Friday, April 27, 2012

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

First and foremost, I should mention this isn't going to be a good review. Reviews mention good things and bad things, and the only thing I have to say about this book is "ZOMG YOU HAVE TO READ IT." Chuck Wendig is the brain behind Terribleminds, and he is one hilarious dude. I've been looking forward to this book for a long time, and it's finally here!

A synopsis, from BN: 
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.

This book grabs you from the very beginning. The language is hilarious, and it doesn't hold anything back. In a way, this book is a breath of fresh air, even though it is filled with blood and bodies and bowel movements. This is what the world is like. It's disgusting. It makes you want to vomit. It has little things in it that make you smile, and that makes all the other things worth standing. The entire book needs its mouth washed out with soap, and I am so happy it has the same... colorful... language as his blog. My mom asked me what the book was about, and when I told her she said it sounded "interesting" and that she "would like to read it when I was finished, if that's alright." All prim and proper like. I can't wait to give it to her.

I love Miriam. She's everything I loved about Lisbeth Salander while still being tied to reality. She's a normal person, who get's stuck with this completely abnormal situation. She lived within these pages, and I'm sad it's over. Miriam had problems, man, just like normal people. But also, some non-normal problems. Finally an urban fantasy book that makes America seem like a real place, and not a Disney-book with fangs and guns. The settings were bottom-of-the-barrel motels, skeevy diners, disgusting trailer parks... it was awesome. Wendig holds nothing back, and I was glued to the book. Until I actually had to put it down once because I was getting a bit overwhelmed and grossed out, and I don't think I have ever done that. Sure, I've had those moments of "Wow, that was pretty gross," but they were always still just words on the page. This time... ew. I had to stop for an hour or so.

And speaking of over... I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FUCKING ENDED IT LIKE THAT. That's it? Done? Actually, maybe I should be thanking you. My least favorite part of books is always the "we're making sure every plot arc is tied up" after the climax and resolution is done, and you're just flipping pages until you can get to the end of the book. So, I changed my mind. Good job. /rant

At some points the transition from one scene to the next wasn't clear. For instance, Miriam wakes up in a hospital, but I didn't know she was in a hospital, I thought she woke up a few minutes after the previous scene, and I'm reading along really confused as to how this all is happening right after what just happened, before I finally realize that it is a new scene, and it all makes more sense. There. Pros and cons. Balance. (Not really.)

All in all, this book was everything I wanted it to be. Gritty reality, and better-than-real-life dialogue. Definitely read it. I can't wait for the second book, Mockingbird, which OMGIJUSTREALIZED ITSOUTTHISYEAR. *yay!* August 28, hurry up! I bought this book on its pub day, and fully intend to do the same with the next. READ IT.


  1. Thanks for the very kind review!

    -- Chuck

  2. Thanks for writing a good book! =]