Blackbirds

( 36 )

Overview

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 he will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. No matter what she does, she ...

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Overview

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 he will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. No matter what she does, she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

“Blackbirds is a story of loss and what it takes to make things right. It’s a story about fate and how sometimes, if we wrestle with it hard enough, maybe we can change it. It’s the kind of book that doesn’t let go even after you’ve put it down.” - STEPHEN BLACKMOORE

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this horror-tinged adventure, Wendig (Double Dead) plays with the concepts of predestination and free will. Miriam Black, cursed to know the destined death of anyone she touches, has resigned herself to acting as an agent of fate, facilitating deaths and looting the bodies left in her wake. Then she meets trucker Louis Darling and discovers that she’ll be present at his murder in the near future. In a rare attempt to defy destiny, she abandons Louis, only to end up as the unwilling accomplice of con man Ashley Gaines. This brings her back into contact with Louis, and gets the attention of a merciless band of murderous criminals who prove that although Miriam can see the future, it’s near-impossible to change it. Visceral and often brutal, this tale vibrates with emotional rawness that helps to paint a bleak, unrelenting picture of life on the edge. Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
"Wendig’s second novel is a splendidly profane slice of urban fantasy – hard, dark and fast. Slick one-liners and laugh-out-loud descriptions pepper the prose, making Blackbirds a black comedy that even the Grim Reaper could smile at."
- The Financial Times

"Vivid and violent... a sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant"
- The Guardian

"Wendig's dark and twisty adventure is filled with misfit characters who defy easy stereotypes... despite fate being hell-bent on keeping her down, Miriam's stubborn struggle to change it makes Blackbirds take flight" - Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, Shelf Awareness

"Visceral and often brutal, this tale vibrates with emotional rawness that helps to paint a bleak, unrelenting picture of life on the edge." - Publishers Weekly

“In addition to a cast of well developed yet mentally unstable characters that enhance a fantastically horrifying plot, Blackbirds possesses a natural progression that doesn’t rely on convenience or contrived circumstances to move the story forward. Author Wendig’s distinctive, straightforward style is accessible and insistent; and the generous helpings of violence are strangely invigorating. Chuck Wendig has raised the bar of the urban fantasy genre . . .”
- Renee C. Fountain, New York Journal of Books

“Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk…” - SFX

“Wendig has taken the American roadside story and turned it into a tale of supernatural terror. This is a treat for those of us who like their horror vampire-free and swear-word heavy.” - Starburst

 “Blackbirds is a high energy, whiskey-fuelled ride, that will pull you along for the journey and have you questioning whether we can change destiny. A must-read book by an author that is worth watching.” - Fantasy Faction

  “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. Blackbirds is gritty and violent, yet never loses sight of the light that might be at the end of the tunnel.” - My Bookish Ways

  “A gleefully dark, twisted road trip for everyone who thought Fight Club was too warm and fuzzy. I loved it, and will be seeking professional help as soon as Chuck lets me out of his basement.” - James Moran, Dr. Who writer

“Enchanting and drowned in blood, Blackbirds is a meaty piece of fiction, a non-stop mind-job where the first hit hurts and you keep going back for more. It’s the kind of gritty, unapologetic story that grips you long after the book’s done; dark, intense, utterly without mercy. Chuck Wendig spins one hell of a tale.”
- Karina Cooper, author of the Dark Mission series

"Trailer-park tension, horrified hilarity, and sheer terror mixed with deft characterization and razor plotting. I literally could not put it down."
- Lilith Saintcrow, author of Night Shift and Working for the Devil
 
"Blackbirds is a horror story, a traveling story, a story of loss and what it takes to make things right.  It's a story about fate and how sometimes, if we wrestle with it hard enough, maybe we can change it.  Blackbirds is the kind of book that doesn't let go even after you've put it down and nobody else could have made it shine like Chuck Wendig."
- Stephen Blackmoore, author, City of the Lost and Dead Things
 
"Mean, moody and mysterious, Blackbirds is a noir joyride peppered with black humour, wry observation, and visceral action. Fans of Chuck Wendig will not be disappointed."
- Adam Christopher, author of Empire State

“It’s a cliché in reviewing to say that you couldn’t put a book down, that you ended up reading all night because you couldn’t bear to leave the story. In reality there haven’t been that many books written – ever – that have that indefinable quality that demands your full attention. Blackbirds is one of the few I’ve come across in recent years.”
- SciFi Bulletin

"Wendig writes hard and fast and this is a slick noirish thriller."
- David Barnett, The Independent (December 9, 2012)

 “insanely good, acrid, burning prose … Wendig is a phenomenal talent, breakthrough of the last year. Absolute must-read.”
-Ray, Endless Falls Up 

"This book is and isn’t what I expected it to be. I did expect it to be good. But I didn’t expect it to be that good. This is book dark, gritty, and the elements of horror aren’t so terrifying that you wet yourself, but they are pretty damn scary sometimes."
-Write To Perfect

"I find myself taken with Miriam & her snarky foul-mouthed firebrand hellion devil-may-care badass ways."
-The BiblioSanctum

Blackbirds was named Runner-up for the 2012 THIS IS HORROR Novel of the Year Award 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455885312
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the 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. Chuck was nominated for the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2012

    Once again Wendig blew me away. I could not put this book down.

    Once again Wendig blew me away. I could not put this book down. It's dark and twistedly funny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2014

    Amazing book <3 the characters are so well written and raw.

    Amazing book &lt;3 the characters are so well written and raw.

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Starkly original and freshly grim, Blackbirds is a unique urban

    Starkly original and freshly grim, Blackbirds is a unique urban fantasy featuring a terrified young woman trying to outrun herself and her &quot;gift&quot; of seeing people's deaths in crystal-clear detail. Miriam has been living on the run since she was a young teenager, and her life is really rough and scary. She sees herself as a scavenger to Death, taking only what she needs to keep running. In the past she's tried to prevent the deaths she sees, but she only ends up being the catalyst to the death, creating a sense of fatalism and inevitability. She's existing, but not living. The book doles out snippets of Miriam's past, right before her ability manifested, and it's as mean and sad and grim as her current life.
    Miriam is a quirky woman, and when she talks the words flow out of her like lava from a volcano. The steady, thick river of stream-of consciousness profanity and uncensored thoughts, chock-full of brutal honesty and a fatalistic perspective is almost involuntary, and I thought this was a glimpse of Miriam's true self that she normally kept bottled up.
    Blackbirds is really the chronicle of Miriam waking up from her self-centered, self-pitying life of horror and grief, and acknowledging a connection with another human being. What I loved is that Miriam doesn't turn chipper, kind, or gracious. This is a girl with a brittle, rough center to match her exterior. But her journey from passive witness to fighting participant, also mirrors her first real attempt to confront herself and what's inside of her. She's slowly figuring out that she can't control it, but she can control how she reacts to her gift.
    As tough and harsh as Blackbirds is, I found it compelling and fascinating. I had to keep reading to learn about Miriam's past, and to find out how she was involved in her vision of Louis' death.
    A unique, powerful and original book - highly recommended.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    I fell for how human the 'hero' is despite her fantastic ability

    I fell for how human the 'hero' is despite her fantastic ability. With the Wendig's skill, I am drawn into the story despite some times in the plot I did felt characters around her might be a little cliché, my absolute adoration of her-- bad habits and self loathing-- was addictive. I am on his third installment, both she and HE get better and better. I love them both with like a FEDISH-- I can't believe it hasn't hit mainstream. I have bought this book for friends and given it as gifts because it deserves attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    NOT FOR KIDS

    VERY BAD WORDS!a

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    Wow what a ride.

    Excellant book, I had not read anything before by this author. I will be going back for more. Sit down and hang on, its a fast read. Slightly twisted, but hey, aren't we all?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Not your run-of-the-mill plot

    Unique story and characters. A fun & interesting read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Good

    Good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Excellent

    Fun, fast read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Loved it

    The words fly at you like bullets to the brain
    Read it, you will like it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    A Fun "Road" Adventure

    If you have not read Chuck Wendig's BLACKBIRDS--you are missing out. This wild, graphic "road" novel features a strong-willed, dynamic & dangerous female everyone will love & fear. Great action, great concept & so much fun I read it in a single night. If all Urban Fantasy was like this one--I'd read more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Doesnt get more raw

    This is a book of the brutal and dirty. Its like a shot of whuskey and a punch to the face. With a cigarette as the apertif. Enjoy

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    Loaded with action!

    Full of action - Wendig's writing grabs you by the collar and drags you straight into the story. Details are graphic, so this novel is not for the faint of heart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Great read

    To be honest, i really only bought this book based off of the cover and to my surprise the book was great. I had planned to be reading this over the course of my upcoming vacation, but once i started i just couldnt put it down. It's funny, intense, and gory.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Great characters that leaps off the page as if to throttle you.


    Great characters that leaps off the page as if to throttle you.

    Blackbirds is an over the top story of mayhem. colorful metaphors and death. Miram is an engaging character with lots of reasons not to like her, but she makes you want to read more about her. She more than a little quirky and her most endearing trait is she knows how a person is going to die just by touching them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2012

    This book has a flow to it that makes it a great, easy read. It

    This book has a flow to it that makes it a great, easy read. It has a feel to it that reminds me of the Odd Thomas books by Koontz, but Miriam is no easy going, let me help you drifter. She's damaged, mistrusting, and out to hurt anyone she encounters to keep them from hurting her.
    Of course she stumbles across the one person that makes her think contrary to her rules, and she has to decide if she's going to try once more to fight the plans of fate----something she has so far been unable to do.

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Chuck Wendig's BLACKBIRDS is urban fantasy with an intriguing no

    Chuck Wendig's BLACKBIRDS is urban fantasy with an intriguing noir spin. It manages to make a profound message laced with profanity into a total body which is both witty and disturbing. You'll either put it down immediately or be stuck to it until it releases you from its bloody grip. A great ride from cover to cover.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    Raw and powerful, Blackbirds offers a brilliant glimpse into the

    Raw and powerful, Blackbirds offers a brilliant glimpse into the mind of its main character, Miriam. With each juicy detail, the story unfolds at just the right pace. Miriam and her mind-bending gift/curse will have you questioning all you know about the fragility of life and love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    A very Tarantino-esque Urban Fantasy

    If Quentin Tarantino decided to make an Urban Fantasy movie, I would expect the result to be a lot like Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig. This book is profane, violent, bloody, and filled with well-drawn but totally messed-up characters. This is a fast, lean and easy read that will hold your attention even if you're sleep deprived. Wending doesn't waste any words. But...if excess profanity or gore turns you off, this may not be your cup of tea.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Miriam is a bad ass that doesn't take crap from anyone. She has

    Miriam is a bad ass that doesn't take crap from anyone. She has a gift, though she thinks of it as a curse, which allows her to see how everyone will die just by touching them. All she needs is skin on skin contact and she will be able to see when and how someone dies. She is a wanderer, never sticking around in one place very long and never letting her guard down. Her life changes when she gets in a truck with a man named Louis. The brief touch of his hand lets her see that he will die in roughly a month and his last words would be her name.

    There are two main men that enter Miriam's life, and they are quite opposite from each other. Louis is a lonely truck driver that wants to protect Miriam from the bad things in life. He is sweet and a little bit naive. He has no clue what fate has in store for him. Ashley, is a guy that she meets in a bar, and you quickly figure out that he knows more than he lets on and he isn't quite who he says he is. I found myself hoping that Miriam would be able to do something for Louis to change his fate. But as she says a few times, fate is set in stone and she is unable to change it no matter how hard she tries.

    The bad &quot;guys&quot; in this book are rather interesting. Frankie and Harriet are searching for something that belongs to their boss. They are ruthless in their search and will stop at nothing to get what they are looking for. Their story quickly and cleanly intertwines with Miriam's story. I was fascinated to learn that Wendig actually mashed the stories together has a writing exercise and came up with this wonderful book.

    I have to give major kudos to Wendig, the entire time I was reading I was thinking &quot;Wow, this would be a great movie&quot;. I have never felt that way about a book before, and probably won't again until I read the second book of this series. This book had the whole dark, gritty thing going for it and a main character that spoke her mind (profanities included). I really loved it, and I highly recommend it if you are okay with books that have profanity, violence, death, etc.

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