the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Chuck Wendig’ Category

Death and Honey,  novellas by Kevin Hearne, Lila Bowen, and Chuck Wendig

available Feb 28th 2019

where I got it: received ARC from the publisher (Thanks Subterranean Press!)

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Death and Honey has some original and unexpected things going for it.  Things that might turn you off, but shouldn’t. Lemme explain. The three novels contained in this volume take place in world already created and developed by these authors, and these stories take place rather late in the game for a number  of these characters. You might be thinking to yourself that either you’ll feel lost because you’re only on book three of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, or you’re woefully under read in Lila Bowen’s Shadow series, or maybe you barely got to the end of Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds (oh, you weren’t thinking any of that? Must have been me that was thinking those thoughts).  Can you enjoy a story that takes place near the end of a series if you didn’t read the middle part? And what about spoilers??

 

The answers are Yes, and Yes.  Yes, you can fully enjoy these stories even if you have no idea who Oberon is, even if you have no idea who Rhett Walker is, even if the name Miriam Black doesn’t mean anything to you.   And yes, sorry, there are a few spoilers. Fans of the Iron Druid will find out just a teeny weeny bit about Ragnarok, I’m not familiar enough with the other series to tell you what was a surprise, and what a spoiler.  But so what? Reading a short story that takes place near the end of a series is like having dessert first. And what, like you’ve never read a McMaster Bujold out of order? (or, again, that could just be me)

 

Oh, oh the second weird and unexpected thing! I nearly forgot. All of these stories have to do with bees.  And honey. Sometimes the bees are nice, sometimes they aren’t, sometimes they are just bees. And everyone likes honey, right?  (I can’t possibly be the only one here who eats honey out of the jar with a spoon)

 

Also?  excellent full color artwork by Galen Dara!

 

Don’t want spoilers, just want my final thoughts?  Scroll all the way to the bottom.

 

Yo, so I’ve read a few of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books, and yeah, I enjoyed them. But you wanna know what I really, really like? Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries!  Take your standard cozy mystery formula, but the sleuth is Oberon, Atticus’s psychically bonded Irish Wolfhound! Oberon’s sense of smell is amazing, he’ll do just about anything for a treat, he wonders why humans do such weird things all the time, and above all, Oberon wants Atticus to be happy.  In The Buzz Kill, Oberon and Starbuck find a body at the foot of a tree, a tree that has a giant beehive in it! Atticus is trying to stay under the radar, and instead gets sucked into helping the local police investigate the murder. Hearne has fun with the light heartedness, each chapter title is a play on words having to do with bees, flowers, or honey.

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Blackbirds, by Chuck Wendig

published in 2012

Where I got it: the library

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Everyone is going crazy for Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds.  Action packed and with an engrossing premise,  shattered characters, and Richard Kadrey-esque prose, it’s no wonder this little book is getting a lot of attention.

Although a growing number of people are fascinated by her, Miriam Black wishes she could just disappear. As an adolescent, she gained the power to tell people the circumstances of their death. Perhaps the person lives until they are 95 and dies peacefully in their sleep. Perhaps it’s a housefire, or a drug overdose, or suicide. Living alone and on the run, she tries to avoid touching people. But of course it doesn’t work.  Once upon a time she tried to save the life of a child whose death she’d foreseen.  That didn’t work either.

Miriam comes off fairly crass, but it’s a facade. She’s not a mean person, she’s just really sick of shaking hands and seeing terrible visions in hospitals and bathroom floors.  Her diary, nearly out of pages, is the only therapy she has, the only way she can get these feelings and fears and self hatred out of her system.

Miriam isn’t the nicest person in the world, so it’s doubly unfortunate that she’s mostly surrounded by assholes. Frat boys looking to get laid, truckers who might rape her, violent drug addicts, the scum below the bottom crust of society.  Miriam doesn’t expect to meet anyone nice. And then she meets Louis, and everything changes.  Louis is a completely normal, kind man. And in the moment before his death, he calls Miriam’s name.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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