Angry Robot Books, out Aug 28 (US); Sep 6 (UK)
Against her better judgement, Miriam agrees to ascertain whether a friend of Louis is as ill as she thinks she is and then has to fight to save multiple lives from the hands of a serial killer…
The second novel featuring Miriam Black, who simply has to touch you to know exactly how and when you’re going to die, lives up to the promise of Blackbirds. Once again, Chuck Wendig tells a powerful tale that you simply won’t want to stop reading once you begin.
There’s a maturity to the writing style this time around that reflects the changes in Miriam herself. As she discovered in Blackbirds, there are ways in which what she sees can be changed, but it requires some drastic action. Although she still has major self-image issues, she’s not as bleak as she was, reflected in a toning-down (but by no means disappearance) of her profanity-laden speech. Wendig maintains the very particular use of descriptive phraseology that characterised the first book – there are similes in here that just wouldn’t occur to most people!
We’ve seen Miriam come up against killers now in both books, and Mockingbird lays some groundwork for future plotlines. It would be good to see her in a complete “no-win” situation – partly because I want to see how Wendig would describe it, and how he’d continue to rewrite the rules to keep Miriam on top.
Verdict: If you loved Blackbirds, you’re going to love this as much, if not more. 9/10