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Miriam Black #2


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Miriam is trying. Really, she is.

But this whole "settling down thing" that Louis has going for her just isn't working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis--who's on the road half the time in his truck--is subject to the piss and vinegar Miriam brings to everything she does.

It just isn't going well. Still, she's keeping her psychic ability--to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them--in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she's keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

400 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Chuck Wendig

185 books5,608 followers
Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

Chuck's novel Double Dead will be out in November, 2011.

He's written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website, terribleminds.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 548 reviews
Profile Image for Baba.
3,563 reviews862 followers
May 12, 2023
Miriam Black book two: Mockingbird! Miriam Black is about to get back on the road when her talent (knowing exactly how, where and when someone will die by touching them) shows her a young girl will definitely be murdered most brutally, most slowly and most awfully; the problem is, that it will be in six years time! The psychopomps, dreams, potty mouthing, ever changing hair dye jobs, hard-coded no-nonsense attitude are all back. Black with bang. In Ms Black, Wendig has created one of the most uncompromising 'fuck awful people' bad-ass characters in fiction, and note I can't even call her a heroine!

Mockingbird picks up where Blackbirds left off, and then takes the ball, gouges it open with a screwdriver, pours petrol over it, sets it alight and then throws it under a speeding truck. In other words if you thought Blackbirds was dark, pull up a chair, rest up and get ready to enter a very dark place. After all what could be worse than a serial teenage girl killer that tortures his victims to death slowly after multiple beatings and rapes, whilst wearing a costume? Read on! And who or what is Mockingbird? A 9 out of 12, deadly dark Four Stars.

2023, 2020 and 2018 read
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,931 reviews10.6k followers
September 17, 2013
Miriam Black tried to settle down with Louis but it was like trying to contain an angry cat in a pillow case. Now she's trying to protect at-risk teenage girls from a serial killer with a swallow tattoo on his chest. Can she stop him and save the girls or will the next death she witnesses be her own?

Miriam Black returns in the sequel to Blackbirds, bigger, badder, and Blacker than the first book. Unlike most sequels, this one doesn't suck. In fact, everything about it is better than the first.

Mockingbird is the story of Miriam trying to stop a serial killer and learning a few more things about herself, all the while continuing her self-abusive ways and foretelling the deaths of everyone she touches.

It all starts simply enough. A woman at a school for troubled girls wants to find out how she dies and Miriam winds up becoming friends with her and taking an interest in the girls. One of the things I really liked was Miriam having maternal feelings toward Wren, which leads to her trying to protect her from the man with the swallow tattoo.

The big bad of the book was chilling but since the big confrontation happened at the 75% mark, I knew the worst was yet to come. And it was. Miriam goes through the wringer and comes out a changed woman, not necessarily for the better. Also, Miriam got hit in the head so many times in this one I got a little nauseous.

That's about all I can say without giving away more than I want to. Since I nearly fived Blackbirds, it looks like I have no choice but to five this one. My feelings for Miriam Black has not faded. Now I'll tap my feet and check my watch until The Cormorant comes out...

Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,757 reviews757 followers
November 3, 2020
Fuck I love Miriam Black. I didn't think it possible but this book was even better than the first in the series! And I fell even more in love with Miriam and Louis and couldn't help but root for them despite knowing that with how Miriam is, chances were slim. I absolutely loved the storyline of this book, it was exciting and non stop action the whole way through. Some parts were most definitely incredibly disturbing but that's part of the charm of this series for me. This book was just as bloody and brutal as the first and I loved every minute of it! And although the ending did make me a little sad, I thought it was kind of perfect at the same time.
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,418 followers
January 5, 2013
3.5 stars

I can gobble the Miriam Black books down as if they were piping hot, greasy cheeseburgers with a triple chocolate shake on the side. Yum! Yeah, you really have to suspend disbelief, there might even be a few dubious plot holes, but goddamn, as a dark heroine with a grim gift Miriam kicks ass. She's a viper, a scrapper, a take-no-prisoners and no bullshit kind of gal, morally dubious, who is just beginning to figure out what the right thing to do is.

In this second installment, Miriam's visions get her tangled up in something much more sinister and unholy than she could ever imagine. Shacked up with Louis from Book 1 in a trailer park, Miriam feels trapped and suffocated. Her feet are getting itchy and she wants to hit the road again, to resume the shiftless (and violent) life she was living before she and Louis met.

As a favor to Louis, Miriam visits a private school for wayward girls to determine whether the hypochondriac English teacher is really dying from cancer. While on this errand Miriam learns that one of the students is going to die a horrible torturous death six years from now at the hands of a masked man with a sparrow tattoo. Miriam's inadvertent discovery puts her onto the trail of a serial killer, placing her own life in serious peril. With her usual potty mouth, rude inappropriate humor, and feisty fighting skills, Miriam makes several return visits to the private school, and with each visit uncovers more girls who will meet bloody, untimely deaths unless she can figure out a way to stop it, squarely spitting in Fate's eye once more.

I really warmed up to Miriam in this sequel. We get to see more of her vulnerable side, and get to learn more about her past, her relationship to her mother, and the tragic events that bestowed her precognitive curse on her in the first place. As a character, Louis is much more fleshed out this time too. He's still a little bit of a "big teddy bear with the heart of gold" stereotype, but he's starting to find his voice, and his motivations are starting to ring true.

I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more Miriam Black adventures. This is another Angry Robot book. Check them out. They are awesome.

***My review for Book 1 Blackbirds

Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,977 followers
June 23, 2018
This is for all you peeps who have strong enough stomachs to get through the first Miriam Black novel!

The second one has just as much colorful language as the first! YAY! It had me chuckling with every grand disgusting description of place, person, and action. So funny. So fun. So redneck. So trashy.

But that isn't all. Miriam tries soooo hard. And fails. At almost everything. But when there's a sick serial murderer gunning for her and the special supernatural bits she has inside her, she's forced to go after him. Or him, her. It's complicated. But fun. :)

The UF is gritty and poor and trashy, but the language is fantastic and the pacing really quite great. Be prepared for some real raunch, blood, and death. I'm mightily impressed.

Profile Image for Delee.
243 reviews1,106 followers
December 4, 2016

Buddy read with one of my favorite buddies- Stepheny.............................................

..........................and...............Dan 2.0...Hehehehehe.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,440 reviews830 followers
January 27, 2019
“I’m done with the fuckin’ bird thing,” Miriam says. “Seriously. Don’t you have any other symbols in that bag of tricks?”

Very dark but very good. Miriam is a unique character - her childhood austere and her life - well you need to read this series to find out!
Profile Image for Theresa (mysteries.and.mayhem).
106 reviews53 followers
February 11, 2023
Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? Maybe? Yeah. I remember an economics class in college that tried to teach me something about this. Was it the law of diminishing returns? Where if you really want apple pie and buy a whole pie ... you'll never love any slice of that pie as much as the very first slice. I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with economics. The class kind of lost my attention after they mentioned pie. And what was I here to write about? I know it wasn't pie ...

Oh yeah, Miriam Black. Mockingbird, the second book in the Miriam Black series by Chuck Wendig. I absolutely adored Miriam in the first book, Blackbirds. She was such a different character from any I've ever read. True to herself, defiant, rough around the edges, 100% Miriam Black. I was excited to catch up with Miriam again in Mockingbird. She remained totally Miriam. But she was stuck in a situation she didn't want to be in. Her free-form self was being squashed into a box that she didn't quite fit in. Louis wanted her to conform to what most of the world considers "normal." Miriam conforms for nobody.

Now, let's discuss Louis. I see Louis as this big snuggly soft teddy bear who serves as the calm to Miriam's chaos. I adore Louis. He does his share of calming and being pushed away by Miriam in Mockingbird. But he remains a steady presence throughout the book, which made me happy.

The story itself was good, until it wasn't. I'm intentionally not mentioning anything about the plot of the story. I can't find a good way to do that without spoiling things. I will say that there were laugh out loud points and things that made me squeamish. It started strong. But then it reached a point where Miriam was questioning everything. I thought I might have figured it out, but I didn't want to be right. Well, I was right. And then I lost interest in the story. Miriam's character didn't even save it for me. Louis pulled me back in here and there, but I was pretty much checked out of the book by then. I finished it. I had to. I'm a completist. And being a completist, I hope to finish the series as well. But I'll need a bit of a break before I read the third book.

I'm giving Mockingbird three out of five feathered stars. It wasn't horrible. But the ending left me wanting a completely different story.
Profile Image for Josh.
1,636 reviews148 followers
March 7, 2019
“I don’t know how you’re going to turn out. I don’t think well. I think you’re a bad girl destined for bad things.”

Miriam Black is cursed with the ability to see death. The merest touch of skin allows her to see anyone’s end regardless of when the reapers due to collect – it could be years, months, or minutes, as is the case with the opening scene of Mockingbird, the second book to feature Miriam Black by author Chuck Wendig.

Miriam is just as potty mouthed and headstrong as ever as she puts her curse to good use. The premonitions involving a string of gruesome ritual killings at a secluded all girls’ school unearth a serial killer like no other. Uncovering the truth behind the killings could result in much more than Miriam had bargained for. All of a sudden, saving the lives of seemingly innocent young women/girls could very well result in her losing her own.

The hint of a butterfly effect, a tantalizing proposition, as Miriam for the first time is confronted with the future as a result of her actions.

Author Chuck Wendig explores Miriam’s unique ability further in Mockingbird adding the element of ‘the trespasser’ to the mix resulting in Miriam’s lone wolf persona faulting slightly with the promise of a larger pack. The horror really gets kicked up a notch here; mind control, future forecasting, ghosts, and all manner of evils that go bump in the night add a little something to Miriam’s latest outing.

My rating: 5/5 stars. Much like Blackbirds, Mockingbird is very easy to read with Wendig; short, sharpe chapters keep the novel moving along while a small cast allows for greater character depth and a more meaningful story.
Profile Image for Lou.
879 reviews860 followers
September 12, 2012
This was a great improvement on the first book in the Miriam black experience. This time round the great writing ability of chuck wendig is displayed with his humour and great dialogue.
There is less profanity than the first and the writing is presented in an original short sharp no wasted words sentences. 
This was a great adventure into the Miriam black world.

"This might be your last chance to get off the ride. The Miriam Black Experience is about to depart the gate, and you're either strapped in or left behind. Time to commit"

Loved the reference to some great reads and writers in this excerpt..
"Miriam spies the bindings of paperback books she nabbed from the used bookstore done in Sunbury: Poppy Brite, Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Catcher in the Rye, Slaughterhouse Five."

Wonderful except on the joys of reading..
"Miriam wants to stand up and say none of its hurting her, none of it calls her stupid or fat or questions whether or not she's going to go to Heaven. Each song of an album, each page of a book, every panel of every comic, they're all doorways, little escape hatches where Miriam can flee the sad shadows of this life."

"Peggy has taken over from Miriam at the second checkout counter in from the end, and Miriam marches right up to her, taps her on the shoulder, and offers her a hand-ah, the fake handshake, that old trick to get people to touch her, to get one tiny moment of that skin-to-skin contact necessary to get the psychic death-visions a-flowing. She's itching to see how this woman bites it. Hungry for it. Desperate like a junkie.
Miriam's hoping for some kind of ass cancer."

"To the left and right, trees. Mostly pine. Thin, wispy-needled. Stuck up out of the sand, sometimes whispering in the wind. Power lines overhead like strings of black liquorice. Sometimes a house - a mini-mansion here, a rat-hole there. Then back to the pines and their slanting shadows."

"I discovered that night that I could touch people and see not only who they'd become but also the chain of consequence and casualty cascading outwards - as though each person's life was a stone thrown into a pond. I could see the ripples. For every choice, a new ripple, a new disturbance of the water. It was fascinating. And horrible. All at the same time."

Review @ http://more2read.com/review/mockingbird-miriam-black-2-by-chuck-wendig/
Profile Image for Stepheny.
381 reviews542 followers
March 17, 2017
Initial Reaction:

Why the fuck would you ruin such a good thing?

Actual Review:

Kelly tried to warn us, but we didn't listen. Kelly was right. The second book fucking sucked.

She said- NOPE, I won’t read that book with you guys. I’m leaving Blackbirds the way it is- perfect.

Come on! We said. It’ll be fun! we said.

We were wrong.

Miriam Black is back at it in Mockingbird. She and Louis are boring and lame. They live together now. He knows her dirty little secret and is ok with it. She’s ok with his cyclops face. He drives truck, she is trying to work at a grocery store.

But Miriam is kind of a bitch. And she is still trying to learn how to not rip people’s throats out and be a civilized human being. But she is bored. Really bored. She needs excitement. She can’t be tied down to the same place. She needs to spread her wings and fly…and find out when and how






Louis had a feeling this wouldn't last so he had a backup plan. He has a friend you see, she teaches at a nearby reform school for degenerate girls. (Maybe there were boys there too…I don’t really remember but I really think it is just girls. Dan? Delee? Care to clear this up for me?) . Anyway, this friend is a complete hypochondriac. Louis says she is the very definition of health and would Miriam PLEASE just go show her she has nothing wrong with her?

Of course Miriam can’t help but find herself in trouble time after time after time in this book. Louis can’t turn his back for 5 minutes without her running amok. And before you know it Miriam finds herself in a very bad situation….one she won’t be able to get out of on her own.

But how will Louis come to her aid if she isn't where she is supposed to be?

Oh don’t worry. Suddenly Louis is fucking telepathic and speaks to dead fucking crows. Duh.

Shoot me in the fucking face, please.


Need I go on?

Here’s the thing, Chuck, buddy-o-pal! Your readers are ok with Miriam’s little gift because you not only made it work in book 1, you made it fucking awesome and believable. That’s what a good story is- something unbelievable made believable. Here you took the unbelievable-turned-believable and made it completely fucking ridiculous. You RUINED it.

And I hate you now.

So, the real question here is- will I bother reading the third book? Of fucking course I will. Because deep down I want to see him make it right again goddamnit. And if he doesn’t, well, you all can sit back, sipping your tea and enjoy a nice hate-filled, ranting review by yours truly.

Profile Image for Brandon.
902 reviews233 followers
January 13, 2014
You can say what you want about Miriam but you could never take away the fact that above all else, she’s true to herself. So when Ms. Black knows something’s not working out for her, she turns tail and seeks out a more desirable environment. Unfortunately for Louis, settling down with him in a tin coffin of a trailer isn’t exactly her idea of heaven on Earth.

It isn’t long until Miriam is on the road again and back in the hot seat. While using her “gift” as a favor to see just how a friend of a friend is going to kick the bucket, Miriam is unexpectedly thrown into the hunt for a serial killer with his eyes on young girls. Can Miriam put a stop to his murderous ways?

I knew the second I closed the book on Blackbirds, I had to get my greedy little hands on its sequel, Mockingbird. There were more than enough reviews out there that suggested that not only would I be pleased with the follow-up but that it may be better than the original. Having given Blackbirds an easy 5 stars, there really wasn’t anywhere Wendig could take this series for me but down. Not only was I rewarded for having faith in ol’ Chuck, I finished this one with the very same hunger for book three.

Miriam’s adversaries this time around are just as dangerous, if not more so than those in Blackbirds. Seeing as Wendig plays things pretty close to the chest until nearly the end, it’d be rotten of me to share details that could lead to spoilers. Trust me, when the motives behind the killings are revealed, it’s a doozy. They also just about destroy Miriam on several occasions, leaving her broken, beaten and scarred. Mockingbird is as violent and vulgar as its predecessor and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Chuck Wendig may just be one of the most exciting writers out there right now. Between his Miriam Black series and the recently created Mookie Pearl series (The Blue Blazes) as well as a slew of other novels, he’s an author you need to have on your radar.
Profile Image for Mr. Matt.
288 reviews82 followers
November 7, 2013
I was expecting a let-down after Blackbirds. I really was. That first book was so good. The second couldn’t be better, could it? I was wrong. There was no let down. Mockingbird picks up the story of Miriam Black after the events of Blackbirds. And by picking up, I don’t mean gently lifting you up and settling you carefully back down on a cushioned pillow. Mockingbird picks you up by the scruff of your neck and shakes you back and forth savagely.

Miriam has recovered from the trauma she endured in Blackbirds. She is coming to grips with her power/curse and is trying to live a ‘normal’ life. Fate has other plans for Miriam. Working at a dead end job wasn’t all it had been cracked up to be. Living in a trailer park with Louis wasn’t much better. Miriam hits the road and winds up enmeshed in a nail-biter of a mystery involving a girl’s (reform) boarding school. I burned through the book as the tension and pressure relentlessly grew more intense. They grew until they finally exploded. (In that way it reminded me of the Client Eastwood classic Western, Unforgiven.)

In Mockingbird we also see a less angry, less caustic Miriam. She still has her biting wit and snarky one-liners, but she has learned to … well …. bite her tongue. Troubled teenagers and Louis and the other people she meets deserve more than the old Miriam, and we get a glimpse of that real Miriam. Beneath the brash exterior and trash talk, she is a good person. You can feel her heart breaking for the girls at the school and the web that they are trapped in.

Five stars. A great read.
Profile Image for Sarah.
732 reviews73 followers
March 6, 2017
This series amazes me. It's so very different from anything else I've read, at least partially because it's so dark and edgy. While I loved the first book, this one was exceptional.

Miriam Black has a gift that is not really a gift. When she touches people she can see how they die. At the start of this book she's working at a grocery store, wearing gloves, and hating her life, except for her boyfriend Louis. She begins to crave touching people and seeing their deaths, but then when she manages to avert a disaster she begins to think that maybe she can actually do something with this curse. When she meets a girl and realizes that she's going to be killed by a serial killer in 6 years, and then meets another that will also die, she feels a need to try to save these girls and stop the murderer.

This description makes her sound so noble, and she's so not. She's all sharp edges, bad attitude, cursing a blue streak, and lots of f*** yous. She is absolutely not likable, yet these books are incredibly addictive. This book takes an unexpected turn and I was glued to the book, while cooking dinner, which is such bad timing :)

This book seems like it's written for 20 somethings with major attitude but I'm nearly 40 and I can't get enough of this series. And the narrator of the audio is absolutely amazing. She's unbelievably perfect for this role and she does a brilliant job. I cannot imagine doing this series any other way and they better never change the narrator because I would be terribly disappointed.

Brilliant book.

ETA: "getaway gams" is absolutely the coolest term I've heard for legs.
Profile Image for Holly (The GrimDragon).
1,000 reviews235 followers
February 7, 2017
Ghosts, restless and sad, stir inside her.

If you are now considering book two in the Miriam Black series & you ask yourself "Self. Can Miriam Black BE any more badass?" HOW DARE YOU?! OF COURSE SHE CAN, SHITBIRD! OF COURSE SHE CAN! She is something else in this sequel. For real.

This picks up a year after where book one has left off & Miriam has been.. suppressing her powers. For those unfamiliar with this series, Miriam can see how someone will die just by touching them. One year later sees her somewhat settled down. But not for much longer!

It feels like she's got a storm brewing deep inside her, a mean typhoon with an endless hunger. She might as well feed the beast.

Miriam is just as caustic, profane & blunt as ever.. except, we also see more of a.. I don't want to say softer side, let's not go too crazy here! But a more real look at Miriam's emotions. She lets down her walls just ever so slightly & we become even more endeared to this passionate, disturbed, badass individual. There isn't a character quite like Miriam! I fucking adore her!

Wendig continues to showcase his incredible way with dialogue, his fast paced storytlines & the process with which he starts to reveal some things is just all fucking fantastic! He writes in such a ferocious way, both haunting & yet beautiful. His words punch me in the face, over & over again. He can write something so sarcastic (not unlike something that may fly out of my own mouth a time or two) & then something so.. wrapped up in emotion. Like, "She gets on her tippy-toes and kisses him. Long, slow, deep. The kind of kiss where you can feel little pieces of your soul trading places as mouths open and breath mingles." It stomped all over my goddamn heart, that is for sure! That is just what he does. He invokes FEELING. Good, bad, ugly. This is why he is one of my favorite writers. JUST MAKE ME FEEL ALL OF THE THINGS!

If you like your stories brutal, dark & unapologetic, look no further! This had even more graphic violence, more twists & turns & MORE LOUIS! The horror is amped up, the mystery is heightened. If you have read a lot of crime fiction/thrillers/horrors, you may guess the BIG THING before it is revealed, like I did, but it did not detract from the amazing storytelling from Wendig. This is not a big murder mystery novel, anyway. It is more about Miriam & how she will react. There are some delightfully creepy parts in this & I LOVED IT! This book was absolutely devoured! I cannot wait to see where Wendig takes our Miriam next!

Five stars, two thumbs up, and a bunch of wiggly toes!
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,050 followers
August 15, 2012
I really enjoyed the first Miriam Black book, Blackbirds, which was a good introduction to the unique gift/curse Miriam possesses, of seeing how people will die if she touches their skin. I was a little concerned about reading a second book, because I didn't want her to become routine. When Angry Robot Books offered me an eARC through their Robot Army, I jumped at the chance. It won't come out for the rest of you until October, sorry. But that will give you the chance to read the first book. Get to it!

Miriam is established as a loner in Blackbirds, and for good reason. In Mockingbird, the reader gets deeper insight into her past and the moment she becomes psychic. So much pain! I wasn't expecting to find her where she was in this book, in several situations that require her to be a part of a community, and to connect with other people. Her interactions with the teens and the frumpy teacher were really great, because instead of just being a hard-ass, she was somehow an awkward hard-ass. There was some humor to it, and I'm always caught off guard how Chuck Wendig can pull me from laughing at a subtitle like "fuckity fuck fuck" to being completely grossed out by certain moments involving feathers back to wondering about whether or not Miriam liked Punky Brewster as a kid, all within a matter of moments.

I'm skirting around the major plot line of the book because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. It involves birds and poetry, but don't read butterflies and rainbows into either of those two things. Horrifying, dark, and disturbing. It is Chuck Wendig doing what he does best.
Profile Image for Amanda Makepeace.
86 reviews60 followers
August 17, 2012
I do all my reading for pleasure at night, usually after 9 p.m. I began reading Mockingbird on August 1st. I finished on August 3rd.

I am not a speed reader.

The only time I can read a book that fast is:

A. When the plot consumes me so much I’d rather read than sleep, even if it means I will be a zombie the next day and inevitably bite someone’s head off.

B. When an author writes a book that is a perfect fusion of plot and character, where everything happens in 3D, an unstoppable chain reaction of events.

C. When a character is so original I can’t help but love her.

Sometimes a book might hit one of the criteria above, but Mockingbird hit all three. Miriam Black is strong, but also fragile. She is dysfunctional but also driven. She’s a testament to first impressions–what you see (and hear) are just the surface of her character, her shield.

The downside to reading a book as fast as I did and loving it as much as I did, is now I have to wait! Oh, the pain... And excitement too!
Profile Image for Andy.
421 reviews67 followers
April 8, 2015
Makes me laugh & makes me want to read more, so an easy score with A clear 5 Stars!

Where could Chuck Wendig go next with this series I was thinking after Blackbirds?

As in the series opener Blackbirds there was no plot per say as Miriam Black WAS the plot & as a novelty worked superbly for me with many a chuckle over her coarse manner & caustic nature/wit. A little trepidation as i began Mockingbird but how wrong that was as he (Chuck Wendig) ramps it up again with a moider mystery! Miriam is superb as always & so is Louis, her put upon boyfriend, a gentle giant of a man who puts up with the temperamental Ms Black. And ms black loves her words, even during a charged moment, mostly combat, she’ll stop & compliment someone with “good word” then its back to the action. I love this series & pleased its found a way forward & the opener was not just a flash in the pan, albeit an awesome one.

A must add to your TRL friends. Makes me chuckle a LOT, proper throaty style too!
Profile Image for Ranting Dragon.
404 reviews230 followers
January 3, 2013

Blackbirds, Chuck Wendig’s fantastical debut, opened with a scene that made my eyes go wide and then stick to the pages like a starved dog with a side of meat. It pulled me along, chapter by hectic chapter, leaving me panting and glad that I had found out about his books when he had already published a sequel. Mockingbird also opens with a bang, albeit an understated one compared to the shock value that Blackbirds achieves. That’s the thing about giving your protagonist such a limited power in an urban fantasy series and building your story on it. Whereas Harry Dresden and Atticus O’Sullivan have a versatile skill set, a varied pantheon of enemies, and oodles of lore to draw on, Wendig is crafting a fairly unique fantasy. Keeping it from becoming routine or formulaic is a huge obstacle that Mockingbird faces, but it manages to dodge it, all the while improving on the strong pacing, dialogue, and atmosphere of the first novel. He does, however, draw from folklore and common mythological images of birds, lending the series its own unique tone that distinguishes itself from the slew of detective stories that the genre is known for.

The basic premise of the series is that Miriam Black, the protagonist, can see when and how one dies with a simple skin-on-skin touch. ”See” may suggest more distance than touch, but Miriam experiences each each death viscerally, in brutal and colorful ways. Every clogged artery, bloated lung, and frying brain cell runs rampant across the page, drawing the reader not further from the last moments, but closer. Death is inevitable, as Miriam has learned that time and time again. She’s seen people die who ignored her or die because they paid attention, but this time, she has an edge and is out to keep death from taking its due.

A genre-busting and profane ride
Calling Mockingbird urban fantasy, however, is not entirely accurate. The series blends urban fantasy (though it doesn’t spend much time in big cities) with horror, comedy (albeit extremely dark comedy), and even touches of romance and happiness—only touches, as the series doles out genuinely happy moments with all the generosity of Ebenezer Scrooge. Then there is the slew of black humor that makes you laugh and feel a little guilty about laughing (which makes it a backhanded happy moment in hindsight). Blackbirds itself was messed up in all the best ways, but Mockingbird takes it up to eleven. Much about the book is reminiscent of the first, only bigger, bloodier, and bawdier. Chuck Wendig is not just a writer, he’s a cursesmith. This was addressed in Ranting Dragon’s review of Blackbirds, but the sentiment remains. The characters, Miriam in particular, curse with such prolixity that they could shame sailors and make rappers weep. It’s something that I mention because, while I find it an enhancing factor, others do not always share my opinion on creative profanity as a prospective academic field.

A plot that reveals its depths bit by bit
The plot has a straightforward progression for a sequel. Protagonist is living the after-effects of first novel. Protagonist gets put back into an exciting situation. Twists. Action. More twists. More horrifying action. Conclusion. This is by no means a criticism within the context of the story as a whole. The bones of the plot let the reader keep up with the blinding pace of the book, letting the details and the meat of the story sell it rather than the tropes themselves.

Mockingbird, as I mentioned, has more than a touch of horror to it. The antagonists aren’t just villains, they’re plain bug-out creepy. Chuck Wendig ramps up the darkness from Blackbirds, all the while retaining his mad sense of humor that is nothing short of spectacular. It balances the two tones perfectly, or as near to it as I can tell.

A unique urban fantasy with minimal fantastical elements
The fantastical world building of Blackbirds was sparse, showing us Miriam and her singular magical ability while hinting at more. In Mockingbird we get more, but not much more. Things get a lot weirder a lot faster, but the fantasy elements are very much in the cracks and shadows of this world, rather than blasting holes in buildings and draining homeless people of their blood in alleyways. Wendig slips back and forth between settings smoothly, never wasting time but always keeping the reader clear as to what is happening, where it’s happening, and who is in the scene.

Gripping and nuanced characters
The book doesn’t skimp on the raw emotion and character development that can often get lost in urban fantasy. First person novels, by and large the staple of the subgenre, are typically focused outwards, whereas third person novels, such as Mockingbird, can unflinchingly focus inwards. Miriam grows as a character, though whether it is for better or worse is mostly left up to the reader to decide.

Miriam might be one of my favorite protagonists I’ve ever read. She’s vulgar, somewhat masochistic, completely irreverent, and has a propensity for turning a situation on its head. She’s not really a badass in the sense that wizards, warriors, and werewolves are, but she’s got grit and a determination that fuels the book’s pacing and plot.

Why should you read this book?
Chuck Wendig’s Mockingbird is a fast-paced and horrific urban fantasy with sharp dialogue, nuanced characters, and an original voice in a glutted genre. Wendig grabs you by the collar then throws you down a set of literary stairs and leaves you begging for more. It’s the kind of story that looks almost familiar on the face of it, but the details and quality of Wendig’s writing sets it apart.
Profile Image for sj.
404 reviews80 followers
August 5, 2012
I was a little annoyed with reading our PtBiB chapters last week because I just wanted to read this book some more.  I kept looking over at my reader thinking "Well, surely they won't mind if I'm just a little late..." but in the end I took my hosting duties more seriously than I wanted to and gave in to the fact that I wasn't going to be able to go back to the pleasure reading until the required reading was done.

If you can call Chuck Wendig's Mockingbird "pleasure reading," I guess.

That's not to say that I didn't love it - because I totally did.  Every gory page, but this definitely wasn't some "curl up on a couch and feel good about the world and yourself" book.  At all.

I was at turns sad, creeped out, grossed out and cheering.

Here's the deal.  I totally heart Miriam.  I think she's a selfish brat at times, but given the hand she's been dealt, I can't say that I wouldn't act the same way.  Honestly, I think there's a lot of aspects of Miriam's personality that I can completely identify with.  NO, I'M NOT SAYING WE'RE THE SAME - dur.  What I'm saying is, that even while I was reading other things I kept thinking about the decisions Miriam had just made.  I don't know that I would have done anything any differently.

She's probably my favourite UF heroine right now - and that says quite a lot.  Also, due to certain events that transpired in the last book that carry over into this one, I'm more inclined than ever to think of Louis as Clarence Worly.  Shut up, I know he doesn't look like Christian Slater, but GIVE ME THIS ONE THING, OKAY?!  Oh, and Miriam is more and more like Alabama all the time.  Again, one of my favourite movies ever so I don't have a problem with that.

I still wouldn't recommend these books for everyone (see last week where I talked about who might enjoy Blackbirds), but if you are like me and look forward to Quentin Tarantino movies for more than just the soundtrack and if you laughed your way through The Machine Girl , then there's a good chance you'll enjoy these books.

Mockingbird will be out August 28.  You can find Mr Wendig at his website Terrible Minds, and release/pricing information on the Angry Robot page.   Once again, thanks Angry Robot for the eARC - this is another that I'll be buying for myself.  Um...can you stop putting out so many awesome books?  I don't know how it'd look to have my Best of the Year shelf dominated by the same publisher.

Chuck, if you write more Miriam, I promise I'll be your new best friend.  Pinkie swear.

A slight aside:  Baby Girl is (for some reason we can't quite figure out) really into bluegrass.  We don't have  a problem with that, but she's WAY INTO stuff with banjos.  So we put the Bluegrass Junction channel on for her as she falls asleep.  I usually turn it off or way down when I go to bed.  I didn't do that on Friday night when I went to bed, so reading certain scenes with that playing in the background gave everything a slight Deliverance feel which I'm sure was unintended, but served to creep me right the eff out.  Don't do that.  Seriously.  The banjos, this book and the alcohol consumed for the drinkalong all contributed to some highly strange dreams that I can't quite remember right now, but which left me incredibly unsettled.

I mean, I'm not the boss of you, but...y'know.  I wouldn't recommend it.

Further aside:  While reading Blackbirds, I kept saying to myself "So, Miriam seems more like a Luckies or American Spirits kind of girl than someone who'd smoke Marlboros."  I'm glad I was right.

Review originally posted here.
Profile Image for Milo.
771 reviews81 followers
September 15, 2012
Great stuff, loved this just as much as the first. Can't add this to Best of 2012 at the moment due to complications with the computer that I'm currrently using (not my normal one), but I will do so when I can.


“A dark and gritty page-turner. Wendig’s second Miriam Black novel is a brilliant read and just as enjoyable as the first.” ~The Founding Fields

This month just keeps getting better and better for reviewing. Reading wise, I don’t think I’ve read a book that I haven’t liked since James Patterson’s disappointing Nevermore, which means that I’ve now read thirty novels (including graphic novels) in a row which I have each liked to a certain extent. Hopefully this trend can continue in the future. I’m reading the latest A Song of Ice and Fire novel at the moment, so it does look like that it will be. But, I’m losing track of things. Let’s get back to Mockingbird, and I’m going to start this review by saying that it’s fantastic. If that’s not enough to convince you, then by all means – keep reading.

Miriam is trying to keep her ability – her curse – in check.

But when Miriam touches a woman in line at the supermarket, she sees that the woman will be killed here, now.

She reacts, and begins a new chapter in her life – one which can never be expected to go well.

So, a short blurb. Doesn’t reveal much about what’s going to happen in the novel, but at least it doesn’t spoil the outcome. It seems to be a common theme with Wendig’s Miriam Black novels, but that doesn’t stop you from reading them. The well-written and page-turning prose will have you hooked from within the first few pages, and this is really a one-sitting read. As a direct sequel to Blackbirds, Mockingbird proves that Wendig won’t disappoint you with the second installment, and increases your expectations for the third novel in the series – yes, there is going to be a third novel.

Miriam’s strong, unique, dark and twisted personality continues to be enjoyable, and Wendig has mastered her character development well over the course of the books. Although she may not be the most likable person to read about (and that’s an understatement), Wendig still manages to make us want to read more. And read more I did, and I blitzed through Mockingbird in a very quick time (and I’m a fast reader). One of the more interesting parts of this book to read about was Miriam’s stay at a Private Girl’s School, and I couldn’t help thinking “Yeah, that’s going to turn out well”, with a lot of sarcasm. It’s a great read, and there are plenty of twists and turns in here to keep it unpredictable. Wendig also doesn’t rely on the fantasy-elements of urban fantasy to make his novel interesting and varied, as if you went into this expecting werewolves, vampires and other urban fantasy staples then you’re going to be disappointed. But Wendig has proved that you don’t need them to make urban fantasy enjoyable, and has weaved a wonderful tale for us to enjoy. Once you’ve finished reading it, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be sticking around for the third novel.

It’s not just for urban fantasy fans as well, for horror readers will get a kick out of Mockingbird. Well, you should pretty much know this by now as this review presumes prior knowledge of Blackbirds, but if you’re thinking that this novel is going to be a carbon-copy of its predecessor then you’re mistaken. Mockingbird is different. Mockingbird is new, fresh and exciting. One of my best reads of 2012, and Wendig may have just jumped to my list of favourite authors.

Just be warned, when I say dark, I mean dark. There’s a lot of things that some readers may consider too extreme for them happen in this book, but if you’re familiar with Wendig’s work or have read similar novels, then you know what you’re in for. There are several great cinematic moments in this second book, and a great storyline with themes of redemption and revenge in there as well. It’s not the most pleasant read and is far from YA (I bring this up because it has been sighted in the YA section of bookshops elsewhere), but should be enjoyable if you don’t mind your dark fiction, and want to read something that isn’t uplifting or a ‘feel good’ read. I’ve yet to hear anything bad about it as well, which is always a positive thing.

Verdict: 4.5/5
Profile Image for Jason.
1,179 reviews256 followers
August 19, 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. 

Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,034 reviews2,605 followers
July 7, 2013
I can't get enough of Miriam Black. I just can't. I thought the initial delight of discovering this twisted and refreshingly candid series would have worn off a bit by now, but it hasn't. If anything, I think I'm finally starting to sense of who Miriam is and the direction in which these books are going. Or that might just be wishful thinking. Regardless, I'm still having a blast.

Some time has passed since we last left Miriam and Louis in Blackbirds (book one of the series, my review here). For the sake of their relationship, Miriam has attempted to settle down, living in a double-wide trailer and working as a check-out girl at a local grocery store. No more drifting around the country, and no more utilizing her morbid ability to see and how and when someone is going to die simply by making skin-on-skin contact with them. For Miriam, it means a new life filled with lots of tedium, grin-and-bear-it moments, and constantly wearing gloves.

But a girl can only take so much. Fed up, Miriam packs up and gets ready to hit the road when Louis tells her about Katey, a contact of his who is convinced she is dying and wants to pay Miriam to confirm her suspicions. Eager to be herself again, Miriam readily accepts the job, which is how she finds herself dropped off at a prestigious boarding school for troubled girls where Katey is employed as a teacher. Very soon, Miriam finds herself caught up in much more than she bargained for, when she encounters Lauren, a student at the school whom Miriam's death visions tell her will die brutally at the hands of a crazed serial killer.

With Mockingbird, I think I feel a little more confident in describing the Miriam Black books as less of a traditional Urban Fantasy series, and more of a Thriller-Suspense with paranormal elements. Given the dark nature of Miriam's power, I would throw in a bit of horror, too. There are some intensely graphic and frightening scenes in this book worthy of the goriest slasher flicks, and if you're anything like me, at certain points while reading you'll likely find yourself squirming in your seat in an uncomfortable-yet-not-too-entirely-unpleasant kind of way.

Though, that's sort of what I've come to expect with Chuck Wendig. His writing and stories can make you desperately want to turn the page and be scared to do so at the same time. His characters and dialogue can induce me to laugh my ass off yet at once make me feel like a terrible person. And I love every minute of it. Why do people go and watch scary movies anyway? On a certain level, we do it for the express purpose of being terrified out of our wits. Similarly, that was why I was so eager to pick up this second installment of Miriam Black -- I wanted what I got out of Blackbirds the first time around, to again be shocked, scandalized and enthralled by Wendig's particular brand of dark humor and suspense. I was not disappointed.

Mockingbird also gave us a better look at who Miriam is as a person. I mentioned in my review of the first book that I know deep down beneath that snarky rough exterior she is good person with a good heart, and here I think we see that a little more in her determination to help the schoolgirls and her refusal to simply walk away from the situation. The origins of her mysterious power are still largely unexplained, but we do get a bit of that too. The best part, though, is this book provided a lot of insight into Miriam's past, like her childhood and her relationship with her mother, which gave me a better idea of how she became the way she is.

Overall, a very suspenseful and chilling novel which I could barely put down. As a special treat, I bought the Whispersync Kindle/Audible bundle so I was able to listen to parts of this in audiobook format too. The narrator Emily Beresford is fantastic as Miriam Black, her talent coming through especially when she sings the "Mockingbird" song, the serial killer's rendition of the folk song "Wicked Polly". The song earwormed itself into my head for days, which I have to say made the book even more memorable and creepy.
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 24 books4,131 followers
December 5, 2016
Mockingbird is the second book in the Miriam Black series. The first book was about introductions. Wendig introduced us to Miriam Black, her crazy past, her uncertain future and most importantly, the paranormal gift/curse she carries with her. I fell in love with her--she has this wild disposition and she's crude and takes every opportunity to challenge people and push boundaries (especially when we don't think she should)
In Mockingbird, the introductions are over. Miriam Black is who she is and she isn't going to change. Her love interest, Louis from the previous book is surprisingly still around (YAY! Because we *love* Louis). Instead of using her curse to exploit people, Miriam is given the opportunity to use her gift to help people. This opportunity takes Miriam further than she thought she would go and puts her life in danger (again).
This being the second book, I felt like Wendig is more at home with his protagonist. She became more fleshed out--complicated. I began to feel the layers and layers of emotional intensity she brings to the story. As the reader, I become even more invested in her which created risk. This book felt dangerous and unpredictable.
I loved every minute of it.
We also got to see Wendig's skill in setting and plot development. Wendig's wheelhouse is dialog--we get huge doses of that in book one.
So it's exciting to see a more elaborate plot this time around with a tangible setting.
(I'm clearly talking circles around the plot because I think it's more fun to go into a book without knowing the details)
My favorite part of this book is Miriam Black. She's a scene stealer. Her biting wit, sarcasm, inappropriate humor, will to survive, fierce spirit and this compulsive need to protect people is the real propelling force of the story. I just like to see what happens to her--I'd read any book with her in it because she fascinates me. The pace of these two books is fast--faster than any books I've ever read and Wendig never wastes words--everything that happens is moving the story forward. Every chapter break ends with a hook for the next and I literally cannot stop reading sometimes. I have to force myself to sleep or eat or pay attention to the family.
Ha! I don't own the third book yet, so that's going on the Christmas list. Well done, Wendig. You have given me a new favorite series and a new favorite female.

Profile Image for Benoit Lelièvre.
Author 8 books137 followers
March 21, 2013
Writing MOCKINGBIRD must've been one hell of a catch-22 for Chuck Wendig. Readers ached for a sequel to Miriam Black's adventures and yet, how do you follow up on something as crushingly good as BLACKBIRDS? Writing this novel deprived of the novelty factor must've been as difficult as typing it with your nose, while your hands are tied behind your back.

That said, MOCKINGBIRD is a success. It doesn't have the Earth shattering potency of its predecessor, but it's a highly enjoyable novel. This selfless instinct Wendig has to create a good story is what sets it apart. The characters are the same, yet the plot has been so well-planned and executed with such deadly accuracy, it sucked me right in.

It's a lot slower than BLACKBIRDS. By page 200, I was asking myself what the hell Wendig was doing. By page 300, everything was forgiven and I was applauding at his masterful plotting skills. Once again with MOCKINGBIRD, Wendig shows why he has the right to dispense writing advice. Because he's a consummate professional that leaves no stone unturned to create his own alchemy in storytelling.
Profile Image for J.F. Penn.
Author 45 books2,141 followers
August 30, 2012
Chuck Wendig can seriously write a great metaphor - his language is stunning and original and I'm always re-reading lines to try and fathom the layers. This is definitely horror with a suitably violent and nasty serial killer hunting young girls, mutilating and murdering them. Miriam Black, with her visions of how people die tries to change the fates of the girls she meets by hunting down the killers. But is her gift, or curse, beginning to twist her mind into madness? It's hard to tell as Miriam is one crazy chick, but a brilliant character. There's kick-ass action scenes as well as psychological weirdness. Highly recommended, but don't read last thing at night ...
Profile Image for Emilie.
167 reviews40 followers
March 30, 2020
This was an..... interesting read. It was very gruesome (like I mean on the level of black dahlia murder gruesome). It was also written by a man in the POV as a woman, which I had a problem with for basically the entire story. He made Miriam a crude, sex-crazed, bad-mouthed killer, which is not really my favorite type of character. I did think the story line was interesting.

I accidentally read the second book before I read the first, but luckily it was easy for get into the swing of things and learn all of the characters in the second book.

I read this for the Charms “white cover” part of the O.W.L.s challenge.
Profile Image for Kate Sherrod.
Author 5 books80 followers
October 7, 2012
Sometimes, I think Chuck Wendig has been spying on my own inner dialogue as I scowl and huff and sigh my way through my meatspace life. Yes, my little chickadees, it's true: Miriam Black's outside voice sounds a lot like my inside voice. And I bet I'm not alone.

I really, really loved Wendig's first Miriam Black novel, Blackbirds in all of it's cursing, seedy, desperate glory. I've been sort of obsessively peeking at my inbox lately that I might pounce the second September's drop of Angry Robot eBook goodness was available to load onto my gadgets. And, probably because of WorldCon, those books dropped early. Hooray for WorldCon (which I didn't think I'd be saying since I can't be there)!

This second installment picks off perhaps a year after the events of Blackbirds. Miriam is trying to do the Ruby in Paradise thing (except on the Jersey Shore instead of in Florida) and failing spectacularly. She and her trucker sweetheart/frienemy share an Airstream in a seriously crappy trailer park near the the tourist dustcatcher store where she works selling "tampons and hermit crabs" and he's gone a lot on runs. And one day, as you know it will, this hard-won bit of flimsy white trash happiness (?) goes all to hell. And the "batshit highway witch" is set loose on the world again. Hooray!

This time her secret, that physical contact with another person shows her the exact manner and time of that person's death, is less of a secret: a malign supernatural entity she has named the Tresspasser that mocked and threatened her in interludes in Blackbirds is back, her trucker friend knows, and so do select people that he decides to tell, people who would pay good money to learn what Miriam can tell them.

It all seems so innocuous at first, but this is Chuck Wendig, who loves to torment his most famous creation to date, and who might just appear to have a bone or two to pick with a certain fringe element of a certain political party that has been accused of waging a war on a certain gender. Think Red State meets every shocksploitation bad girls in prison/school film ever made. But with psychic powers.

Yeah, it gets pretty icky and uncomfortable, and may just warrant a trigger warning. But don't let that stop you unless it's really, really, really a problem for you, because it would cause you to miss out on some quality stuff. Wendig can freaking write, delivering a potent mix of philosophical speculations on free will versus destiny, backbred inwoods shenanigans, kickass action, and moments of surprising tenderness that last just long enough for the reader to catch her breath before plunging back into the ick. Knowing full well that the plunge is what she wants, because what happens neeeeeeeext?!?

There is also one of the most effective red herring gotchas I've encountered in a book in a long time. Well done.

My only complaint about Mockingbird is not really the fault of the author or the book solely, but I still have it: with all of the amazing poetry out there (and there is a lot, just ask me about it sometime), why do genre novelists always have to quote from, if not build a whole book around, the same poem all the time? I'm talking, of course, about T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland". Yes, it's a fine poem, allusive and elusive, full of portentous lines and strangeness and passages that make you shiver. But so are lots and lots and lots of other poems. And no, I'm not talking about Yeats' "Second Coming" either (and yeah, that gets a nod, as does Poe's "The Raven" though the latter gets not so much a nod as a dig-in-your-ribs, whistle and point. Because the birds are a motif, dontcha know). That's possibly even more overused. Fictioneers, if you want to show off your erudition, or just lend depth to your work, find something new to quote from, would you? Like, say, Hart Crane? Check out some Hart Crane. And he didn't even muck around with free verse. Just a thought.

OK, rant over. But think about it, okay? And you, dear readers go read some poetry. Or at least, if you're not offended by cascading waterfalls of profanity, go look Chuck Wendig's book trailer (of sorts) for these books can be found here at his blog. He's taken all of the hilarious profanity from Blackbirds and Mockingbird and turned them into a sort of poetry recitation of his very own. Because he could.

And you know what else he could do? Write another Miriam Black novel or two. Ahem.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
350 reviews9 followers
October 10, 2013
There is something so compelling about Miriam Black. She is prickly and damaged but so appealing, so very honest, yet so reluctant to pursue her new calling.

Miriam suffered a traumatic event in her teen years that left her with a special ability. If she touches someone skin to skin, she can see that person's death. She can see how they die and she knows how soon it will happen. This "gift" has now indicated the presence of a serial killer and Miriam has been led to believe that the only way to stop the killer is to kill him.

Miriam gets pretty beat up in this book. I am amazed that she isn't now brain damaged from the beatings she took. But the ending had her back on the road again, traveling with an elderly gentleman and looking for her next "job". Louis, her lover and protector, was in this book too, but their relationship is a weird one and I am not sure what will come of it in the future.

If you haven't read the the first book, "Blackbirds", that's probably okay, I think this one could stand on it's own. But all the same, read the first one, too, it was awesome! And the next one, "The Cormorant", will be out in December 2013. Guess what just went to the top of MY Christmas list...
Profile Image for Jo Anne B.
235 reviews18 followers
August 29, 2012
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

"Death by lungbarf". This was my favorite line in the book amongst many, many other awesome one liners like, "What the fuck's a Trapper Keeper?"

Wow do I love this author! I laughed so much during this book. The way Wendig throws these in your face one liners in, it just gets me everytime. Miriam is one of my favorite characters of all time. She is so, so messed up and bad ass. I can't get enough of her and this author. I loved Blackbirds and I was afraid that this second book would not live up to the first. Thank God it did! It was such fabulous entertainment. I could read books like this all day. But poor Louis. Man did he ever pick the wrong woman to "protect". Miriam is one tough bitch. I don't know how he isn't afraid of losing body parts just being near Miriam.

We get more of a background on Miriam's family and it helps add more perspective as to why she is the way she is. This plot of this story was very engaging and suspenseful. All of the bird references are interspersed perfectly in this book you start thinking everything has a connotation of a bird to it.

I can't wait to read more of Miriam and Louis's tail (eh, bird's have tails, see!).
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