Expected Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Angry Robot
Author’s Website: http://terribleminds.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Miriam Black
Series Best Read In Order: Would work well as a standalone
Steam Level: Chaste
Romanceaholic’s Pet Peeves: Forced Nudity, No Happily Ever After
Romanceaholic’s Favorite Tropes: Tortured Heroine
Miriam is trying. Really, she is.
But this whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis–who’s on the road half the time in his truck–is subject to the piss and vinegar 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 stoppered up in a tiny bottle.
Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.
What Worked For Me:
- This never counts for or against a book’s final rating, but seriously, check out that awesome cover. How can you not love it?
- There’s such a cinematic quality to Chuck Wendig’s books that I adore. Not only could every single scene in the book easily make it onto the Big Screen, but there are no real throw-away characters (not even the ones that get thrown away). Every character mentioned adds something valuable to the storyline, even if they’re just a random customer at the supermarket, or a teen spoken to in passing.
- I love Miriam. Foul-mouthed, violent, damaged, and in many ways, surprisingly vulnerable, she’s a rather complex character, and I really enjoyed getting more information on her background, as well as watching her grow with her power. Even though she’s still got a penchant for cursing and crudity, she somehow managed to come across as more sympathetic in this book than in the previous one, and I for one think it suited her nicely.
- It was fun seeing Miriam try to fit in to “normal life”, even if it turned disastrous.
- It was also fun seeing her vulnerability, especially where Louis was concerned.
- I also enjoyed getting Louis’ Point of View several times. In the first installment, I don’t recall ever getting to experience Louis as anything outside of Miriam’s own experiences, and I enjoyed experiences his frustration and confusion first-hand.
- The inclusion of more paranormal elements (outside of just Miram’s psychic visions) was awesome — in my opinion this was a very good choice on the part of the author, as it helped to tie in the weirdness and the unexplainable to more than just Miram’s tragic past.
- Holy hell that twist!
- I really enjoyed the villain in this book. I can’t say much more as it would be a major spoiler, but I not only enjoyed the villain’s identity, but also the way that their identity was revealed.
- As always, I’m a total sucker for when major characters get the stuffing beaten out of them. There’s just something I enjoy about watching protagonists suffer.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- I found it a bit hard to believe for a long time that Miriam would be allowed on school property, especially after her earlier escapades. While it was sort of explained later on, it still threw me off at the time.
- I wasn’t thrilled with the very end, though I’m sincerely hoping that what a certain character told Miriam turns out to be true.
- I have to wait until 2013 for the sequel.
Just as dark and gritty as the first book, BLACKBIRDS, this book is certainly not my standard fare here on the blog. There’s blood, violence, gore, foul language, an almost abnoxious heroine, a rather reluctant hero, weird (and gory) psychic visions, and most of all, no sex, romance, or any sort of Happily Ever After.
I was a big fan of the first book in the series, and this one was even better. I do think that it would stand well on its own so new readers shouldn’t worry about being left behind, though I do suggest reading the first book just because it was awesome.
Lawbreaking, violence, serious injury, vulgarity, deeply seated family issues, horrific visions, and life-changing decisions abound, and there’s no denying that there are few limits on what the author puts both the characters and the reader through.
I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Miriam Black Series Reading Order: