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Title: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
Series: Miriam Black # 1
Published : April 24, 2012
Publisher: Angry Robot
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Recommendations : 16+ (sex, cursing, mild violence, alcohol use )
Miriam Black knows when you will die.
Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.
Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But 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.
Disclaimer: I always try to be honest and impartial in my reviews my goal is not to tear down a writers work but to offer my most humble constructive opinions. Be it negative or positive it’s meant to be taken as such, after all these are just my opinions so please take it with a grain of salt.
Book excerpt- Sudden movement. Footsteps. Running, crashing through the bush- toward her. Miriam clambers to her feet, grabs hold of a tree branch and launches herself forward and now she’s up and running, too. Her follower is in close pursuit; it can’t be true, but Miriam images she feel breath on the back of her neck, hands snatching the air just behind her heels, teeth biting into the meat of her shoulder. Is it Harriet, she thinks. It’s that awful woman. I’m dead meat.
First impressions on the surface Miriam is a liar she’s brash surly booze drinking, a chain smoker and a promiscuous tease but it’s a facade . Thats what she wants you to think its a coping mechanism. If you dig deeper you will see the huge burden she’s carrying around, the chaos this gift has made of her life. If with a single touch you could see how someone was going to die. I wonder what condition your marbles would be in. But it’s not just the responsibility of knowing but the weight of the guilt as well. As she stood idly by while her marks die. She learnt a long time ago the price of intervention. At the heart of it Miriam is essentially a good person with an extraordinary affliction, curse, gift whatever you want to call. It runs her life.
But even so she’s strong she’s learn to defend herself how to take a punch and to take chances. She gets into a spot of trouble while hitching a ride. The busts some heads kind of trouble when a good Samaritan intervenes and offers her a ride it’s this meeting that will change her life though she doesn’t know it yet. Despite Louis’s kind face she describes him as a serial rapist and a control freak, I love the internal dialogue she has with herself she’s so damaged a lost sheep. Makes me wonder what happened to her how did she get so jaded as read more a clearer picture of Miriam develops. Ashley’s introduction is explosive but after they have sex in the morning he turns into the ugly con man. Physically they match he makes her feels things she doesn’t the sex is always hot yet after she’s regretful then there’s Louis something about him gets past her defenses aside from the dying part she can’t stop thinking about him.
Didn’t like Ashley he wasn’t my favorite. He had no scruples he threatens to expose her to the cops but when trouble turn up looking for him he throws her to the wolves. What turns me off is the fact he’s forcing her to steal which maybe the reason she dies. Miriam has standards and code she lives by and Ashley is forcing her to break it. He reminds of those guys who could charm your pants off with a smile but it’s that same smile that gets him and everyone around him very dead.
Chuck Wendig writing is raw and refreshing I love the reality of his world even when including the extraordinary what Miriam can do. He soaks Miriam’s world in a soup of real world circumstances. He hold no punches when having a character express themselves the dialogue is witty laced with explicitives a bag of fun. I really enjoyed even the uncomfortable bits I gave it a four and half out five.