Miriam Black is tired of fate. She is tired of her “gift” (her ability to see how someone will die upon physical contact). She left everything she loved, well mostly just Louis, and she once again tried to run away from herself. In Blackbirds and Mockingbird, Miriam’s life became an experiment in how to change a person’s fate. So far, there have not been any positive results.
When the book opens, we see a young man being “saved” by Miriam. The man is in a bad neighborhood, very late at night, using an ATM. He is held up by young kid. Miriam shows up and shoots the kid and, being Miriam, takes the guys money. She wants to test out her theory, that one life is exchangeable for another life in the eyes of fate. The young man gets to live his life, the kid doesn’t. But the murder haunts her, yes she was stopping a murder but for a kid to want to murder someone, what was going on in that life? What had happened to get him to that point?
Shortly after the killing, she is evicted by her housemates, after not paying rent for several months. She has nowhere to go and no money to get there. A job leads her to Florida. The job, tell a man how he will die, get paid $5,000, move along. But it turned out that the job was a set up by an old foe that wanted Miriam within reach.
This is the best Miriam Black book so far. Wendig has no hesitance in torturing Miriam. There were points in this book that I found myself anxious about her safety; I just want the poor girl to catch a break. Though, I have to imagine that the author has a blast writing this character. Miriam has such a desire to make things right, but always seems to get in the way of her good intentions. I’m very excited about the promise of what is to come in the fourth book.
Favorite chapter title: The Sunshine state can go fuck itself
The Cormorant was released on December 31st by Angry Robot, please buy at your local independent bookseller.
Find out more about Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds.