Sunday, January 14, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - January 14, 2018

Happy birthday to me!!!!!!!!  Hey it's my birthday as I write this (not as you read this) so using this as my excuse for having just 1 book to tell you about. It's really not an excuse as I read/listen to other books but want/need to tell save those for another time. So enough with my explanations...what did I read?

As this the only book I read that I am going to tell you about you get a larger cover image.  Lucky you!

The Raptor & the Wren is book 5 of the Miriam Black series by Chuck Wendig. While Miriam tries to figure out how to change her fate, fate decides to throw Miriam a few more curve balls. The story starts with Miriam back in her mother's Florida house, drinking too much and ripping off seniors as they lay dying. The former FBI agent Grosky turns up on the scene to let Miriam in on a few secrets and home truths. There is a copycat killer out there and they look just like Miriam, and kill just like Miriam and they are after Miriam. Time is running out. Miriam needs to figure out how to change her fate to save Louis, stop the killer and rid herself of her curse. Time is not on her side and it seems no one else is either, not even the Trespasser. It's a race against time and it's all up to Miriam.

The Raptor & the Wren is another fast paced instalment of the Miriam Black series. Miriam goes from one crisis to another and I really wish Wendig would give Miriam a break! Miriam's salvation seems almost as unachievable to the reader as it does to Miriam. There is just one catastrophe after another and I was almost convinced Miriam wouldn't make it to the last page.

In true Miriam Black fashion this book is geared towards fans of horror, which I have to admit I am not. I don't mind the odd gruesome scene if it enhances the plot or the characterisation. In the case of book 5 the horror was almost too much. There were a couple of chapters where I had to stop reading as it was either too early or too late for this much gore. However, I will give Wendig amongst the blood, viscera and horror there are passages that are just short of poetic:
Darkness settles into the trees all around her. Oaks and pines. Thoughts of Louis stalk her like prey, and she has to keep ducking and running away from her own brain lest those thoughts catch her, pin her, consume her.
This is the reason why I continue with this series. I love how Wendig turns a genre I normally turn away from into something accessible and more beautiful in the process. I would be wrong however, to try to convince you that this is a book that you will look forward to reading. It isn't. It is hard and cruel and I'm almost glad that Vultures will be the 6th and final book in the series. I don't think either Miriam or I can take anymore!

That's it for me this week. More to come so drop by next week to read what I have been reading. Until then Happy Reading.

The Raptor & the Wren
Miriam Black 5
Saga Press, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback, Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

In the fifth book of the “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) Miriam Black series, Miriam continues her journey to find answers on how to change her fate and begin to make right some of what she’s done wrong.

Armed with new knowledge that suggests a great sacrifice must be made to change her fate, Miriam continues her quest and learns that she must undo the tragedies of her past to move forward.

One such tragedy is Wren, who is now a teen caught up in a bad relationship with the forces that haunt Miriam and has become a killer, just like Miriam. Black must try to save the girl, but what’s ahead is something she thought impossible…


Miriam Black 1
Saga Press, September 15, 2015
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover, 288 pages
eBook May 5, 2015

The first book in the Miriam Black series: “A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant” (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future.

Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you—skin to skin contact—and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

“Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk” (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.

Miriam Black 2
Saga Press, October 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover, 336 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

Miriam Black is trying to live an ordinary life, keeping her ability to see how someone dies hidden...until a serial killer crosses her path. This is the second book in the Miriam Black series.

“Visceral and often brutal, this tale vibrates with emotional rawness that helps to paint a bleak, unrelenting picture of life on the edge.” —Publishers Weekly

Miriam is trying. Really, she is. But this whole “settling down thing” just isn’t working out.

She lives on Long Beach Island all year in a run-down, double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a checkout girl. And her relationship with Louis—who’s on the road half the time in his truck—is subject to the mood swings 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 stopped up in a tiny bottle. Then comes the one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

The Cormorant
Miriam Black 3
Saga Press, February 23, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, 352 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

In the third installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief” to “killer.”

Hired by a wealthy businessman, Miriam heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at: knowing when people are going to die. In her vision she sees the businessman murdered by another’s hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for her:

She’s expected…

Miriam Black 4
Saga Press, November 28, 2017
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 28, 2017

In the next installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam heads to the southwest in search of another psychic who may be able to help her understand her curse, but instead finds a cult of domestic terrorists and the worst vision of death she’s had yet.

Miriam is becoming addicted to seeing her death visions, but she is also trying out something new: Hope. She is in search of another psychic who can help her with her curse, but instead she experiences her deadliest vision to date in this latest “visceral and often brutal” (Publishers Weekly) series that is “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews).


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