Thursday, 16 August 2012


I took Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds with me on a train journey that started at 5.55am and finished at 11.45am.  Instead of catching up on sleep, like any normal person, I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put this amazing novel down, tiredness be dammed.
Miriam Black is something of a nomad.  An opportunist, she doesn't connect to people, but for a good reason: when she makes touches another persons skin she sees how they die.  Unfortunately most people don't die in their sleep with their family surrounding them, but in violent or unexpected ways.  Having tried to defy fate in the past, but not making any difference, Miriam has given up trying to change what has to happen.  That is until she hitches a ride from truck driver Louis, and after seeing the traumatic events that lead to his death she realises that she is somehow involved and tries to get as far away from him as possible. 

What follows is a fast paced, tumultuous journey leading to the inevitable.  I was astounded at how much I loved Blackbirds.  There was something that felt different about it, and is perhaps the first book I've read where the text matched the impressive cover.  I enjoyed it so much I've been telling everyone I know to read it, and I practically shoved it in my mum's hands as soon as I got home so she could see what a unique book this is.
  The structure of the novel is amazing, I never felt bored, or that the story stalled at any point.  I thought that Wendig was clever by including interludes that revealed more of Miriam's past, and alluded to when her visions began, without having to halt the main plot with tons of exposition.
Miriam herself is an astounding and complicated and a brilliantly mouthy character as are the other strange people that she encounters on the road.  I honestly cannot wait until the sequel, Mockingbird, is released later this year.

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