I feel bad saying this… but I was disappointed by The Blue Blazes.
My experience with Chuck Wendig so far has been mostly positive – I follow him on Twitter, and I read and enjoyed Mockingbird, which is the second Miriam Black novel but I accidentally read it first. When I heard that Wendig had a new-ish book out about a big hulking tough guy named Mookie, I got really excited. Maybe I got too excited, and that’s why I was let down.
Mookie is a giant bad-ass guy, working for NYC’s supernatural drug lords. (The drug is Blue, a powder harvested from the veins of NYC’s underworld that gives users the ability to see the paranormal world hiding in plain sight, along with some extra perks.) He’s basically the guy they use to get shit taken care of. Well one day his job kind of goes to hell when he finds out that The Boss is sick and that his daughter is fighting to bring him and his whole organization down so she can rule the drug game.
Soooo… yeah. I don’t really want to go into detail too much, because it’s a really different, quirky, urban fantasy world that Wendig has created here and it has a lot of potential. The idea of these supernatural drugs growing underground where creepy goblins and creatures lurk is really cool. While the middle kind of dragged, the last 100 pages or so of the book were really fast-paced and intense. I think that my disappointment comes from lack of strong characterization.
I liked Mookie, in general – he’s tough, angry, likes to fight people with a giant cleaver – that’s my kind of antihero. But he’s pretty bland, otherwise. He really likes meat, he’s extremely loyal to his job with the Organization, and he has a conscience, but that’s about it. I feel like I never really got to know him. The other main character was his daughter, Nora, and I really didn’t like her. Her daddy issues were more annoying than anything and I didn’t find her interesting or worthy of sympathy.
There were a few other secondary characters, some of whom I liked and would like to see again, should there be a sequel. If there is a sequel… I think I’d read it. But only in the hope that the characters of Mookie and Nora will grow and evolve a little more in a second novel.
Sarah Says: 3 stars