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"Balls-to-the-wall, take-no-prisoners storytelling at its best." - Bill Cameron, author of County Line
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Chuck Wendig is equal parts novelist, screenwriter, and game designer - A.K.A. an all-around "freelance penmonkey." You can probably find him on the side of a highway holding a sign, "Will Write For Booze." He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with wife, dog, and infant heir to the Wendig throne. You can find him dispensing dubious writing advice at his blog, terribleminds.com. Chuck was nominated for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He's the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog, terribleminds.com, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.
I adored the squirming rank guts out of Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds - its spiteful arch protagonist Miriam Black with her malign visions of death, its black comedy, its psychopathic bad guys. I loved its bruised and buried but still-beating sense of hope unquashed and fate defied.
The sequel, Mockingbird, somehow manages to find darker places to drag poor Miriam. Unable to face the compromises of an ordinary existence, she reluctantly takes an opportunity to make some semi-legitimate money from her unfortunate affliction - the ability to see how a person she touches will die, in precise and vivid detail. But Miriam being Miriam, she sees more than she wants to and finds a way to make a bad situation worse. Before long she is trying to save the students of a "school for bad girls" from a very sick serial killer. Worse than that, she's suffering increasingly regular visitations from something dressed up as the ghosts of her past, which may or may not be the thing that gave her the death-visions. And worse than that again, she may have to confront the mother she walked out on years ago.
The actual plot is terrific - a serial killer hunt more tense than a tow cable and twisting like a cut snake - but the real meat of the story is in Miriam's confrontations with what could be a spirit guide or a taunting revenant or her own guilty conscience. Her self-doubt, dark sarcasm and a regular one-two punch of instinctive lying followed by the telling of blunt unpalatable truths keeps friends and allies at arm's length, but she can't avoid the uncomfortable revelations that come out every time she closes her eyes (and even a few times when she's awake).Read more ›
"Power and wisdom are born of trauma." Mockingbird is the story of a young woman who is gifted, if one could say so, with a weird kind of power, a power that feels to her more of a curse than a blessing.
This is the story of Miriam Black, who's a psychic. When she touches somebody she can see how and when he or she is going to die. For quite some time now she's been living in a trailer park with her best friend and occasional lover, one-eyed Louis.
Miriam is a very unhappy woman. She tries hard to adapt in a life that really doesn't suit her. Being normal is not something she can make happen, not when she can sense things the way she does. "She wants to go home. If only she knew what that really meant."
Louis is trying to bring some balance in her life, make her realize that if she tries hard enough she can become happy, or at least, kind-of-happy, but she knows all too well that that's not true and she snaps at him: "You want me to be someone I'm not."
She's sick of her everyday life, so she decides to leave and "commit to her lack of commitment." She's not afraid of the life on the road, she's tough, she can handle any situation; she cannot listen to Louis and his down-to-earth logic and get stack in that place anymore.
The road though is long and the first car that stops to pick her up belongs to no one else but Louis himself. They travel together for awhile, they fight, she gets off the car and then they meet again. And it's exactly then that she's convinced to follow him to a boarding school to meet a teacher, who feels certain that she's going to die soon. The woman is willing to pay Miriam just to tell her if she's right.Read more ›
In certain respects, Stephen King's 'Misery' came to mind as I read this follow-up to 'Blackbirds'. I won't go into detail as to why, exactly, because it's better to read it for yourself. Needless to say, though, bad girls are getting punished by a homicidal lunatic wearing a plague doctor mask, who warbles a disturbing little limerick each time he kills. Being a bird of a feather with these kind of girls, Miriam intends to end his series of slayings before striking again. And believe me, If you liked 'Blackbirds' as I did, then you will likely find this to be an easy and enjoyable sequel to pick up. The style and storytelling carry the same feel, if not improving some on its predecessor.
While 'Blackbirds' is about trying to defy fate, kicking and even raging against it at times, 'Mockingbird' first tries submission, but then a somewhat subdued form of acceptance. Here, Miriam finds that she simply can't tuck death away into a closet to live a more ordinary lifestyle with Louis. It's an itch that has to be scratched, a call that has to be answered. And as she begins to pick up the trail of this serial killer, and has further encounters with the Trespasser, she begins to accept her role as an antithesis to fate, which, in a sense, is almost another form of fate in of itself. But I digress.
Again, if you found 'Blackbirds' a good read, then you will likely feel the same towards 'Mockingbird'. I can readily admit that I expect the third book with eager anticipation, just as I did with this novel after reading 'Blackbirds'. Miriam Black is definitely going places and I intend to come along for the ride.
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