Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: The Cormorant (Miriam Black #3)

The CormorantThe Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from "thief" to "killer".

Hired by a wealthy businessman, she heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she's good at, but in her vision she sees him die by another's hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for Miriam. She's expected...

This might be slightly spoilery. I'm not sure. Proceed with caution.

What can I tell you about a book that I waited with bated breath for? A book that I stared longingly at the Amazon page over, dreaming that I could reach through and pluck it our of the sea of ones and zeroes. What can I tell you about the third book of a series that I have come to love so much they sit snuggled up against all my other favorite writers.

I can tell you that this book was the best so far.

It is a year after Mockingbird, and Miriam is crashing with some losers she saved. She has taken it upon herself to save people by taking the life of those who will kill them. After something goes wrong, she decides to leave, but not before getting a lucrative offer to read some rich man's death down at the tippy-tip of Florida. It's there that she learns and old foe is gunning for her, and everyone she's made a connection to on her journey is fair game.

Miriam is still on the surface the Miriam we know; rude and crude with her perpetual cigarette and bottle of booze. But here is why this book is better than the last. We learn more about her. This time the trip is less about trying to just stop Fate. It's more about trying to stop Fate from happening to her. Miriam has always thought she was bad for people, but this book really takes that belief of her's through the wringer. This belief is really challenged when she finally goes to see her mom.

Yes, Miriam and her mom. A moment I was desperately waiting for. It's one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book, and damn. It's hard to read, but satisfying. I knew it wasn't going to be sunshine and rainbows. It isn't. Instead you see the character grow. Miriam has always been a character that we knew was as vulnerable on the inside as she was hard on the outside. All of that starts to shift. Miriam is starting to feel, dare I say it, a bit more complete.

While yes, there is all this fun character growth, it doesn't stop the rocket fast pace, or stop Wendig from giving the reader the thrill ride we expect. I'll just say that we see an old face, and we're treated too one of the most spectacularly disturbing and gory bad guy deaths I've ever read. It's really amazing.

Wendig's writing skills have improved a bit as well (as if that was ever a consideration) proved by his seamless weaving of the timeline. Most of the book is Miriam telling two Feds what went down before they caught up to her. Wendig's always played a little with time in these books, but it is at its most flawless here.

In case you haven't picked up on it by now, I wasn't disappointed.

And in case you haven't gotten the idea about how much I love these books, my reviews of Blackbirds and Mockingbird. So I suggest checking out this horror/thriller/urban fantasy mish-mash of great writing. If anything, do it for Miriam Black.