Written by: Chuck Wendig
Mockingbird is the follow up to author Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds, in it we return to the life of protagonist Miriam Black who is trying to avoid her ability/curse to see people’s deaths by touching them, by working at a souvenir store. After an incident in the store, she realizes she can no longer live a domesticated life with Louis, also from Blackbirds. She learns of a teacher at a remote girl’s boarding school who will pay her for a little insight into her death and while there learns there’s a serial killer coming for many of the girls at the school. Miriam must find who is going to commit these future murders and save these girls, but a storm is coming and the river is rising and nothing is going to be easy.
I basically decided to check out Mockingbird after reading a brief description of it. I didn’t know it was the second book in a series, or anything more than a brief synopsis. But I was quickly sucked in. I loved Miriam Black from page one. A twenty something who’s had a real rough time and is just trying to live her life with this horrible thing interfering and ghosts of the past weighing her down. From page one she’s written incredibly dynamic and shockingly real. In a book that is packed with heavy supernatural plot elements such as this one, it’s important to get some realism in and Chuck Wendig has done that. He really hit the nail on the head here. The actual story itself feels like just a way to explore a whole group of eerily well written characters. You will fall in love with Miriam and you will cheer for her, even though she’s not always likable. Her trying to discover herself in the midst of investigating crimes that won’t happen for years to come is an interesting dynamic and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As I mentioned above, I did not read Blackbirds but I had no trouble following at any point in Mockingbird. The relevant information that follows from that book is laid out pretty well in the beginning chapters and I didn’t feel like I needed to go back to know anything. So if you haven’t read Blackbirds, don’t worry about picking this one up (although it will obviously spoil that book for you).
Besides crafting incredible characters, Mockingbird also has a wonderfully rendered world in which it takes place. It’s a dark world that Wendig brings to life with vivid detail. There’s a wonderful overall tone to the book. And if you love horror, well you’ve got it. Mockingbird has more than it’s share of violence but there are some scenes that are incredibly brutal and gory. There’s blood splattering this book and it feels good while making you want to look away from the page for a minute.
Overall I highly recommend picking up this incredibly well written work. I blew through it and I’m sure you will too. You won’t want to put it down despite the unwelcoming world of Miriam Black where nothing is pretty. It’s out tomorrow, August 28th at book stores everywhere.