The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig

(8.5/10)

The Blue Blazes is the first book in a new urban fantasy series by Chuck Wendig, a high action fast paced story about supernatural underworld gang warfare. Angry Robot Books and Chuck Wendig have already proven to be an excellent match with Wendig's Miriam Black novels, and The Blue Blazes only enhances the reputation of both parties.

The story follows Mookie Pearl, a henchman for the leader of the New York City supernatural underworld. When the leader reveals that he's dying, he elects his less than capable grandson as successor to the throne, but all that goes to hell when his grandson is murdered - presumably by Mookie's daughter. Violence erupts as the gangs revolt, so Mookie has to act fast if he wants to save his daughter and preserve the comfortable way of life he has carved out for himself.

This is a high octane story, with a big brute of a man mauling his way from plot point to plot point. Wendig writes with this uniquely visceral style, as blunt as it is powerful, and I think this style really suits a character like Mookie Pearl. There is no pretence, no layer upon layer of complexity, this is a story about a big guy who bashes stuff because most of the time it’s the right thing to do. And for me, that's exactly what I like to read.

What I like about Mookie Pearl is that he's not just a meathead put into a shitty situation - one of the strengths of Wendig is the ability to make his characters seem so real. His characters are very complex, they almost always have been through a large number of hard or bad situations, and these situations help to really colour the characters and their method of thinking. Mookie Pearl is no different. He has a strained relationship with his daughter because he always put his work for the underworld before his family. In Mookie’s mind there was no problem - doing his job properly meant protection for his family. Trying to understand exactly what he did wrong is just one of the many internal dilemma's Mookie has to resolve, and I think it helps to humanize this massive, almost superhuman like, death-dealing character.

I don't really have too much else to say about The Blue Blazes. Chuck Wendig's style is not for everyone - he doesn't hold any punches, he makes use of some amazingly graphic similes, his books are bloody and violent, and his characters don’t shy away from the foul language. The Blue Blazes is an in-your-face book, one that will take you on a rollercoaster ride, making sure you feel every punch and kick along the way. I definitely recommend that you give it a try and see if it’s the type of book for you.

Review by

More Chuck Wendig reviews


Blackbirds
9.0

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. [...]


Under The Empyrean Sky
6.0

Fear the Corn. 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 gro [...]


Blightborn
9.0

Cael McAvoy is on the run. He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, [...]


The Harvest
7.0

It’s been a year since the Saranyu flotilla fell from the sky, and life in the Heartland has changed. Gone are the Obligations and the Harvest Home festivals. In thei [...]

15+

The Blue Blazes reader reviews

8.5/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Magic Triumphs

by Ilona Andrews

Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban [...]


Published: 2018

Score: 99

Our rating: 9.8 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

Never Knew Another

by JM McDermott

Fugitive Rachel Nolander is a newcomer to the city of Dogsland, where the rich throw parties and the poor just do whatever they can to scrape by. Supported by her brother D [...]


Published: 2011

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu

by Mercedes M Yardley

Her mama always said she was special. His daddy called him a demon. But even monsters can fall in love. Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a s [...]


Published: 2014

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

15+

Iron and Magic

by Ilona Andrews

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh [...]


Published: 2018

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Dante's Journey

by JC Marino

A flash of light and Detective Joe Dante steps through. No longer on the cobblestone streets of 1961 Boston, Joe finds himself in a horrifying new world-Hell itself. Joe wa [...]


Published: 2010

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.4 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

Bitten

by Kelley Armstrong

Elena Michaels is a model woman for the 21st century: self-assured, keenly intelligent, fighting fit. And like every modern woman, she has her secrets. Nothing extraordinar [...]


Published: 2001

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.4 | 1 positive reader reviews

12+

Blood and Feathers

by Lou Morgan

Alice isn’t having the best of days: she got rained on, missed her bus, was late for work. When two angels arrive, claiming her life so far is a lie, it turns epic, g [...]


Published: 2012

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Dirty Streets of Heaven

by Tad Williams

Sure, he takes the occasional trip to Heaven, but his job as an advocate - arguing the fate of the recently deceased - keeps him pretty busy on Earth, and he's more tha [...]


Published: 2012

Score: 92

Our rating: 9.1 | 1 positive reader reviews

15+

Monster Republic

by Ben Horton

An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. ' [...]


Published: 2009

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.1 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+