Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Club Pick: Blackbirds

(book 1)
Books 2 & 3 now available
by Chuck Wendig
Saga Press
2015 (paperback edition)
276 pages
ISBN: 9781481448659

From the inside cover:
"A gleefully dark, twisted road trip for everyone who though Fight Club was too warm and fuzzy. If you enjoy this book, you're probably deeply wrong in the head. I loved it and will be seeking professional help as soon as Chuck lets me out of his basement." --James Moran, screenwriter "Doctor Who," " Torchwood," and "Blackbirds."
Once considered by Starz as a new series, this blogger wishes that one of the cable  networks will consider putting this on the screen.

My review:
Gritty, grimy, ghisly, grotesque, gruesome, and gory, Blackbirds roars off the page and puts up one helluva fight. Miriam Black can see how you will die. All it takes is for her to touch someone skin on skin and she can see everything. She just sees it happen once; no replays. This freakish occurrence nearly brought her to insanity until she discovered that she could follow someone (her mark) whose death was imminent and empty their pockets and wallets. Miriam is not greedy but takes only what she needs to survive. Because of this, readers will empathize with her as a character. She is cursed with a condition that forces her to see hundreds of deaths and she makes the most of it. Does she try to keep people from meeting their Maker? Yes, to terrible results. Having failed, she lives with guilt and finds a way to keep herself fed.
When she accepts a ride from a trucker, she gets rattled for the first time in a long time. Miriam has a vision that Louis has only a few days to live, but what's get her even more concerned is that Louis calls out the name "Miriam" just before he dies. To Miriam this means she is responsible and present for his death--and it's a grisly, terrible death.

Miriam soon has a run-in with a stranger that leaves her speechless. He's been secretly following (stalking) her, and offers her a partnership in crime. She declines; she doesn't need anyone and certainly not Ashley. What she doesn't know is that she has no choice. Someone's after Ashley and they'll stop at nothing to catch him. As Miriam tries to shake Ashley, she is pulled into the cat and mouse game. On the run from bad guys and trying to save good guy truckerLouis, Miriam and Ashley will have to learn to trust each other or die.

Breakneck speed and taut dialog make this a quick read. Gratuitous violence (think Russian mob type violence), torture sessions, vomit inducing descriptions of grisly scenes and language that would make a sailor blush, and you get the picture. Blackbirds is the best kind of raunchy--a tough bird named Mariam  kicking a** and taking names. I usually don't gravitate to this kind of violence in a book, but Mariam is an interesting character that I wanted to get to know. She is the driving force of this book and the reason I kept reading.

Recommended for readers who aren't squeamish and don't mind profanity that stings.

Recommended grade 11-up--it's pretty racy and violent.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


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