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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try

I don’t usually read Urban Fantasy and I usually find it difficult to enjoy (I read the first book of the Dresden Files earlier this year and disliked it). I had no such problems with Blackbirds, so make of that what you will. The book begins by introducing the rough and gritty Miriam Black. Miriam has the ability to see exactly when and how you will die just by touching you. Cool huh? Not so for Miriam, who is tortured with the knowledge of the impending demise of strangers and is powerless to stop it.

Miriam is one foul-mouthed, bad-assed woman! Just from reading the first page I knew I was going to like her – she makes sarcastic comments all the time, peppered liberally with inventive swearing. The only thing that I did not enjoy about Miriam’s character is that she could have been replaced with a male character without impacting the story – I feel the author has fallen into a trap and written his “tough woman” as a “man with a woman’s name”.  However, I concede that I do not know enough about Miriam to make a conclusive judgement on the matter, as Wendig has stated that there is a lot more to be revealed about her past in the upcoming sequel, Mockingbird.

In the end, the plot of the book is really quite simple (and enjoyable), punctuated with violence and gore to the heights of which I rarely read. If you’re squeamish, or hate Tarintino movies, then this book really isn’t for you. I, however, enjoyed it! The action scenes are beautifully choreographed and don’t have any super-hero antics. Being written in present tense means that the book plays out rather like a movie, and has all the more impact because of it. There’s also sex in the book, but it’s a far cry from the sexy scenes in say, Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series. We’re talking gritty sex scenes that aren’t sexy and are fairly confronting to boot.

Blackbirds is a great read, I loved it and will be continuing to read the series as it becomes available. I recommend it to all mature readers who are interested, but feel because of the gore, language and sex scenes portrayed in it that it is unsuitable for a child.

About the book:

  • Date published: 23 April 2012
  • Publisher: Angry Robot
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780857662309  ISBN 10: 0857662309
  • Categories: Fantasy (Urban)
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

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