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34 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Fantasy that dares to be different
Blackbirds has a fair amount of hype circulating around it. There is a lot of expectation here. The cover alone promises the reader multiple things and for the most part Blackbirds delivers. I was intrigued by this book long before I requested it for review but I was scared that it would just not do it for me but in the end I really, really liked it.

The best...
Published 20 months ago by Kate Phillips

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars two tales fused together, one great, the other so-so
Blackbirds is somewhat of a curious book. The hook is excellent and some of the writing mouth watering, yet there is something slightly off key. Having slept on it I think the issue is that story felt like two separate tales jammed together. On the one hand, it is the story of Miriam, a young woman who is street smart, damaged, fragile, feisty and generally messed up,...
Published 20 months ago by Rob Kitchin


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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 18 Jan 2014
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This book was hilarious from start to finish with amazing writing and dialogue. It reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Miriam drinks, swears, steals and kicks blokes faces in and has one of the wittiest tongues I've ever read. She also knows when people are going to die if she touches them. Brilliant story. Excellent writing. Can totally see this being made into a movie. 5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lean and mean, 11 Jan 2014
By 
Ann Smyth (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Chuck Wendig doesn't waste words on exposition. Every word--some of them profane. Ok, many of them profane--is just right for its job and conveys its meaning in a tight and dark manner. I blitzed through this, keen to pick it up at every opportunity. It's a 4+* for me, but 5* means I'll want a paperback to keep and reread, and I think I'm good with a single read of my ebook. The only slight disappointment for me was the ending. I wanted more from it, after the rest of the book. It wasn't bad, I was just expecting a little--I don't know--more, somehow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loving a never read before genre, 24 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 (Paperback)
Never read anything like it before as my choices of book usually concentrate on 'prize winning' books in order to avoid feeling disappointed in a purchase (as 'I need to own' the books I read) and to ensure a good level of English as this my second language. The violence is extreme (my only 'eergh' moment) simply because this is something I'm not used to yet I loved it and I could easily imagine Quentin Tarantino having a go at making a movie out of it (wouldn't it be fun?). I find the wording/descriptions/narrative/plot incredibly entertaining and it was difficult to put it down before I'd finished reading it. I'd recommend it to my grown up kids and anyone else I felt would enjoy that type of book (obviously, which isn't everyone).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to stay with you, 30 Oct 2013
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Chuck Wendig has a graphic novel background, I think, and it shows in this novel. Sharp characterisation and very moody, dark story, very visual, lots of strong imagery that adds to the mood of the story. Having been a Sandman and TankGirl fan back in the day this book was right up my street. I read a criticism in another review that the main (female) character has a male voice. Well, I'm a woman and I want more of this kind of a voice in my female protagonists, so go figure, it read true to me.

The darkness of the book meant I had genuine concern for the welfare of the characters I liked, which kept me reading ... Straight on into book number 2, which I would also recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, nasty and beautiful, 22 Oct 2013
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This is one of the stand-out novels I've read recently.

Miriam Black is a wonderfully complex character, as hard as nails and with a caustic wit. But you get the impression that there's a good person inside, thoroughly trapped and desperate to get out.

Wendig's writing is incredibly tight, with not a wasted word. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 1 Sep 2013
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I loved this book. It's dark, funny and fast paced; but above all the characters are so real. Miriam is flawed, but I really like her - it's so refreshing to have a female protagonist who isn't... perfect. Can't wait to read the next book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 26 July 2013
By 
TML SUTCLIFFE (Cheadle, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 (Paperback)
To be honest, this is not a genre I would choose to read, but it was a bookgroup choice. A good read - couldn't put it down - but not a style I would want to read again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wendig is great, 17 July 2013
This review is from: Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 (Paperback)
Miriam Black lives on the road. She hitchhikes, earning a living by stealing from people. To honor or dishonor of Miriam, but it needs to be said that she steals from the dead people. The fact is, Miriam is able to predict the death of another person. It is enough to touch someone's skin, and in her head there is the image: she sees, when and how a person dies. So, finding people who are about to die, she is either rubbed their trust or follow them, so that later, when the person is dead, she pick up the money that was there with him or her. You can't get rich this way, but it's enough for a living. Especially if a living means no home, friends, relatives, and no prospects for the future.

At the beginning of the novel Miriam takes the money from the wallet of a man, who had the heart attack just at the moment when he was about to have sex with Miriam in a hotel room. With a black eye and in dirty, torn clothes, Miriam gets in the truck and accidentally touches the driver. The vision shows that the driver named Louis will be brutally murdered in thirty days, and before his death he will call Miriam by name. Miriam, scared, leaves Louis, but their paths will cross yet. Death in the face of three psychopath murderers already comes on the heels.

Chuck Wendig, after the novella Shotgun Gravy, again makes the main character of his novel a woman. And hell, if I had not seen the author's name on the cover, it could be assumed that a book was written by a woman. Miriam Black is even more sophisticated creation from Wendig. She swears, is rude to dangerous types, keeps a diary, where records all her foresight, and her whole life is full of strangers and no loved ones.

Under a layer of black humor (Miriam no longer takes her life seriously after so many deaths in her head, and humor is the only protection to not go crazy) hides a very dark and full of despair story of a girl who is given a gitf (or, rather, curse) to see someone else's death but not given to prevent these deaths. The story itself is quite local, even small, but it is only that on the surface. Plotwise it is a road novel, with a pinch of noir, the cruel murderers, suitcase full of drugs and roguish hero with supernatural powers. There is something in Blackbirds that is significantly Stephen King-ish. This book could've been written by King of The Dead Zone and Misery, when he was writing 200 pages novels. This is also the story which is typically American, with roadside cafes, motels, gas stations and shady characters that can be found on both sides of the highway - occurring somewhere in the heart of the country.

But under a thin layer of the plot there is a thick layer of thoughts on the themes of life and death. Wendig doesn't waste words. To get to the point, he uses only one sentence instead of ten unlike 95 percent of the fantasy authors. Blackbirds is no fantasy, though. Just insanely good, acrid, burning prose. And the dialogues are top-notch.

Wendig is a phenomenal talent, breakthrough of the last year. Absolute must-read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A film noir on paper, 27 Jun 2013
By 
ADS (United Kindom) - See all my reviews
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Reading one of Mr.Wendig's books reminded me a lot of his blog, terrible minds. The writing is gritty, the humour caustic, and the pace sometimes races along like a unicorn with its pants on fire (see, it's catching). There were times when the plot of Blackbirds dragged though and I found myself skipping pages to get to the action. This may have more to do with the fact that I like fast-paced books. I do dig that you need pauses for character development and for your reader to metaphorically put the kettle on, but there were some scenes between Miriam and Louis that felt too long. The characterisation of Miriam is faultless though and she reminded me of Lisbeth Salander at times. And I love the killers, Harriet and Frankie. Louis I wasn't so hot on; I get that he was big, and kind, and wanted to 'save' Miriam, but I could not make myself care about what happened to him. All in all, this book reads like a film noir and I would recommend it to people who are fans of that genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, 13 April 2013
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This review is from: Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book...a bit supernatural style and an interesting premise. It would get 5 stars if the concept was expanded a bit more. I dont want to say too much, as I think you should read this one...but for me, there could be a little more development. But dont let that put you off, it is enjoyable
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Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1
Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1 by Chuck Wendig (Paperback - 3 May 2012)
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