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Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 by Chuck Wendig
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Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 (edition 2012)

by Chuck Wendig

Series: Miriam Black (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7446722,427 (3.7)52
The first book in the Miriam Black series: "A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant" (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future. Miriam Black knows how you're going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can't do anything about it, or stop trying to. She's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you--skin to skin contact--and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam 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. "Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk" (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.… (more)
Member:psutto
Title:Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1
Authors:Chuck Wendig
Info:Angry Robot Books (2012), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2014 challenge

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Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

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» See also 52 mentions

English (66)  German (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
I've got some mixed feelings about this book. I loved - LOVED - the first third or so but then things crept up that made me love it less. By the end, I liked the book alright but don't feel any desire to go forward with the series.

Some of the things I loved: Wendig's voice and writing style. Love much of the language and imagery and the pacing. Very gory and graphic but in a way that drew me even more into the story.

Some of the things I didn't like: The only time anyone's race was specifically stated was two Black peripheral characters. I'll keep pointing this out whenever I see it because only mentioning the race of people of color continues to perpetuate the idea that white is the norm and everyone one else is "other." White authors need to stop doing this. Thank you.

I also didn't like the small bit about the woman with super short hair either being a lesbian or someone who doesn't give a shit about her appearance anymore. Could be I'm sensitive to perpetuating that shitty stereotype but, yeah, that made me like Miriam less.

There were also some moments toward the very end that relate to Harriet and Miriam that seemed completely unbelievable to me but I won't go those here due to spoilers. Let's just say I would expect Harriet to be smarter and more cautious than she was.

I still did mostly enjoy the story. The premise was great even if I thought the resolution was pretty much what I expected the end of the journey to be. No matter what, I'm glad I finally read a book by the author. He's one of my favorite Twitter people. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
Certainly not a feel-good book, but I loved it nonetheless. The violence was intense and detailed, but it worked with the story line and didn't feel gratuitous. Miriam was such a sad and off-putting character yet I wanted to see something good happen to her. I felt like I needed a long shower after this one, but is a compliment on how vivid Wendig's atmosphere came across. Every description pained a picture, and even though it was a grim one, I kept wanting to read more. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
This book was a surprise. Wending has an amazing way with imagery. I laughed out loud several times. Highly recommended for anyone that doesn't mind a bit of a dirty anti-hero. ( )
  Chris.Bulin | Oct 1, 2020 |
Fast paced, sharp, complex characters take you on a scary adventure. ( )
  caanderson | Jun 14, 2020 |
I had some pretty darn strong reactions to reading this. I mean, I already know that Chuck Wendig writes some gritty and hard-hitting unlikable crap-like characters that wallow around in the muck and make even more of it, but that wasn't really where my strong reactions were coming from.

Or were they?

Let me back up. Reading this is like reading the lovechild of Chuck Palahniuk and Seanan McGuire. One half of it is an emotional and vivid supernatural UF ride with a strong female who is on the way to hitting bottom when we first get to know her, and the other half is Marla Singer.

She's WELL on the way to breaking the glass-bottom boat and going all the way through. And why? Every person she touches, she see's the moment of their deaths. Her coping mechanism went through the other side of drinking herself to death to making a sport of hooking up with truckers on the side of the road at 1 am just to combat the death that's always inside her.

It's dark and self-destructive and its hard to like her even if I feel some sympathy.

It gets easier and better as she tries to make real connections again and she's forced into fighting for her life as con men and murderous women and criminal organizations use and abuse her because at least she's not being so self-destructive. Others have that covered.

The best parts of this novel are the LANGUAGE. :) Such COLORFUL use of it. And the resolution is quite satisfying, too. The many, many descriptions of death, both foul and disturbing, were brilliantly depicted. The MC's viewpoints on EVERYONE comes through like a slap on the face, too.

I mentioned Chuck Palahniuk for a reason. It's almost a nihilistic sex-sport gothfest for con-men and women. It's also graphic as hell.

For those who like this kind of thing and like it SPICY, I totally recommend this UF. :) It's hard to like these characters, but I was absolutely entertained by them. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chuck Wendigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beresford, EmilyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beresford, EmilyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franken, AxelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HiFi, JoeyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Wikipedia in English (1)

The first book in the Miriam Black series: "A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant" (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future. Miriam Black knows how you're going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can't do anything about it, or stop trying to. She's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you--skin to skin contact--and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam 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. "Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk" (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.

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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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