Review: Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

“This might be the last chance to get off the ride. The Miriam Black Experience is about to depart the gate, and you’re either strapped in or left behind. Time to commit, Miss Wiz. The lady or the tiger.”

In Chuck Wendig’s second installment Mockinbirds, Miriam is definitely in a pissy mood. She is totally exhausted of trying to live the normal life that Louis is hoping they can live together. In fact, this ‘living the rat-wheel life’ of working at a shitty store dealing with tourists day in and day out is pushing her over the edge.

The book opens up, introducing the readers to Miriam. A stand-alone novel, the average reader does not have to know the Miriam we loved in Blackbird. This Miriam is wearing black gloves; stifling the visions but is living a numbness sort of life that she hates. She is trying to be normal but Miriam isn’t normal. And having a job and a home address does not a normal person make. And she is tired of faking it.

So when she gets fired she decides to get a quick fix; just a quick looksee at how her boss gets to the grave. And how alive she feels when she pulls those black gloves off makes it totally worth it. Only Miriam isn’t prepared for what she sees and immediately goes into full action mode which entails going face to face with a lunatic.

For those who read book one the rules of the game changed for Miriam. In this book, whether you knew the rules changed or not, the reader learns the cold hard truth. The only way to prevent one death is to offer up another to death’s hands. Eye for an eye kind of thing, if you will only it is a life for a life this time.

Fate is a hard ass stickler when it comes to the rules of death. It’s hungry and it MUST eat. So Miriam gives it what it must have- a soul. When she does she is called into the darkness where she is greeted by…well, she doesn’t exactly know. She once thought it a figment of her imagination but she isn’t sure anymore. For the sake of it all, she calls him the Trespasser.

When she returns to the land of the living, she decides to call it all quits. No more job. No more shitty trailer where she lives alone because Louis is of driving his truck. No more Rat-wheel living for her. She finds the traveler inside her is coming alive and she hits the road. Only Louis shows up on the same road.

Louis tells her about a job; a psychic job. A teacher at a boarding school for girls is certain she is dying and is offering to pay Miriam to learn how she is going to die. After some reluctance, Miriam agrees to take the job. Only the job turns out to be so much more and now she is caught in the clutches of finding a serial killer before they find her.

Though the beginning had me, there were times where I found myself wanting to skim through and past some of the scenes. I can’t say this book held me captive as much as the first in the series but I will say it is definitely a book worth picking up. Wendig is up to his antics again in Mockingbird. Gore, death, and the usual relentless and foul-mouthed female holds up in this second installment. Another book that is not for the easily ‘creeped out by the bumps in the night’ reader, this is another unique read. Tightly woven into a book that will turn your stomach and at the same time have you turning the page to see what happens next, this is another must read.

Verdict: 8.5/10

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Somtimes it does begin with a bang.

nephewsWhen I was three or four my Granny O. had these three small, fat books. They were my favorites and I learned to read using those books. I’ll admit today when I go visit her I always fondly recall those books. Even though she doesn’t live in the same home as when I stayed with her I still go to her house and can’t help but look around the place and I am swept back into time. A time where she would give me flashcards with letters and I would have to put them together to form words. A time where a myriad of Disney Comic books and others drew me into a world of make-believe where princesses could slay the dragons, youth had power and could save the world by believing, and magic closets and lions were something to seek and fall in love with.

She instilled in me a passion for reading and writing. She introduced me to many fantastic voyages. She proved to me that while television and movies were fun diving into a book created many more opportunities and there was no limit to where I could go, who I could meet, and what I could do. While my mother would show me books like Good Night Moon and I loved those special moments of her reading to me, it was my Granny O. who gave me the book Fievel, An American Tale. I loved that movie but seeing the story in words, along with the pictures, it was amazing. I learned that those movies I loved were only a bunch of words and some colorful pictures. fievel

It may sound silly to you, the reader, but for me, that was a pivotal moment of change for me. I was forever altered, never to be the same girl. From that moment I was a writer. I wrote stories. I was only six and seven so my experiences weren’t wide and far but I still ‘wrote what I knew’. I merged characters like Curious George and Shirley Temple and gave them adventures. In fifth and sixth grade I was fascinated with the emergence of AIDS. TV commercials offered advice and info (just call this 800 number!) and learned as much as I could by getting brochures and pamphlets. In sixth grade I wrote a novella (though I would hear that term for years to come) and I won a Young Author’s Award for my story about a young girl whose brother had contacted AIDS and if she didn’t change her life she would likely end up the same. Continue reading