This is the first novel I’ve read by the author who is probably most famous for his foul-mouthed but fabulous writing advice (I’m currently reading 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer, full of great tips!), Chuck Wendig’s latest book, Blackbirds, is quite frankly, stunning.
Let’s start with the cover. Because OMFG from the moment I saw it I loved it and knew I HAD to read the book. It’s gorgeous.
You can try and tell me that you’re not curious, but I won’t believe you for a second.
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.
This is a book right up my alley. Right from the beginning I was caught up in Miriam’s web. She is not a typical character by any means, and her gift, or curse depending on how you want to look at it, means that she sees life in a totally different way from those around her. At times I might not have agreed with her choices, but she was true to herself the whole way through. And when she meets Louis, she is confronted by the kind of life she might have had, under other circumstances. He is sweet and caring in a world that has treated her badly, and she is the only one who might be able to save him.
This is not a book for everyone: there is a lot of profanity in it, but then, I think it was fitting to the kind of story, and the range of characters included. There is a lot of violence, this is a brutal and intense novel which does not hold back. If you are squeamish, you might want to sit this one out. But if those things don’t bother you so much, then I think you should definitely pick this up. It’s one hell of a ride. Not only is it dark and brutal, but it’s also funny, and sweet in parts. It runs the gamut of human emotion, and Miriam will draw you in almost despite yourself.
There are questions still unanswered about why Miriam can see how people will die, and plenty of room for exploration in her world. Luckily I only have to wait until later in the year for the second installment in this series. Chuck Wendig has secured a place on my ‘must-buy’ authors list.