Chuck Wendig Pulls Out All the Stops

TheCormorant-144dpiThe Cormorant
Chuck Wendig
Angry Robot Books
UK Print
Date: 2nd January 2014
ISBN: 9780857663375 Format: Medium (B-Format) Paperback
R.R.P.: £8.99
North American Print
Date: 31st December 2013
ISBN: 9780857663382 Format: Mass-Market Paperback
R.R.P.: US$7.99 / CAN$9.99
Date: 31st December 2013
ISBN: 9780857663399 Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / US$6.99

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a fan of Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series. (Reviewed here and here.) Frankly, I find it one of the most compulsively readable series in any genre.

Things take a darker turn in this one. That’s saying something since the whole premise of the series, the hook upon which all things are hung, is Miriam’s ability to see how anyone she touches is going to die. Until now, Miriam has mainly used her abilities to rob people at the time of their deaths.

This time she’s graduated to killer. It isn’t working out as well as she’d hoped. Granted, she’s only killed to save someone’s life, but it’s taken a toll on her psyche.

Miriam is on her own again, and she ends up in Florida, lured their by a lucrative opportunity. When she touches the man she’s about to make a deal with, she sees his murder a year later. In the vision, she sees a message the killer has left her.

Someone knows about her power and has plans for her.

Wendig has created a dark, at times bleak world in the Miriam Black series. He ramps things up in this one. It’s more violent, more profane, and more engrossing. It’s like the two previous books have been warm-ups for this one. Most of the story is flashback, as Miriam is being interrogated by two people when the book opens.

Miriam learns some things about herself and her mother was well. She becomes more comfortable with her abilities.

One of the things I’ve admired about the series is the restraint Wendig shows regarding Miriam’s visions of death. He’s not given in to the temptation to have a “death” scene every other chapter. In the past, Wendig has used this device sparingly, especially as the story in each book develops. The stories are stronger for it.

He continues the same practice here, only this time Miriam ends up in a crowded nightclub at one point. In spite of her best intentions, she ends up coming in contact with a large number of people in rapid succession. The result is a machine gun barrage of visions. Because Wendig has not overdone the visions, the scene was all the more powerful.

The Cormorant isn’t the last word on Miriam Black. There’s another book coming, and I’m looking forward to it.

One thought on “Chuck Wendig Pulls Out All the Stops

  1. Pingback: Miriam Black Is Back: The Cormorant Is Out Now « terribleminds: chuck wendig

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