Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Filed in 5 Stars , Chuck Wendig , Draconismoi , guest review , Review Posted on June 5, 2012 @ 7:00 am 10 comments

Format Read: ebook
Number of Pages: 358
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Angry Robot
Formats Available:  ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: AuthorPublisher, Goodreads, BookDepository, Powells, Amazon

Book Blurb: 

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. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her. No matter what she does she can’t save him, not even if she tries.

My Thoughts:

This book will attack your brain directly through your eyeballs. You won’t realize it until it is too late. You’ll read a few chapters before work. You’ll get to work on time. A little rushed, but nothing notable. By the time you finish your morning caffeine jolt, your mind will start wandering. …. Is Miriam hitchhiking alongside a douchebag motorcade? (Answer: Yes).  Why the hell doesn’t she try to change things? (Answer: you are going to feel like a colossal dick when you find out). …. Now you’re not working. You are counting down the minutes till you can get the bloody hell out of there and back to what is important. Namely: the book. You will skip out of work 10 minutes early, miss dinner, and keep reading until your brain is dripping out of your skull at 3 a.m. You won’t even realize time has passed. Instead you sit in a mindless puddle thinking only, “what the fuck was that?”

In other words: Go. Read. Now.

What? Not eloquent enough for you? FINE.

I bought this book because the cover was so amazing that I needed it on my new shelves. I expected a run-of-the-mill urban fantasy with snarky heroine in a world only moderately distinguishable from your average paranormally-themed TV show.

I was wrong.

Miriam is not snarky. She is damaged. She will bite the hand that feeds her, kick its owner in the balls, and then sucker-punch herself for good measure. She operates on an uncompromising path of self-destruction that is both brutal and yet totally logical. You see where she is going, and yell at her. Then you find out where she’s been, and want to go stab somebody and rob a corpse alongside her.

The world is not as depicted on Medium or Fringe. Mainstream society does not embrace Miriam’s gift. Cardboard cutout skeptics don’t See The Light and Help Make A Difference. This is a world of con artists, rapists, drug dealers, psychopaths, and truckers. There is no shadowy agency with bottomless funding and a mythological history guiding the gifted. Miriam is a pariah among bottom-feeders, trying desperately to maintain a veneer of sanity in the armpit of American society.

And I want MORE.

I give Blackbirds 5 stars. This is the book to read when Dead Like Me and Thank You For Smoking are not quite dark enough for you. This baby has series potential, and we want Angry Robot to provide all the financial incentives necessary to keep Chuck Wendig’s twisted little mind working. Comprendez-vous? Buy. Read. Now.

****FTC Disclainer. Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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  • Penelope June 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Fantastic review. This book sounds like it might be too dark for me, but the review kicks arse.

    • draconismoi June 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      So I need to write a similarly ass-kicking review on a not-so-dark book? Hmm…

  • Mel S June 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

    That sounds like a great book – like the story just worms it’s way into your head! I love the review and I love books that keep you thinking…hmm…a book to add to my wishlist!

    • Draconismoi June 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Nonono. It’s not a wishlist book. It’s a buy immediately book! They have it in trade AND mass market paperback. There is nothing holding you back!

      • Alisha June 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

        Done. Will check the local bookstore for a copy. (That cover is tooooo Yes.)

        • Draconismoi June 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

          I was stalking the author’s blog and there IS a sequel! Yayayayayay! The cover is in the same style, though slightly less awesome. I can’t put my finger on why.

  • Susan June 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Five stars even tho there are no dragons involved?!? Dang, that must be one good book! I just downloaded it. 🙂

    • draconismoi June 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Yup, pretty awesome. I want to reread it already, but I’m afraid it will just burrow back in my brain and derail any ability I have to concentrate at work. All these damn people needing help with things.

      As for your implication that it takes dragons to get 5 starts from me….HAH! It’s even harder to get 5 stars from me when there are dragons. I expect the exceptional from my dragons.

      Though it is wicked easy to get 3.5 or 4 stars with dragons. Dragons are very good at hiding holes in setting, characterization, or plot. It’s amazing really. Did you see the season finale of Game of Thrones?

      Did you notice that no one remarked on the Hound’s absence? That Cersai let Ros go when she was supposed to be a hostage? That Arya ditched Gendry? That the Ice Zombies didn’t kill Sam despite totally seeing him there? That the Stark’s pet Direwolves are missing in action? That Dany was a little harsh with her handmaiden for sleeping with the enemy when she ordered her to go sleep with some people for intel?

      Of course not. The baby dragons burned the undead mage to a crisp! Who cares about all that other crap?

      • Susan June 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

        I guess here’s where I have to admit to being a freak: I don’t own a TV. I enjoy TV and sometimes watch it online or at other people’s houses, but don’t have time for it at home.

        That said, despite the GOT references going over my head, I do get the point about the distracting qualities of dragons! 😀

        • draconismoi June 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

          I don’t own a TV either. You aren’t a freak. I just so happen to be a connoisseur of online TV viewing.

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