Hey! Before I get into this review, I thought I should warn you: this is going to be a profanity-laced review of a profanity-laced book, so if swearing isn’t your thing, you might wanna skip this one. You were warned. Without further ado…
If this cover doesn’t immediately compel you to buy this book, you’re probably dead.
One: it’s fucking gorgeous, down to every last detail.
Two: it’s basically the only blurb you need.
Three: I’ve never seen a better depiction of a main character, ever. She’s sassy, aloof, and completely unapologetic. And you want to know who she is.
It’s been a while since I was immediately sucked into a book, but Miriam Black is one hard-hitting, badass bitch. Her slick one-liners and devil-may-care attitude caught me up and I willingly went along for the ride. You see, Miriam is “gifted” with the ability to see your death. One little touch, skin on skin, and she knows every last detail, down the moment you drown in your own blood or scrape your face off on the pavement. And if your death happens to be convenient, she’ll watch you choke, and then steal your wallet.
Not a bad living, if you call it living. Miriam would call it surviving.
She should be entirely unlikable, but fuck it all if there’s not a sliver of redeeming empathy in her. When she meets a man whose death is caused by him meeting her, Miriam struggles against her urge to save him. Saving people only leads to a shitstorm of death in her experience. But she just can’t let this one go.
Chuck Wendig does an impressive job channeling the voice of a twenty-something vagrant road chick. The narrative is seamless, and the present-tense perspective grabs you by the back of the neck and shoves you down the back alley of Miriam’s world. In “Interlude” chapters, you learn more about Miriam’s past and what makes her tick. Though it breaks up the narrative, these slices of “before” fit flawlessly into the story. The whole damn book is sharp as a switchblade.
I’ve never been more in love.
I may have immediately purchased Mockingbird and The Cormorant.
I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on this one, from readers as enthralled as I am to readers who thought the book was gratuitously vulgar. I won’t lie: there’s a fuckton of swearing (which I don’t give a shit about) and some nitty-gritty nasty details, like a roach disappearing up a dead guy’s nose and people gettin’ stabbed in the eye. Oh, and the death. Did I mention there’s death in this book?
The best thing about Blackbirds is how unapologetic it is. Wendig gives zero fucks (and thus Miriam does as well) about what you think of her (Miriam), and tells a damn good story. It doesn’t pretend to be a romance, or a salvation novel, or a better understanding the mysteries of the universe book. It’s just Miriam, dealing with the shit in her life and trying to do something right, even though she’s convinced she’ll fail. And I fucking love that. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book.
If you enjoy fast-paced, gritty urban fantasy with a dash of the supernatural that steal hours from your life because you can’t stop reading, get Blackbirds immediately.
Here, I’ll make it easy for you:
And if Chuck weren’t badass enough, he also dishes out profanity-laced writing advice over on TerribleMinds.com.
I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Miriam again.