Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1)Blackbirds

by Chuck Wendig
ebook, 264 pg.
Angry Robot, 2012
Read: Jan. 4-6, 2014

Over the last couple of years, I’ve really enjoyed — and learned a few things — from Chuck Wendig’s blog posts about writing, and have seen nothing but raves for this series from people and writers whose taste I respect and frequently agree with. But, when reading descriptions for Mockingbird it seem all that interesting to me. When the publisher was giving away e-copies last month, I figured I’d roll the dice and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

I should’ve stuck with my gut. This was not a book for me.

There are a lot of positives to Mockingbird. It’s told with imagination, humor, style, verve, panache and skill. Everything that Wendig’s blog tells you to do, he does. I don’t think there was a single dud sentence in the 264 pages, and there were several spectacular ones.

However…

Miriam Black’s power is fairly lame. Like Deanna Troi’s — it’s a neat parlor trick, but there’s not much use to be made of it.

As is the case 99% of the time a book doesn’t work for me, it ultimately comes down to the characters. I’ll put up with a lot for characters I like — and I don’t think I’m alone. I never cared about Miriam, Louis, or anyone. The villains were a little too villain-y for my taste — which, oddly, made them less threatening or interesting. If I don’t care about the characters, how can I care about what happens to them?

Lastly, there were some formatting troubles with the ePub. This isn’t damning or anything (or all that novel a problem) but when you’re not particularly enjoying a book, minor annoyances are less minor — almost feeling like a deliberate attempt to lessen the experience.

I do want to read more by Wendig, just not in this particular world.

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1 Star

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