A review by tracyreads
Cardinal Black, by Robert R. McCammon

4.0

Robert McCammon is a new author…to me. I have previously read Boy’s Life, Swan Song, and The Five. I’ve fallen in love with McCammon’s writing style and his ability to, quite simply, tackle diverse subject matter with finesse. Additionally, the amount of research and scholarship put into these widely varied worlds is just perfection. Coming of age? Check. Post-apocalyptic? Check. A madman hunting a touring rock band? Check. Historical thriller ala James Bond? Check.

Needless to say, when I found myself with an opportunity to read Cardinal Black and make my first journey into the world of Matthew Corbett, I jumped. I was a bit worried that I’d miss out, having not read the other 6 books set in this world, but I am happy to report that everything went swimmingly. McCammon crafted this carefully and I was immersed immediately. There are a few references to past Corbett adventures — this is skillfully done — I’m excited to read the other books that predate this one.

Additionally, more seasoned readers of the Corbett series are going to relish reacquainting themselves with a few characters they have already come to know and love…or love to hate. There are some new characters that I think will become instant favorites. I don’t want to say too much, but beware of the Owl and RakeHell Lizzie. Cardinal Black himself? Just wait and see.

The storyline itself starts in medias res – we are placed near the middle of the situation. I think this works well. There are a few moments where I had to really work to understand where we were, why certain events were happening, and what part certain characters had to play. Honestly, this could’ve been a combination of not having read previous Corbett novels as well as my own experience as a reader; it didn’t detract from the story too much. The ending sets up the possibility for more in this world – I’ll definitely show up for that one, too.

Finally, a note on the edition from Cemetery Dance. This ARC is put together so well; I can only imagine what the finished copies will be like. There are a few surprises within these pages in terms of content and layout by Vincent Chong and Desert Isle Design. They add a richness and a touch of elegance to the reading experience. I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions of readers as they make the same discoveries I made.