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Chuck Wendig

Chuck WendigChuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He’s co-writer of the short film PANDEMIC, the feature film HiM, and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative COLLAPSUS. He lives in Pennsylvania with wife, taco terrier, and tiny human.

Blackbirds: You’ll probably go to hell for reading it

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Blackbirds is a Justin book, by which I mean that you will probably go to hell for reading it. This book is splattered with gore and peppered with sexual and toilet humor, and will probably teach you several new profanities. As for me, not being Justin, how did I like it? Well, it pushed me past my usual gore limits (there are reasons I don’t watch the Saw movies), but for the most part I liked it anyway.

The heroine is Miriam Black, whose cynical, sarcastic, dirty-mouthed voice relentlessly carries the reader through the story. She comes from a traumatic past, and something in that past triggered an unwanted psychic gift in Miriam: the first time she touches someone skin-to-skin, she sees how and when that person will die. She’s living as a drifter when a kindly trucker, Louis, picks her up and help... Read More

The Blue Blazes: You just can’t help but love Mookie Pearl

The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig

Mookie Pearl is a big ugly brute who works for the boss of New York City’s criminal underworld. Mostly he’s called on to be a thug — it’s the thing he does best. One of his specific jobs is to manage (i.e., cajole, threaten, beat up) a team of workers who descend into the underground to collect the blue powdery drug that allows its users to see the supernatural creatures who have lived among us ever since some New York City miners accidentally blew open a portal to Hell while tunneling under the streets.

Things are never really safe in Mookie’s line of work, but everything suddenly comes to a head when the boss announces that he’s dying and leaving his son Casimir in charge of his criminal empire. When all the gangs in the city sense an imminent power void, and when his own immature teenage daughter makes a play designed to get revenge on the daddy who was never there for her, Mookie’s normally da... Read More

Zer0es: Be careful what you hack

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

In Chuck Wendig’s new techno-thriller novel, Zer0es, five hackers — some highly skilled, some not so skilled — are not-so-innocently going about their daily business when they are unpleasantly interrupted by a tall African-American man who introduces himself as Hollis Copper or (in one case) “Mr. Government.” This motley crew of five consists of Chance, an aspiring Anonymous-style hacker who’s more con man than computer whiz; DeAndre, a talented hacker who specialized in stealing credit card data; Aleena, an Arab Spring hacktivist; Reagan, an unhappy and vindictive Internet troll; and 63-year-old Wade, a grizzled conspiracy nut and cipherpunk who collects classified information and deeply distrusts the government.

Hollis whisks his five hackers away, less than voluntarily, to an unkn... Read More

Aftermath: A fast-paced, action-packed Star Wars reset

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

I like STAR WARS but I am not a superfan. I have only seen 4.5 of the 6 current movies and to the best of my recollection I have never read a STAR WARS novel or novelization before this one. I think this daily-double of ignorance makes me the perfect reviewer for Chuck Wendig’s STAR WARS: AFTERMATH, part of THE JOURNEY TO THE FORCE AWAKENS series of novels tied in to the upcoming movie The Force Awakens.

Aftermath begins soon after the ending of the movie Return of the Jedi. The second Death Star has been destroyed and Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are both presumed dead. The New Republic — formerly the Rebel Alliance — has won a decisive battle, but the war is far from over. On Akiva, an Outer Rim... Read More

Life Debt: Fast-paced, cinematic entertainment

Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

Before I begin my review of Chuck Wendig’s Life Debt, book two of the STAR WARS: AFTERMATH trilogy, I want to talk about myself for a minute. I like STAR WARS. I loved the original three movies. I didn’t like The Phantom Menace, surfed away from Attack of the Clones about two-thirds of the way through, and never saw Revenge of the Sith. Remember that I’m the person who couldn’t figure out why commenters on various sites kept talking about the European Union as part of the Star Wars cycle because I didn’t know that “EU” meant “Extended Universe.” I’m not a capital-F Fan.

What I am is an enthusiastic reader. I enjoyed STAR WARS: A... Read More

Empire’s End: A satisfactory conclusion

Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig

In STAR WARS AFTERMATH: Empire’s End (2017), Chuck Wendig shows us the fateful battle on the desert planet Jakku; we see the Contingency left in place by Emperor Palpatine, and we discover that none of Leia and Han’s friends understands the concept of a baby gift.

The AFTERMATH trilogy starts immediately after the destruction of the second Death Star. Empire’s End follows Wendig-original characters Norra Wexley, her son Temmin, his crazed battle-droid Mr. Bones, a bounty hunter named Jas Emari and a turncoat Imperial loyalty officer named Sinjir, as they track Imperial war criminal Admiral Rae Sloane. We follow some canon-characters, too; Leia Organa, Han Solo and Mon Mothma primarily. (Chewbacca has a cameo.) Rae Sloane is not a canon-cha... Read More

Wanderers: A suspenseful and emotional end-of-the-world story

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

A nightmarish disease has attacked a small but growing group of people in rural America. They are walking, zombie-like, across the country together. Nobody knows where they’re going or why. They can’t be communicated with and they can’t be stopped. Some of their family and friends follow behind, trying to keep them safe.

The CDC is investigating, trying to track down the origins of this strange outbreak. Homeland Security is worried that it’s a biological weapon. POTUS can’t decide whether or not she should send in the military. The uncertainty is causing panic across the country.

The stress brings out the best in some people, but the worst in others.

Some of these characters are:

the sister of the first sleepwalker, who has struggled with her relationship with their father after her mother left home
the good-hearted science-fiction loving ... Read More

More stuff from Chuck Wendig

Double Dead — (2011-2012) A Vampire In Zombieland. Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn’t much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead — but not dead like him, oh no. See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector — after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

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The Heartland Trilogy — (2013-2015) Publisher: Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow — and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie — his first mate and the love of his life — forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry — angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it.

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsIrregular Creatures — (2011) Chuck Wendig says: Check out: IRREGULAR CREATURES, my first short story collection. Featuring an unholy host of bizarre beasties and mythological mutants. Flying cats! Bigfoot! Mermaids! Infernal Bangkok strippers! A mystic hobo hermaphrodite! These nine stories drunkenly swerve between fantasy, horror, and science-fiction — with a dash of humor and absurdity thrown in for good measure.