Miriam Black knows when you will die.
Still in her early twenties, she's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.
Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try.
About a month ago I discovered Chuck Wendig on Twitter and through his pretty awesome blog. I really like his no nonsense writing advice. Then, a couple weeks ago, this happened:
So I took his advice and bought a copy.
I'd like to start this review with a warning that this book is pretty much rated NC-17. It's graphic, vulgar and intense. But obviously, I still liked it.
At first, I wasn't so sure. And it wasn't the grittiness that threw me off, it was the writing style. This is written in present tense, which isn't very common in fiction (at least that I've read), so it took my a while to get into it. Also, Mirriam is a rambler when she talks, and thinks. At first the writer part of my brain was dying to pull out my Big Red Pen and start cutting this thing down to size. I mean, really, do we need five different ways to describe the same thing? I swear at one point, she uses a dozen different foul words to describe one person. It made me roll my eyes a bit.
But, as I kept reading I got used to it and realized there's a certain poetry to it. And that's what saved the book for me. As much as Wendig's style threw me off, it was so masterfully done I ended up enjoying it.
The other thing that docked this book a star was the ending. It was good, but I knew from the beginning that was how the story would end. I won't say much more for fear of spoiling it. It's just one of those things that you think, "Well of course that's how it's going to end because other wise this would be a really crappy book."
And the main character, Mirriam, is the best part of this, despite the rambling. She's well rounded, complex and intense. Being in her head is a strange joy and I believe I'll be visiting again soon.
Overall, if you like wonderful characters, an interesting story and don't mind a little foul language, sex and gore then you should like this book.