I just finished reading MOCKINGBIRD by Chuck Wendig. I devoured this book in 2 days on my transit commute to and from work. And then at work in between, it was literally all that I could think about. (It’s a damn good thing I work my day job in a kitchen so that me zoning out whilst doing prep work went mostly unnoticed.)
I feel like I’m a little bit late to the Chuck Wendig party — I didn’t know who he was until I found a copy of DOUBLE DEAD at a bookstore and reviewed it for zombie training magazine last year. Like, Chuck Wendig is some sort of awesome author unicorn who only appears to the foulest-mouthed, snarky and most twisted individuals. (As opposed to like a regular unicorn or C.S. Lewis who only appears to clean-minded virgins or whatever.)
I’ve been staring at this book sitting on my shelf since Boxing Day 2012. Yes, that’s right. BOXING DAY. (If you’re not Canadian, that’s December 26 and it’s like our Canadian version of Black Friday where everything goes on sale for various degrees of discount, but it’s never as insane as what the States gets. Our prices are never THAT good.)
I got gift certificates for books for Christmas and I’m not one to wait to spend that, so I braved the frostbite, moose and insane shopping crowds and headed out to my local bookstore.
Of course, they didn’t have any of the other books I was looking for — which includes Blackbirds, also by Chuck Wendig, and which is actually the first book in the Miriam Black series — but I found the lone copy of MOCKINGBIRD and I held onto that puppy like a life preserver.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure which was the first one in the series, so I hit up twitter to ask the man himself. The most gracious and wise and handsome and brilliant Chuck Wendig answered me and said that MOCKINGBIRD is actually the second in the series but can be read without reading the first one.
I replied with a single word: SOLD. (And then thanked him. Because I’m Canadian and that’s what we do, eh?)
He wasn’t joking around either, folks.
I jumped right into the story when I started reading it at 7 o’clock [yesterday] in the morning as I climbed bleary-eyed onto my crappy local public transit.
I was immediately hooked. Holy shit.
Right from page 1 I was sucked into the world of Miriam Black. Miriam is foul-mouthed and vulgar and sarcastic in just the right amounts to keep me from getting (my delicate Canadian sensibilities) offended.
(Pfft, if you know me you know how mothereffing hard it is to offend me. I only censor myself to keep from offending YOU. That’s right, you. Ya’ spoilsport.)
Miriam Black is the perfect balance of hero and anti-hero. She’s caustic and angry and a reluctant heroine with psychic powers that manifest only the first time she touches someone… And y’know, she sees how the people she touches are gonna die.
BUT HOLY SHIT.
We discover that there’s a serial killer targeting girls in a school for juvenile delinquents (which, by the way, is where I ended up right before getting to work on the first day and damn it all if I didn’t work twice as fast as I normally do JUST SO THAT I COULD GET ONTO THE BUS HOME AS FAST AS I COULD TO READ THE REST OF IT!) and all of a sudden we’re thrust into a novel that is the most vulgar and profane episode of Criminal Minds but with a way more complex plot, oh and the hero has those psychic powers.
MOCKINGBIRD is a brilliant blend of urban fantasy (although I dunno if I’d really call it that since the psychic powers thing doesn’t normally fall into what I consider ‘urban fantasy’ but whatever) crime, pulpy noir wonderfulness. This book grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go. I’m left whimpering on the floor and wanting more.
Good thing I still have to go find BLACKBIRDS somewhere so that I can read it.
I give MOCKINGBIRD a 5/5… um… 5 gored-to-death-by-a-Canadian-Moose out of 5? I seriously need to come up with a better rating system.
Point is: 5/5 WOULD RECOMMEND.
Get it. Read it. Love it.
Or you know, tell me what you thought of it in the comments?