Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: Mockingbird

Mockingbird (Miriam Black, #2)Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It all starts with a gun shot. Well, sort of. It starts with the vision of a gunshot.

Chuck Wendig's Mockingbird takes place a year after Miriam's introduction in the novel Blackbird. She's working a crappy job scanning groceries for tourists and living in an Airstream surrounded by meth addicts. Her off/on/it's-effing-complicated paramour Louis is constantly on the road. In other words, Miriam isn't happy. Then she gets fired and touches her boss's hand. Enter fate's worse enemy.

Wendig's second novel featuring Miriam is better than his second, a considerable feat considering how much I enjoyed the last one. This time around he focuses the story on her new found talent at changing lives by taking lives. While the main story arc starts in the typical, "This person contacted me for help," fashion, it doesn't take anything away. In fact, the main plot adds to Miriam's characterization exponentially.

While she's still the foul mouthed highway rat that we all know and love, she's matured. Miriam tries really hard at certain points to be less abrasive than she usually is, but fails when she gets irritated or under duress. Wendig has balanced her growth out nicely because she's recognizable as the character that the reader has fallen in love with but has "matured" past scavenging off others. (It's hard to use the words "mature" and "Miriam" in the same sentence.)

This second installment also has stronger paranormal qualities than the first novel. Since Miriam's power has developed, so has her connection with those that seemingly fuel her ability. Miriam has dubbed this twisted little clue giver as The Trespasser, and "it" fits well into the world that Wendig has developed for the reader.

Like the first book, this one is written in third person present, which lends an effective urgency to the language. The shortness of his sentences and brevity of the scenes give it an almost running cadence that is engrossing yet comfortable to read. If you can stand abrasive, volatile language and truly disturbing "images," than check out this book and the first.

In the words of the layman: "This book is freaking awesome! You have to read it!"

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