My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the third installment of Wendig’s Miriam Black series, Miriam is on her way to Florida, responding to a Craigslist ad offering $5000 if she will tell a wealthy man how he dies. Miriam has a gift, or a curse depending on how you look at it. If she touches you, skin to skin, she can see how you die. Kicked out of the apartment she’d been living in for not being able to pay her share, she really has nothing better, so she heads to Florida, already a land of mixed emotions for Miriam. Her mother, who she has been estranged from for years, is there. So is Louis, the man she loves and has not seen since the last book. When she arrives at her employer’s house, she finds the whole job was a set-up to deliver a message to her in her vision of the man’s death. (She does get her 5 grand, though.) It seems an old acquaintance has resurfaced. One who has a special gift of his own, and no love for Miriam or those she cares about.
This is another fast-paced, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating look into Miriam Black’s dark and twisted world. Miriam has come a long way from taking advantage of her gift for gain and now tries to prevent the deaths of the innocent people she sees in her visions. She’s also haunted by the ghosts of those that have died, either at her hand or because of her interference in what was supposed to be. She refers to all of the apparitions as the Trespasser, and it seems that perhaps the message the Trespasser is trying to give her has caught up with her. Miriam is not one to sit back and let nature- or something worse- take its course. And this time it’s personal.
The story is told in alternating sequences of present day and past flashbacks. Many chapters are short, some no more than a couple pages. The writing style is what you expect from Wendig- sometimes choppy, always blunt, and like heading down a steep slope with no brakes. There’s a lot of death and blood and not-so-pretty scenes. Miriam is foul-mouthed and sarcastic. She’s also learning a lot more about herself this time around, maybe a little too much for comfort. But when she cares, she cares deeply and fiercely, and will stop at nothing to make sure she sets things right.
Despite the sometimes very short chapters, this is not necessarily a quick reading book. It borders on horror, and there are strongly disturbing psychological aspects. It is frightening and scary and uplifting and sad and redemptive, and more. It’s 100% Miriam Black.
Available now :
After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here
A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.
A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.
In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.