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Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig


Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig

One of my favorite authors has a book coming out later this month. I'm speaking of Chuck Wendig and The Raptor & the Wren.

A bit of background - the first Miriam Black novel, Blackbirds, was published in 2012 by Angry Robot who subsequently published 2 additional Miriam Black novels. The series was picked up by Saga Press who reissued the first 3 novels with new covers and has published the 4th Miriam Black novel, Thunderbird.

Later this month the 5th Miriam Black novel, The Raptor & the Wren, will be published by Saga. The final book in the series is titled Vultures. More on Vultures in the future.

For the completists among you, there is a Miriam Black short story in Three Slices along with stories by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne.


I asked Chuck "What are your thoughts on the impending publication of Book 5?"

Chuck:  Writing the penultimate book in a series is tough -- VULTURES is the sixth and final book and is out in January 2019 -- because you're setting up so much and pointing to the crest of the next hill from the crest of THIS hill. But to do it in a way where it's not just SETUP is necessary -- this book is very consequential for Miriam and has, let's just go with, a lot of twists and tests for her character." 

Find Chuck at terribleminds.com and on Twtter and Facebook.


Here is a look at the entire Miriam Black series so far. And look for Melanie's review of The Raptor & the Wren soon.



The Raptor & the Wren
Miriam Black 5
Saga Press, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback, Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
In the fifth book of the “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) Miriam Black series, Miriam continues her journey to find answers on how to change her fate and begin to make right some of what she’s done wrong.

Armed with new knowledge that suggests a great sacrifice must be made to change her fate, Miriam continues her quest and learns that she must undo the tragedies of her past to move forward.

One such tragedy is Wren, who is now a teen caught up in a bad relationship with the forces that haunt Miriam and has become a killer, just like Miriam. Black must try to save the girl, but what’s ahead is something she thought impossible…




Previously

Blackbirds
Miriam Black 1
Saga Press, September 15, 2015
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover, 288 pages
eBook May 5, 2015

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
The first book in the Miriam Black series: “A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant” (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future.

Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you—skin to skin contact—and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

“Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk” (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.




Mockingbird
Miriam Black 2
Saga Press, October 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover, 336 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
Miriam Black is trying to live an ordinary life, keeping her ability to see how someone dies hidden...until a serial killer crosses her path. This is the second book in the Miriam Black series.

“Visceral and often brutal, this tale vibrates with emotional rawness that helps to paint a bleak, unrelenting picture of life on the edge.” —Publishers Weekly

Miriam is trying. Really, she is. But this whole “settling down thing” just isn’t working out.

She lives on Long Beach Island all year in a run-down, double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a checkout girl. And her relationship with Louis—who’s on the road half the time in his truck—is subject to the mood swings Miriam brings to everything she does. It just isn’t going well.

Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability—to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them—in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stopped up in a tiny bottle. Then comes the one bad day that turns it all on her ear.




The Cormorant
Miriam Black 3
Saga Press, February 23, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, 352 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
In the third installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief” to “killer.”

Hired by a wealthy businessman, Miriam heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at: knowing when people are going to die. In her vision she sees the businessman murdered by another’s hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for her:

She’s expected…




Thunderbird
Miriam Black 4
Saga Press, November 28, 2017
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 28, 2017

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
In the next installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam heads to the southwest in search of another psychic who may be able to help her understand her curse, but instead finds a cult of domestic terrorists and the worst vision of death she’s had yet.

Miriam is becoming addicted to seeing her death visions, but she is also trying out something new: Hope. She is in search of another psychic who can help her with her curse, but instead she experiences her deadliest vision to date in this latest “visceral and often brutal” (Publishers Weekly) series that is “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews).





Three Slices
    Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig
May 5, 2015
eBook, 166 pages
Illustrated by Galen Dara

Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck Wendig
Three Slices presents three novellas by modern fantasy writers:

A Prelude to War by Kevin Hearne
After an old friend is murdered in retaliation for his mercenary strikes against the oldest vampires in the world, Atticus O'Sullivan must solicit the aid of another old friend in Ethiopia if he's going to have a chance of finishing a war he never wanted. Meanwhile, Granuaile MacTiernan starts a private war of her own against Loki, the lord of lies, and if it brings Ragnarok early—so be it.

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys by Delilah S. Dawson
The number one rule of the circus? Don't kill your volunteers, even accidentally. That's how young magician Criminy Stain ends up on the run in a forest, where he meets a beautiful woman holding a bucket of blood. But is Merissa the answer to his prayers-- or the orchestrator of his ruin?

Interlude: Swallow by Chuck Wendig
Miriam Black is back. Miriam is tired of her curse and finally believes she knows how to be rid of her ability to see when and how other people die. She follows a lead to the mountains of Colorado, where she believes she sees signs of a serial killer she thought she already killed. (Set between THE CORMORANT and THUNDERBIRD.)

Review: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig


The Cormorant
Author:  Chuck Wendig
Series:  Miriam Black 3
Publisher:  Angry Robot Books
   December 31, 2013 (US/Canada and eBook)
   January 2, 2014 (UK)
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook,
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780857663382 (print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

Review: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
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 her client die by another’s hand – and on the wall, written in blood, is a message just for Miriam.

She’s expected…

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Plying Her Trade | Inevitable | Touch of Death | No More! ]



Melanie's Thoughts

In The Cormorant, Miriam Black's third story, Chuck Wendig ramps up the action and the tension for the reader. The story starts with Miriam in custody but I didn't know who or why they wanted her. Wendig uses Miriam's custody as the means for telling her story...and boy it is a doozy! Miriam finds herself in Florida on a job to 'see' a client's death but instead she saw a message....a message for her written in the client's blood. It's obvious someone wants her in town and Miriam isn't sure how she is going to get out of this mess. Miriam's mother now lives in Florida and Miriam decides to pay a visit while she is there. Miriam discovers a new and different side to her uber religious mother. Just as she starts to think her life couldn't get any scarier she sees her mother's death in which there is another horrific message from someone from her past. Time is ticking and she hasn't much time to stop the hand of fate.

Miriam is one of those purely unlikeable characters that you just can't help but to cheer for. She is foul mouthed, unrepentant and basically a bit of a 'hot mess'. She stumbles (usually because she has had too much to drink) from one disaster to another and in The Cormorant there are lots of disasters for her to get embroiled in. I thought it was interesting how Wendig had Miriam tell her story while she was in custody. It was a tiny bit confusing at first as there were virtually no clues as to why Miriam had been apprehended or whether or not she was being held by the police, the FBI or the mob. The story also moves from past to present or near present rather seamlessly so I really had to pay attention to make sure I wasn't missing something that would be pivotal to the plot later on. There were a few times when I thought that the plot was a bit dis-jointed but it became clear as the story progressed that Wendig used certain events to develop Miriam's character. Miriam grows as a person and as a character through the story. She continues to learn both the positive and extremely destructive consequences of changing the fate of the person she sees in her visions. She also learns that she is not alone in the world with weird and disturbing powers.

I enjoy Wendig's writing style and really enjoy the Miriam Black series. While gory, gruesome and intense the series just keeps getting better and better. Wendig keeps the reader on their toes throughout The Cormorant as this instalment is action packed from the very start to the very end and has a number of different stories that all culminate into the overall plot. In each review of this series I am always tempted to say that the Miriam Black series is not for the faint hearted but in the case of The Cormorant I really mean it. This instalment veers closer to horror than its urban fantasy roots. There is even an added bonus with this series - check out the covers by Joey Hi-Fi! Endless hours can be spent picking out all the hidden images the covers hold. How many things can you see? This is an excellent series but you really need to start at the beginning with Blackbirds. If you like unlike-able characters, a well executed plot and don't mind a bit of murder and mayhem then this series has it all.


Spotlight on the Miriam Black Series by Chuck WendigThe Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig May Be A TV Show Congratulations Post - May 10, 2014Review: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig

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