Vultures, Chuck Wendig (Saga 978-1481448772, $27.99, 416pp, hc) January 2019.
Chuck Wendig’s Vultures is the sixth and final book in his Miriam Black series. If you’re already familiar with this “take-no-shit, give-no-fucks kinda lady,” as she describes herself, you know if her foul mouth and pitch-black sass are your jam. Wendig sticks the landing on the series – and, possibly, sets up a tangential new series, should he so choose to act on it.
You could also come into Vultures cold. Wendig does a great job of setting up the stakes Miriam faces and the world in which she lives. She is pregnant, which is a shock to her and to everyone she has ever come in contact with. She is also deeply invested in the pregnancy succeeding, also a shock to her and everyone she has ever come in contact with. The wrinkle: because Miriam can see how people die, she knows that the baby she is carrying will not survive its birth – but she can’t see exactly how.
If that mystery weren’t enough, Miriam is still being hunted by the Trespasser, a malevolent ghost (sort of) who can manipulate parts of the world around Miriam to get her to do his bidding. Plus, she winds up entangled with the FBI. No, she’s not being hunted by them as well. Instead, she is working with them, and that relationship is, at best, tense.
What’s so great about this series are the characters that Wendig writes. Miriam isn’t the only one who leaps off of the page. Her girlfriend Gabby and neighbor Steve also pop, as does Wendig’s knack for energetic dialog and crackling prose. Vultures is a fun and unexpectedly moving way to close out this part of Miriam’s life.
Adrienne Martini has been reading or writing about science fiction for decades and has had two non-fiction, non-genre books published by Simon and Schuster. She lives in Upstate New York with one husband, two kids, and one corgi. She also runs a lot.
This review and more like it in the October 2019 issue of Locus.
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