Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig Review

Another terrific cover for Wendig's collection.
I have become fond of Chuck Wendig's work. I love his writing style. He has a knack for deliciously dark and twisted stories with colorful characters and dialogue which I wish I sounded like in real life. This story is no different. The story of Mookie Pearl is an exciting one which is just what you want and expect from Wendig and so much more.

I have to be honest. For some reason I did not have high expectations for this book. I'm not really sure why. I like urban fantasy. I just remember reading an early synopsis, and not gaining much interest. I bought the book though, because I like the author. I'm really glad I did.

The story revolves around protagonist Mookie Pearl; a soldier and drug pusher for "The Organization" which controls the literal underworld  under New York City. This particular drug is called the blue blazes. A drug that gives you a high like any other, but while your riding said high the scales fall from your eyes. What does that mean? Well, there are a lot of different kinds of people in New York. Not different ethnicities or nationalities, mind you, but folk your bound to find in a fantasy novel. The drug allows you to see different creatures who normally resemble humans for who they really are. Mookie pushes this drug. He finds the drug. He pushes it. He deals with what has to be dealt with. He's a soldier. It's what he does.

One of the major themes in this story is family. Mookie's relationship with his daughter plays a huge part. She goes by the name Persophone on the street as she attempts to take down The Organization. When the boss of The Organization is dying and a conspiracy is threatening The Organization itself, Mookie must choose between the love for his daughter who hates him and his loyalty for his employers.

Mookie is a great hero. Something I didn't expect when I began. He's likable and misunderstood. He's not your average hero, but that's why he works. His relationship with his daughter creates a lot of heart for the story. It's very real, and not always pretty, but that's what ultimately makes it satisfying in the end. He's a big guy with a big heart that is hard to see through layers of muscle, fat, and scar tissue.

The world that Wendig creates is one of the best things about the book. It's an interesting vision of New York. Enough fantasy for those who crave the supernatural, but gritty and realistic at the same time. It's a world you can believe in. It's similar to something like Hellboy, but it feels like a story all it's own. I love that he uses mythological creatures that aren't the usual orcs, elves, etc. There are snake men, golems, Lovecraftian gods, and half human half whatever you can think of. 

A criminal underworld on top of a literal one, 5 types of legendary drugs, and an awesome supernatural conspiracy trying to turn it all upside down. It's one hell of a story. I loved this book, and can't wait for the next Mookie Pearl adventure. I would also like to say that the cover is another great for Wendig's collection.

I wish the guy who did this and the Miriam Black covers(if they are the same guy) would do every book cover from now on. I guy can dream.

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