The Cormorant, by Chuck Wendig

I received a copy of this ebook to review from NetGalley, on behalf of the publisher. It will be released 31 December 2013. 

The Cormorant

Miriam Black’s continuing saga gets a little darker, after two already dark entries in the series. I’m fearful of what Miriam will go through in the next volume. I might not be old enough to handle it. In Chuck Wendig’s The Cormorant, Miriam drives south to accept a strange offer. A man in the Florida Keys has offered her $5,000 to tell him how he will die. Miriam can do that with a touch and $5,000 would go a long way to helping her raise her standard of living from squatting.

One would think that simply knowing how one would die would change the future. Miriam has learned, painfully, that the future can only be changed at great cost. Usually, changing someone’s fate usually means killing someone else. And, usually, it means that Miriam is the trigger person. Her hard childhood and harder teen years have made Miriam a difficult person to be around. She’s often intentionally cruel to keep others from getting close. It’s an exhausting way of life.

When Miriam arrives in Florida, she quickly learns that an old enemy has surfaced. This old enemy is targeting all the people around Miriam to punish her for leaving him behind to be tortured and killed. When Miriam meets her mother again, when she hooks up with a girl in a bar, when she goes fishing with the manager of the hotel she’s staying in, Miriam learns about their horrible deaths at the hand of this enemy. Wendig complicates matters by having Miriam narrate her story, her attempts to save people, to a pair who claim they’re FBI agents. We have to wonder if Miriam will succeed and how she will escape at the same time.

The Coromorant is a fast, but tough, read. It’s tough on the emotions as you see Miriam wrestling with her guilt and sense of responsibility and memories of a cold zealot of a mother, as you see her push people away. Wendig also gives us new revelations about what Miriam’s mind is capable of, hinting at what we’ll find in the next book.

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