti-heroines, then this series is worth checking out. Start with Blackbirds. The series only gets better from there.

I didn't find anything about this book terribly shocking. Wendig does a good job of laying the groundwork for the plot's many twists. And while I wasn't surprised by what happened, I was caught off guard by how. And when. And by who. It's got a wallop of a final page. I hate that I have to wait a year for the final book's release!

Tuesday
Apr182017

Thunderbird

The latest installment in the Miriam Black series is here! If you're already a fan of the series, this has everything you can expect. If you're not reading the series yet, I highly recommend checking out Blackbirds.

So Miriam's life is unravelling a little and she's desperate to get rid of her curse (seeing how people die) and just live a normal life. Poor thing is in such denial. But she's obsessively (and a little murderously) tracking another psychic, Mary Stitch, who she believes can help her undo her curse.

Things with Louis are on the rocks, so this time Miriam has dragged poor Gabby (last seen in The Cormorant) along on one helluva dangerous road trip. In the search for Mary Stitch, Miriam stumbles upon a bunch of lunatic domestic terrorists, a group that has several others with psychic talents/curses similar to Miriam's.

As you would expect from this series by now, it's hard hitting, gritty, swearrific and fast-paced. Miriam does some on the fly soul-searching, but largely keeps doing the right thing out of sheer defiance. God, I love her. And then there's those last couple of chapters. OH, SNAP! Definitely recommend this to Miriam fans.

And now you get spoilers. LOOK AWAY!

You've been warned.

The major showdown felt a little anti-climactic to me, with Miriam stumbling off into the desert for weeks. Her impressive return, basically from the dead, fell a little flat for me when we discover she's too late to stop the death vision that's been driving her through the whole book. As cool as it was to see her develop her bird-control powers even further, I still felt like using a flock of birds (again, like in The Cormorant) was a touch repetitive.

And okay, she doesn't save the day, but she does stop the bad guys. Cool win, bro. But having Louis ride in to save her sorry ass was... I dunno. Yay, great to see Louis again. But why couldn't Miriam save her own ass? I hate seeing even the slightest suggestion that Miriam is a damsel in distress. And if she has to be, why can't Gabby come in for the rescue?

Anyway, I'm super excited to see how this sets up the remaining books in the series. Because Mary's advice and that final scene? Shit, son. This is gonna be awesome!

Tuesday
Dec272016

Battle Hill Bolero

This book isn't out yet, but through the magic of time travel, I received a copy last week and devoured it in two days. There. That's the review. Go read the series.

What, I have to give you more than that? Fine. This book brings the Bone Street Rumba to full circle in an epic, nail-biting fashion. If you've not read Half-Resurrection Blues or Midnight Taxi Tango, do yourself a favour and go find them.

Midnight Taxi Tango is definitely my favourite of the trilogy, it just sings loud and powerful. Older has an amazing voice, full of snark and smartassery, and some hard, beautiful truth. Just the way I like it. Battle Hill brings in three new POVs to join Carlos in telling a superb story. This time around, joining big C, we've got a new ghost named Krys, Sasha, and a few delightfully (darkly) cracked scenes from the POV of Caitlin Fern.

Older is a master of characters, giving each one life and depth in a way I haven't seen with other writers. It's a thing of beauty. I was saddened that Reza and Kia were only minor players this time around. They still left their mark, of course, and I hope to see more of them in future stories. There is so much room on Bone Street for more stories, a testament to the richness of the characters.

So the Council of the Dead has grown too corrupt and stagnant so many agents, including Carlos, are working to bring it down from the inside. The events of this book build from the other two, and come back around to the first book, mirroring it, but on a brighter note.

And then, minor spoiler here (stop reading now if you hate spoilers), my favourite death-seeing anti-heroine makes a cameo at the end that absolutely delighted my black little heart. I may have made an undignified noise (and I definitely hugged the book) when I realized the scrawny white chick at the end was none other than Miriam Black. Best crossover ever (no matter how brief). Older nailed it.

So you've got a week. If you haven't read Half-Resurrection Blues or Midnight Taxi Tango, go do it! And then pick up Battle Hill Bolero when it comes out Jan 3.

Tuesday
Feb172015

The Cormorant

It was a long weekend here, for Family Day, and I managed to destroy my reading dry spell by powering through two very good and very different books. The first one was The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig. This is the third book in the Miriam Black series and it's definitely the best one of the lot.

If you haven't read any of the series, this book isn't really the place to start. Check out Blackbirds first.

The series in general is about the highly unlikeable but intriguing Miriam Black, a young woman who can see your death after the briefest contact. Her curse has messed her up and thrown a lot of roadblocks in her way. I think I find the character so fascinating because of the way she climbs over those blocks. Miriam is a definite underdog who manages to come out ahead. Sort of.

Miriam is constantly broke and relatively nomadic. Her adventures bring her to Florida, where a killer who knows about her abilities is taunting her with death-messages in people he has yet to kill. Miriam blunders into his web and is horrified to learn that everyone she's come in contact with in Florida, including her estranged mother, are targets of this killer.

So Miriam has only a few days to chase this madman all over the Keys in order to save the people she cares about. She also learns more about her own power and purpose, and gains mastery of some of her newer skills.

There's a much deeper emotional component to this book that raises the stakes from the other two books. Miriam sees her mother for the first time in nearly a decade and the reunion is both sad and promising. The perfectly innocent bystanders caught up in the plot also up the ante in this one.

As unlikeable as Miriam is, she relentlessly does the right thing. Usually. At least, she tries to do the right thing, in her own warped and mildly insane way. Wendig has done a masterful job in creating such a damaged heroine that readers end up cheering for despite her busload of baggage. This book also does a much better job of weaving past and present together, cranking up the tension.

If you haven't started reading this series, you really should! If you've started and wonder about The Cormorant? Read it! I'm really looking forward to how the story arc continues in Thunderbird.