Jason's Reviews > Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
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's review
Aug 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: e-books, netgalley, read-2012
Read in August, 2012

4.5 Stars

I want to thank NetGalley for allowing me the courtesy of reading this book as an early read.

I am now a real fan of Chuck Wendig. I really enjoyed my first read of his which was the first book in this series Blackbirds, and now with this second in the series Mockingbird, I am sold...This book starts a short time after the events of the first book have unfolded. 

Our heroine is trying her hardest to make it in the main stream. She is whole heartedly attempting to settle down, keep up a job, and maintain a healthy relationship with her boyfriend. All of these things are beyond her and might as well be considered fairy tale in nature. You see Miriam Black is one tough, mean, dark, morose, and nasty bitch. She is not really afraid of anyone or anything, which in turn makes her pretty scary herself . Not surprising considering that she has a special gift, or is it a dreaded curse. Miriam has a special ability that when she makes skin contact with a person, she can see the how and the when that individual will leave their mortal coil. Sometimes her vision covers the final moments of the person, other times long events that lead up to their death. Either way, she knows the when and the where.

This gift has not always been present with her, and the little additional backstory we get in this novel sheds more light on her origins. She is a unique protagonist in that she is tough to identify with, and not easy to like. If "Death" had a twin sister it would be Miriam Black! She would not have his killing touch,  she would always know where he would be going, who he would be visiting, and being around her you would always feel like he is somewhere nearby. Miriam comes to better grips with who she is, and what she is, but unfortunately it only makes her even darker. Miriam has tried over the years to alter what she sees, to trick "fate", and even to come out and attempt at being a heroine, all failing attempts. She believes that she is a slave to her touch.

The character development in the first novel sets it slightly above this one. Wendig's writing is equal in both of them and his style adds great flair to this darkly satisfying horror that is Miriam Black. Like the first book, birds play a huge role in this. Blackbirds, Crows, Swallows, and Mockingbirds, and there are even some rare birds that are mentioned in this one. The book centers on the Swallows and also the Mockingbird!

""The bird."
 "The swallow."
  The Tresspasser nods. "In Egyptian myth, the swallow used to sit at the front of any boat going into the Underworld. But it went beyond that. Some cultures see the swallow as a malignant, malevolent creature. A real dirty-bird. A curse. The swallow is all over mythology.""

I loved that the supernatural is amped up a bit in this book, but not in an in your face type of manner. The side characters of Louis and Katey are great counterweights to the heavy load that is Miriam. I love how Wendig uses stylized wording and sound effects that are so reminiscent of comic book stories... Rip.    Crunch.   Blam.   

I confess that this type of novel is a guilty pleasure of mine and as a result I can easily overlook a minor fault here and there. So yes, you can see where this novel is headed pretty early on, and we have seen some of it before as well, but Miriam Black is one of a kind and I cannot wait to read where she will go next. This is a fun and fabulous read that could also find an audience in the older YA cough... Cough. "Twilight" crowd. 

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jo Anne B I am glad to hear that this second book lives up to the first one. Can't wait to read it.

Stephanie Griffin Can one read this without reading Blackbirds first? Or do you recommend reading Blackbirds first?

Jason This is definitely a book that should be read after you read book one, Blackbirds. Too much would be missing and you would uncover major spoilers too by skipping it. They are great books.

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