Miriam Black #3: The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig – Book Review [Bane of Kings]


Milo, aka “Bane of Kings”, turns his attention to the latest novel in the urban fantasy  Miriam Black series, following on from Blackbirds and Mockingbird, entitled The Cormorant, written by the prolific author Chuck Wendig. 

“Chuck Wendig once again excels with another awesome look into the kickass character that is Miriam Black – delivering a page-turning thriller that is a must buy for any readers who enjoyed the first two books. Wendig has created a compelling read here, and The Cormorant might just be one of the best books in the series yet.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief”… to “killer”.

Hired by a wealthy businessman, she heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at. But in her vision she sees her client die by another’s hand – and on the wall, written in blood, is a message just for Miriam.

She’s expected…

Before we begin I just want to touch on the Cover Art for the Miriam Black series. It’s something that I don’t normally do – bring up cover art in reviews, but I can’t help but do so here – mainly because all covers in this series have been utterly phenomenal. Seriously – each cover is amazing – and The Cormorant just screams as a must-read. If I saw any of these books in a bookstore having no knowledge of what they were about – I would probably snap them up based on the covers alone. Joey Hi-Fi is an incredible artist and each new cover from him is exceptional. Now with that out of the way, let’s get started with the review.

TheCormorant-144dpiAnd it’s a review that I could literally just stop after saying “It’s Awesome.” I mean, what more is there to tell about Miriam Black that hasn’t been said already? Chuck Wendig’s unique, engaging and daring take on Urban Fantasy is not for the faint of heart and if you’re familiar with Blackbirds and Mockingbird then chances are you will know by now what to expect. Wendig’s writing takes no prisoners, pulling you along at an incredibly fast pace and the end result is always unpredictable. You never feel like you’re getting the same book twice with a Miriam Black novel and you can always count on Wendig to entertain you – three books in and the series shows no sign of losing its quality just yet, instead feeling fresh and exciting and another welcome break from all the standard, run of the mill urban fantasy stories that we’ve seen from female and male authors alike. The Cormorant and the preceding books are different – and if you think Urban Fantasy can’t surprise you then look no further than this series. It’s captivating, engaging – and if you’re reading this review without knowledge of the previous two books then I strongly recommend you buy them as soon as you can. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

In the third installment of the series, Wendig takes Miriam Black to Florida, where she’s trying to stop a nightmarish vision of the future from becoming reality. Of course, it’s never as easy as it sounds – and she’s in pretty much over her head with the Law Enforcement, Gangs and Old Friends. It’s an action packed book that’s very well written with a unique voice, one that’s particularly foul-mouthed. However fans of the series should be by now familiar with Miriam’s swearing and this is something that really didn’t bother me at all, having already gotten used to the character in the past three outings and it was welcome to return to the strong, independent and kickass female character that is the driving force behind the three books so far. It’s always great returning to Miriam’s life, even if Wendig drags her literally through hell and back with a gritty narrative that’s unpredictable far from disappointing.

Each book in the Miriam Black series has been exceptional and The Cormorant is another excellent addition to that list. It’s clever, engaging and unputdownable – I’ve been saying that a lot about Angry Robot’s novels lately but this is very true on pretty much every one. If there’s one thing that can be guaranteed when picking up an Angry Robot novel, it’s that I won’t be able to stop reading it. This was very much the case with The Cormorant – which was helped by its fast pace and short chapters allowing me to speed through the book like I was reading a much more awesome version of a novel by James Patterson. It’s just so good, and I can’t help but heap praise after praise upon this novel.

Chuck Wendig’s The Cormorant then, is another great success from the author. I’ve yet to read a book that I didn’t like from him and each has been very good indeed. I hope that we return to the Miriam Black Universe soon – because I can’t wait to read more. Miriam is a badass and an incredibly strong female character who is just as awesome as the more popular female characters in literature. She certainly can leave an impression on the reader, and is easily one of the strongest parts of an excellent novel. Highly Recommended, but only if you’ve read the other two first.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer