THE CORMORANT by Chuck Wendig

Publisher Angry Robot

Release Date December 31st, 2013

Miriam Black. Just saying her name makes you smile. “Miriam Black.” See? It totally works. Chuck Wendig introduced readers to Ms. Black a few years back in the explosive BLACKBIRDS and then the follow-up MOCKINGBIRD. But it’s here within the pages of THE CORMORANT that Wendig takes the charmingly abrasive, fantastically foulmouthed Miriam and grows her as a character. You always want to cheer for her, but now you can see her grow as a person.

She’s been trying to make money as a street psychic (her homemade sign reads WILL PSYCHIC FOR FOOD) but that’s about as profitable of an enterprise as you’d expect it to be. So when she gets kicked out of the place she’s been sharing rent (and by “sharing” of course we mean “not paying”) one of her ex-roommates gives her a lead from Craigslist on a gentleman in Florida that will pay big money for Miriam Black’s services. See, Miriam Black has the psychic ability to tell you how you’re going to die just by touching your skin.

So with no other options ahead of her, she takes the only option she has, and heads south to Florida.

As Miriam arrives in Florida, she finds that she’s being setup. But by whom? It’s truly a chilling moment when she finds clues to her adversary’s identity planted in the visions of death she sees when she touches strangers she encounters on her journey. These are messages that are being sent to her from the future. When these random strangers cross Miriam’s path, they die as result of their association with her. And their killer is leaving messages for her.

It’s hard not to spoil everything when you enjoyed a book this much. You know, like when you leave a movie theatre and you run up to strangers and tell them all the cool parts? Oh, you don’t do that? I do…

Wendig makes reading so goddamn fun. It’s true. I’ve said again and again that the man is wizard with profanity, but it’s more than just creative swearing. He grabs you from the start and moves the story from the word “Go.” Add in chapter titles like “TEN: THE SUNSHINE STATE CAN GO FUCK ITSELF,” and you find yourself unable to turn the pages fast enough. It’s like word-meth shot into your eyes.

You don’t need to read BLACKBIRDS and MOCKINGBIRD to enjoy THE CORMORANT, but why wouldn’t you? Reading this as a series will not only introduce you to the wonderfully flawed Miriam Black, but you’ll be able to experience the growth and development of my favorite lady of urban fantasy.


Dan Malmon