Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

73%

43 Critic Reviews

It's vivid and violent, with some pyrotechnic turns of phrase, if occasionally rough round the edges.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Touch Of Death | The Future Is Written | Free Way | Surviving ]
 

About Chuck Wendig

See more books from this Author
Chuck Wendig is equal parts novelist, screenwriter, and game designer – A.K.A. an all-around "freelance penmonkey." You can probably find him on the side of a highway holding a sign, "Will Write For Booze." He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with wife, dog, and infant heir to the Wendig throne. You can find him dispensing dubious writing advice at his blog, terribleminds.com.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Angry Robot. 384 pages
Genres: Other, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Blackbirds
All: 43 | Positive: 35 | Negative: 8

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Keith Brooke on May 29 2012

It's vivid and violent, with some pyrotechnic turns of phrase, if occasionally rough round the edges.

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Tor

Excellent
Reviewed by Stefan Raets on Apr 24 2012

It’s a short, sharp tale that’s consistently captivating and a pure, dark delight from start to finish.

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Book Lovers

Excellent
Jun 05 2012

This book will attack your brain directly through your eyeballs. You won’t realize it until it is too late.

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Spinetingler Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by R Thomas Brown on Apr 24 2012

Chuck Wendig’s latest novel, BLACKBIRDS, doesn’t walk up to you slowly and give you a hug. No, it smacks you in the face, roughs you up, and makes you like it.

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The Ranting Dragon

Excellent
Reviewed by Garrett on Jul 03 2012

With near-surgical, intoxicant-fueled precision, Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds cuts directly to where it hurts the very most and yet keeps you coming back for more, a stellar example of what truly dark and personal urban fantasy should be.

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Savannah Now

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth White on May 22 2012

Blackbirds is a triumphant and tantalizing first step in an exciting new series, one which promises to take both readers and Miriam on a journey as enlightening as it is entertaining.

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This is Horror

Excellent
Reviewed by Ross Warren

From the first page Chuck Wendig leaves no doubt in the mind that he knows what he’s doing and this confidence propels the reader into Miriam’s world.

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Functional Nerds

Below average
Reviewed by Catherine Russell on May 17 2012

One of the things I did not enjoy was the excessive profanity...it wore thin quickly.

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Thinking About Books

Excellent
Reviewed by David Marshall on Mar 13 2012

Objectively, with one exception, people do terrible things to each other, but the way it’s all described is so exuberant, you get carried along and, at times, actually smile. This makes me think of those ads for chocolates, “So good, it’s sinful!”

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Dark Faerie Tales

Good
Reviewed by Kristie on Jun 14 2012

Uber-violent and crude, a dark thrill ride that never stops. Beware, this novel is not for the faint of heart.

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Ryan Lawler

Blackbirds dares you to get down and dirty, dares you to like this miscreant from the wrong side of the tracks, and by the end you will either love her or you will hate her.

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The Book Smugglers

Below average
Reviewed by Ana on Apr 25 2012

...I have seen this particular story done before, there is nothing new or original about an abrasive, damaged UF heroine who is struggling with the conceits of free will x fate. Been there, read that.

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My Bookish Ways

Good
Reviewed by Kristin on Apr 06 2012

Chuck Wendig has managed to take the best of urban fantasy and crime noir, twist ‘em together like barbed wire, and drag you right over the barbs.

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The Founding Fields

Good
May 10 2012

...I certainly didn’t expect anything as dark, gritty and as twisted as what this turned out to be. Neither, did I expect anything as fantastic as this.

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Book Chick City

Good
Reviewed by Melanie on Jul 04 2012

The backdrop may be urban fantasy but the story is pure thriller with Wendig keeping the reader guessing whether Miriam will save the day.

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All Things Urban Fantasy

Below average
Reviewed by Julia on May 04 2012

The avalanche of violence was brutal, however, making it a feat for me to get through book one. I don’t think I have the fortitude to venture further into the series...

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My Shelf Confessions

Good
Reviewed by Tabitha on Apr 30 2012

If you are OK with a lot of cussing, very graphic death scenes, and a wee bit of sex, oh yes and blood, let’s not forget all the blood, then you will definitely love this book.

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The Readventurer

Below average
Apr 20 2012

My advice about Blackbirds? Skip it, unless you are a dude or have a taste for gross, and read Zoo City instead.

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King of the Nerds!!!

Good
Reviewed by Mike on Jul 13 2012

Fans of horror fiction and good simple storytelling should definitely give Blackbirds a shot.

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The Speculative Scotsman

Good
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on May 07 2012

Chuck Wendig was one to watch beforehand, but with this twisted little treat he cements an already-estimable reputation.

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Violin in a Void

Good
Apr 24 2012

... I enjoyed Blackbirds. It’s a quick and dirty brush with the seedier side of urban fantasy.

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The Eloquent Page

Good
May 01 2012

After completing Blackbirds I’m going to have to hold my hands up and admit that I am now a full on convert to the Church of Wendig.

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The Little Red Reviewer Blog

Below average
Jul 10 2012

This style of writing isn’t a scapel that has you bleeding before you realize it, this is more a jagged rusty machete that’s still covered in gore from its last victim.

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The Windy Pages

Good
May 24 2012

Wendig does a fantastic job describing the gore too, so this may not be a book for the squimish. But if you have the stomach, and want a wild ride, pick up Blackbirds.

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Wag the Fox

Good
May 03 2012

The ideas of fate, destiny, choices and coincidences that carry their own consequences all get a time to shine in this novel.

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Stephen Legault

Below average
Reviewed by Stephen Legault on Jul 01 2012

What got me was the lack of restraint: sometimes you don’t need three or four contiguous descriptions of vulgarity to explain an act of psychopathic homicide or torment. Sometimes one will do.

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allwaysunmended

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Nelson on Jun 13 2012

Blackbirds surpassed every expectation I had for this story.

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Geek Syndicate

Good
Jun 08 2012

Both earthy and pithy, Chuck Wendig explores the emotions and feelings of someone who has no control of their gift, but who desperately wants to escape both the curse and her life.

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Uncle Berg's Unsanity Files

Good
Reviewed by Albert Berg on May 16 2012

Blackbirds is plotted beautifully, drawing you in from the first page, and making you care deeply about this wounded and lonely soul named Miriam Black.

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Lady Blue Jay

Good
Reviewed by Jayla on May 10 2012

Not only is Mr. Wendig’s writing brilliantly gritty, but it’s raw and edgy, just as it should be.

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Notes from the Belfry

Good
Jun 28 2012

Chuck Wendig really delivers the goods: Blackbirds is a fast-paced, ultra-violent supernatural noir, with cheeky dialogue and a vivid pop-culture vibe.

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Chuck Caruso

Good
Reviewed by Chuck Caruso on Jun 19 2012

if you like your novels down-and-dirty, pedal-to-the-metal, and still thought-provoking...if you like your fiction dark and weird, you need to read this book.

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Phronk

Good
Reviewed by Mike on May 29 2012

The highest praise I can give Blackbirds is that if the sequel was out, I'd be reading it right now instead of writing this review.

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Captain Raspberry Blogs the Universe

Good
Reviewed by James Taber on May 23 2012

The story is very tight and visceral, but nothing will capture your heart or your liver like the protagonist.

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Wishful Thinking

Below average
Reviewed by Varsha Dinesh on May 18 2012

...I think post-apocalyptic novels try too hard. Chuck Wendig makes today’s Earth seem like a place you’d want to blowtorch.

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Doyce Testerman

Good
Reviewed by Doyce Testerman on May 18 2012

it’s Miriam that makes Blackbirds work...You may not like her (she’ll be happier if you don’t), but you’ll care.

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Word Salad

Below average
Reviewed by Derek Berry on May 13 2012

It’s not that the main characters were not compelling enough but perhaps that the plot was predictable.

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Emma Maree Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Emma Maree on May 09 2012

The story moves between two timelines with short, snappy scenes without getting confusing, and the present tense keeps us right there for every moment of the action.

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Whirling Nerdish

Good
Reviewed by J. M. Dow on May 09 2012

God bless you, Wendig, for a rip-roaring good read.

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This Writing Life

Good
Reviewed by Bobby Matthews on May 09 2012

Wendig’s novel, Blackbirds, is — like the Beastie Boys’ seminal album License to Ill — by turns vulgar, angry, funny, harsh, cruel, and nasty. It’s also more than the sum of its parts.

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L'esprit D'escalier

Good
May 08 2012

Blackbirds is tightly plotted and breathlessly paced.

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Roots Half Hidden

Good
Reviewed by Laura on Apr 30 2012

It’s a piece of dark and gritty urban fantasy, where “magic” is a gift granted through trauma, where fate appears to hold power over people.

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Urban Fantasy Land

Good
Reviewed by Sara Walker on Apr 23 2012

BLACKBIRDS is easily on the dark end of the urban fantasy spectrum. It’s gritty, graphically violent, pulp fiction, and yet terribly compelling.

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Reader Rating for Blackbirds
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 272 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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