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Showing posts tagged: Mockingbird click to see more stuff tagged with Mockingbird
Mon
Sep 3 2012 5:30pm

Earlier this year, Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds took me completely by surprise. Initially attracted by Joey Hi-Fi’s gorgeous cover illustration, I was quickly sucked into the story of Miriam Black, an opportunistic young drifter whose unique curse/gift allows her to see the exact time and circumstances of the deaths of the people she touches. She mainly uses this mysterious skill to loot the occasional bit of cash from the soon-to-be-deceased, allowing her to stay in motels and keep enough booze on hand to numb her many personal demons... until one day she sees one particularly gruesome future death scene in which the victim’s last words are her own name.

As much as I hate to see or use the phrase “compulsively readable” in reviews, in the case of Blackbirds it’s applicable as it’s ever going to be: a unique, tightly written novel you just can’t put down until you’ve read every last dark, gory detail. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time to rectify the situation because this month, mercifully quick on the heels of Blackbirds, Chuck Wendig already delivers its sequel, Mockingbird. The further adventures of Miriam Black, wrapped in yet another stunning Joey Hi-Fi cover? Well, “must-buy” is another one of those phrases I really don’t like much, but in this case...

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Wed
Jul 1 2009 1:27pm

Sean Stewart is a brilliant writer of the kind of fantasy that takes place in the real world, just out of the corner of your eye. By “real world” I mean the real world where people work in bars and get fired and fix up their cars and take baked goods to funerals. There’s nothing glamourous about Stewart’s worlds, except for the magic—and his magic tends to be a little seductive and a little scary and nothing any sane person would want to be close to.

Mockingbird (Small Beer Press) is one of his best books. It’s set in Houston, and it’s about a woman who was ridden by voodoo gods, who dies before the first page, and the very different legacies she leaves her three daughters. It’s a bit like a fairy-tale and a bit like a mainstream novel of family, and it was nominated for the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award and it’s just incredibly powerful. It starts:

When you get down to the bottom of the bottle, as Momma used to say, this is the story of how I became a mother. I want that clear from the start. Now, it’s true that mine was not a typical pregnancy. There was some magic mixed up in there, and a few million dollars in oilfield speculation, and some people who died, and some others who wouldn’t stay quite dead. It would be lying to pretend there wasn’t prophecy involved, and an exorcism, and a hurricane, and I scorn to lie. But if every story is a journey, then this is about the longest trip I ever took, from being a daughter to having one.

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