Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the first Miriam Black book, Blackbirds, which was a good introduction to the unique gift/curse Miriam possesses, of seeing how people will die if she touches their skin. I was a little concerned about reading a second book, because I didn't want her to become routine. When Angry Robot Books offered me an eARC through their Robot Army, I jumped at the chance. It won't come out for the rest of you until October, sorry. But that will give you the chance to read the first book. Get to it!
Miriam is established as a loner in Blackbirds, and for good reason. In Mockingbird, the reader gets deeper insight into her past and the moment she becomes psychic. So much pain! I wasn't expecting to find her where she was in this book, in several situations that require her to be a part of a community, and to connect with other people. Her interactions with the teens and the frumpy teacher were really great, because instead of just being a hard-ass, she was somehow an awkward hard-ass. There was some humor to it, and I'm always caught off guard how Chuck Wendig can pull me from laughing at a subtitle like "fuckity fuck fuck" to being completely grossed out by certain moments involving feathers back to wondering about whether or not Miriam liked Punky Brewster as a kid, all within a matter of moments.
I'm skirting around the major plot line of the book because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. It involves birds and poetry, but don't read butterflies and rainbows into either of those two things. Horrifying, dark, and disturbing. It is Chuck Wendig doing what he does best. I am hoping he someday decides to collaborate with whoever the cover artist is on a graphic novel; wouldn't that be incredible?