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Miller'sability continues to grow as the "Murder Ballads and Whiskey" series marchesforward. The writing here is as rich and fertile as Black Belt soil. These arecharacters that live beyond the page, and Miller brings his locales to vividlife. His deep and abiding love of music bleeds through every sentence, and notjust in random name-checking or lyric quoting; it shows in the very rhythm andcadence of his work. Just as men like Cash and Lennon poured their souls outthrough their songs, you feel that same dedication to craft in Miller'swriting. His is a talent that's going to continue to mature, and I for one amexcited to be in on the ground floor.
The Revelations of Preston Black isno breezy summer read. It is a book to settle in with, to sip at slowly andsavor (just like the two books before it). Like a good song, you want to justsit back and let this one wash over you.
Blu Gilland, FEARNET
From the Author
About cover designer, Brad Vetter:
After 8 years of designing and printing letterpress work at thelegendary Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee, Brad Vetter hasmoved on to new adventures in the great Midwest. Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest continually operating letterpress shops in thecountry, has played an integral part in Brad's career and aesthetics.Known for their iconic posters, Hatch uses their antique archive of wood and lead type, along with images carved from wood or linoleum to create over 500 new jobs a year. During his tenure at Hatch, Brad spent hisdays creating letterpress posters for some of his favorite bands (Arcade Fire to Wilco) and the coolest companies (Nike to Anthropologie) whileshowing the interns the ropes around the shop. Brad is making his way to the greater Chicagoland area, where he continues to exploringtypography and design through the letterpress printing process.
His personal work walks the thin line between fine art and graphic designwhile exploring ideas of home, nostalgia and adventure. Brad hasparticipated in panels and hosted workshops throughout the US andcontinues to show his work in the US and abroad. He enjoys getting hishands dirty and spreading the gospel of letterpress to the masses.
A true page-turner that held me spellbound. Full of mood and rich characters, brimful with the language of music, and woven in musical language. The author commands and balances lyricism, metaphor, and a hard slamming rock chords as he tears into themes of religion versus spirituality, forgiveness and redemption, legend versus the supernatural, and deep, enduring love. Highly recommended.
I cannot stress how imperative it is that you read this (and the other two in the series) book. I've been anxiously awaiting its release since the moment I closed Miller's last book. His writing is not merely to be read, it is to be experienced.
And experience you will.
From the pages, Preston and Katy's music comes alive. You can hear the songs pouring from between the covers. You find yourself wishing you could be a part of this world, and before you know it you've stepped a muddy bare foot into the pages and you're in the backseat with them barreling down the road with Pauly at the wheel, hoping that you get there in time and praying that you make it back before it is too late (just so long as you don't have to stop to eat at Waffle House along the way). Miller's characters are not just words on paper but truly people you feel you've known your entire life. In the brief moments that you can tear yourself away from reading (which, I promise you, will be difficult), you find yourself wondering where they are, what they are doing, and if everything will be okay.
He gets it all so right - from the music, to the emotion, to the scenery, to the locales and locals, to the magic. It's been a rare phenomenon that I was totally sold on the story that I was reading - and with Miller's writing, I've already bought the farm. He's one of those once in a lifetime authors that you want to tell everyone you know about just so they can become a part of world he's created and share it with you. It's a tremendously magical feat pen on paper.
Not one to ever be at a loss for words, his writing truly leaves me speechless.
Let's face it. Buying a book these days is kind of like negotiating a mine field. There's never been more choice, but there's an awful lot of slush in that pile. I suppose I've become rather cynical, what with all the unedited, rushed-to-print offerings out there. That's probably why whenever I come across a new writer (new to me) who can actually write (like JJ Miller can) well, I suppose I kind of freak out. Just a little. Okay, sometimes a lot!
I had that reaction when I ran into Jason Jack Miller. His book The Devil and Preston Black kept hitting my radar, but for one reason or another I never got around to it (probably because there's always twenty-odd books in my TBR pile and things get lost). But once I did, I was like, what took me so long! Mr. Miller can write! Not only can he write, he knows how to weave a thoroughly entertaining yarn. I loved TDAPB and Revelations didn't disappoint either.
I won't go into the premise - you can get that from the book description here well enough. The writing is swift with just the right dose of atmosphere. This was a really fun book to read, and I can totally see going back to read it at least one more time. I'm already re-reading TDAPB and I'll probably do the same thing with Hellbender.
Preston Black is back for another trip to the crossroads! This is the third book in the Murder Ballads and Whiskey series,and I'm always happy when I get to spend time with these characters. Miller doesn't simply tell a story. He immerses readers in the characters' world. His writing sparks all the senses, so that I hear, taste, smell, see, and feel everything along with the characters.
Preston Black's world is filled with music and the supernatural. The plot is intricate without being overly complicated. Some profound issues are tackled here, all expertly woven into the story.
I enjoyed the two previous books in this series (even if I did read them in the wrong order!) and this third book proved no exception and provided a fitting conclusion to Preston Black's tribulations. As with the previous books the author's love and knowledge of music is apparent and added a lot of interest to the story. The supernatural element derived from American folklore was also very interesting and provided a solid framework for the story. It all revolves around the deal with the Devil, but has a lot of twists and turns along the way.
The star of the book is the lead character and here we have a well defined character who has suffered a lot (and continues to do so), but handles it well and I rooted for him throughout the story. The supporting cast were also strong and provided a well rounded cast. One of tyhe aspects that struck me was how Preston had to rely on his friends and family and that worked well for me. He isn't a hero who can blaze or think his way through everything on his own, but needed help even if he didn't want it.
The quality of the writing is superb with a relaxed style which made it a joy to read. The story is well paced and I read it all in a single sitting - although the fact I was having a day long tattoo sitting helped on that front as well! Still it's not often I get to read a full novel in one go and this was a good one to do so. My only minor complaint was that the conclusion felt a little sudden, but I get that with most books I've read - especially the ones I enjoy.
Overall this is an excellent read and I'd recommend the series to anyone who fancies something a little different with an appreciation for American music and folklore.