Anyone who has read Bird Box knows that Josh Malerman is capable of reaching inside, grabbing your soul and freaking the hell out of it. Once I saw that he had a new book releasing, I knew that I needed to read it.
Black Mad Wheel played back and forth between two timelines in the protagonist’s life. This is a formula that has worked for Malerman before, I like it; this flow really allows the author to build the mystery, leaving the reader to wonder WTF is going on. Additionally, this format allows for not just one but two climaxes. Yes, I am greedy.
At several points in Black Mad Wheel I had to remind myself that this is not Bird Box. The story was well developed, the characters are dark, just the way I like them, and the mystery of what was going on, deeply intriguing. It was just that the “magic” was missing; the connection to the characters wasn’t what I’ve seen from Malerman before. I knew he could do more, and I wanted it.
But then again, this is not Bird Box. Black Mad Wheel is its own entity. Standing on its own two feet, Black Mad Wheel is a great book, filled with a darkness and mystery that is palpable. Each of the characters has their own cross to bear, just the types of characters I look for.
Black Mad Wheel will take you on a remarkable, mysterious journey. It will hold you until the very last page, but it was just missing that little something.