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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
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Blackbirds (edition 2012)

by Chuck Wendig

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4795821,531 (3.73)47
Member:lilywren
Title:Blackbirds
Authors:Chuck Wendig
Info:Angry Robot (2012), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:crime, thriller, dark, horror, fiction

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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

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Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
How to create an urban fantasy heroine as unlikeable and trashy as you can, see Blackbirds. The unlikeable part is completely personal. Some will love her. I couldn't. She calls herself garbage twice. That is two times too many.

Miriam Black has a misfortune to see how people are going to die when she touches them. As she herself says, she is a vulture. She waits it out and takes their money and moves on. The ability is not explained though. I am assuming it will be in other books in the series.
She talks a lot, swears a lot. Nothing surprising considering what you find out about her in the course of the story. The swearing is opposite what she was taught, so she does it a lot. She moves from place to place mostly hitch-hiking and that is how she meets Louis, the only character in the book that I don't want to kill. She sees his death but this time it is different - he says her name before he dies. The blurb is a bit too revealing since you find out that happens because he met her later in the book. The other part of the blurb is misleading. It gives an impression of Miriam trying to save him throughout the book. The only thing she, along with all other characters except Louis, was trying is my patience.

The story is written in present tense which, even if I don't like it that much, helps to move this story really fast. What slows it down though is all the actions of horrible people. You move with the characters from place to place and not a single person stands out as someone you would at least tolerate, let alone like.

The best part of this book are descriptions. I don't remember if I have ever read a book full of one-sentence descriptions that are so sufficient and funny. This book needed funny. 'Harriet Adams is whiter than an untanned ass, bleached like ocean-soaked bone.' * 'Sky's just a Vaseline smear of formless clouds - a bright, greasy layer of grey.' * 'If he were a bagel, he'd be plain.' * 'She tells the bartender, who looks like a pile of uncooked Pillsbury dough stuffed into a dirty black T-shirt, that she needs a drink.' The book is full of these and they brighten the story if only for one moment.

After reading it, you'll realize that there is no strong story. It is all somewhere under Miriam's obnoxious attitude and other people's terrible actions. The main villain wouldn't be out of place in a Monty Python show. This is one of those books very hard to rate. ( )
  Aneris | Dec 29, 2016 |
How to create an urban fantasy heroine as unlikeable and trashy as you can, see Blackbirds. The unlikeable part is completely personal. Some will love her. I couldn't. She calls herself garbage twice. That is two times too many.

Miriam Black has a misfortune to see how people are going to die when she touches them. As she herself says, she is a vulture. She waits it out and takes their money and moves on. The ability is not explained though. I am assuming it will be in other books in the series.
She talks a lot, swears a lot. Nothing surprising considering what you find out about her in the course of the story. The swearing is opposite what she was taught, so she does it a lot. She moves from place to place mostly hitch-hiking and that is how she meets Louis, the only character in the book that I don't want to kill. She sees his death but this time it is different - he says her name before he dies. The blurb is a bit too revealing since you find out that happens because he met her later in the book. The other part of the blurb is misleading. It gives an impression of Miriam trying to save him throughout the book. The only thing she, along with all other characters except Louis, was trying is my patience.

The story is written in present tense which, even if I don't like it that much, helps to move this story really fast. What slows it down though is all the actions of horrible people. You move with the characters from place to place and not a single person stands out as someone you would at least tolerate, let alone like.

The best part of this book are descriptions. I don't remember if I have ever read a book full of one-sentence descriptions that are so sufficient and funny. This book needed funny. 'Harriet Adams is whiter than an untanned ass, bleached like ocean-soaked bone.' * 'Sky's just a Vaseline smear of formless clouds - a bright, greasy layer of grey.' * 'If he were a bagel, he'd be plain.' * 'She tells the bartender, who looks like a pile of uncooked Pillsbury dough stuffed into a dirty black T-shirt, that she needs a drink.' The book is full of these and they brighten the story if only for one moment.

After reading it, you'll realize that there is no strong story. It is all somewhere under Miriam's obnoxious attitude and other people's terrible actions. The main villain wouldn't be out of place in a Monty Python show. This is one of those books very hard to rate. ( )
  Aneris | Oct 31, 2016 |
3.5 / 5 ( )
  Amanda105 | Sep 5, 2016 |
I finished this book within 24 hours of starting it. I absolutely loved it. ( )
  BuffyBarber | Jun 5, 2016 |
GAH!

I have not loved a book like this in a very long time. I could not put it down, and it takes a lot to hold my attention.

Urban/supernatural fantasy is probably my favourite genre, and with Blackbirds you get the best parts of that genre all wrapped up into one book. It was gritty, sassy, gruesome and all kinds of fun.

I loved Miriam from the first sentence. She’s pessimistic and full of…angst? I don’t know if that’s the exact word I want. BUT she’s not depressing about it. She’s realistic. Less “woe is me” and more “life sucks and then you die”. Her voice made the story move quickly even if there wasn’t anything intense happening at that moment (but there usually was).

The way Miriam’s “sight” worked was really interesting too. I liked how it wasn’t as straightforward you might think seeing someone’s death is. Instead of using it as a cop out for the storyline, Chuck used it to progress the plot. It brought up more questions rather than giving all answers.

I will definitely be grabbing the next in this series and inhaling it like I did Blackbirds. And if you’re a fan of urban fantasy, I suggest you grab this. ( )
  keyboardscoffee | May 30, 2016 |
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Car lights strobe through busted motel blinds.
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Book description
When Miriam Black touches you, she can see how and when you’re going to die. This gives her the chance, in theory, to solve murders before they happen – but she discovers that fate is far more unyielding than suspected, and she soon grows to believe she cannot change the deaths she sees. She learns differently, over time, and learns that the sacrifices necessary to turn fate on its ear are bigger than expected. In the meantime, she exists as a kind of human vulture: instead of attempting to sway fate’s course she steps into it’s path, becoming a carrion bird (figuratively) who lurks at the deaths she knows are coming to steal from the dead. [Author's words from interview on Andrew Jack Writing Blog]
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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.… (more)

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