Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm a wait and see kind of girl. More vulture than falcon

I've followed Chuck Wendig's blog and Twitter for awhile now. I can't quite remember when I started, but then again I usually can't remember what I had for dinner the night before so I mean, not unusual. I followed him for a long time before reading Blackbirds and I don't know exactly why I took so long.

Miriam Black can see death. One skin-on-skin touch and she knows when, where and how a person is going to bite it. So she's seen a lot of deaths, both gruesome and mundane, but she's never been a part of it before. That is until her name is the last thing on a dying man's lips. A man that didn't know her until she hitchhiked into his truck. What does she have to do with his death? Can fate be changed?

Miriam is a great character. She's cynical, foul-mouthed, and crass. Is she damaged? Sure. Did I mention she sees how people die? All the time. And she's found that whenever she tries to save someone she makes things worse. So yeah, if she wasn't damaged that would probably make her a sociopath. The book has enough of those, I'm glad the main character has feelings hidden underneath her tough exterior.

This book is suspenseful and violent and gritty and dark and twisted and violent. Oh did I mention violent? It's not gratuitous  it's what makes the story. And it's not to the extent of American Psycho as in, this one didn't make me feel physically ill. And the suspense. There were a bunch of those nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat moments, which can be dangerous to listen to on the train if you want to make your stop.

If you're familiar with his blog and Twitter (and if you aren't, you should fix that) then you already have an idea of his tone, his style. This isn't to say Blackbirds is anything like his blog. That was actually something I needed to get over at first. I knew this was a work of fiction, but it doesn't have his humor that is so prevalent on his other sites. That's not to say this book doesn't have humor in it. You need something to cut the violence (it has pleeeenty of that) but it's not the same laugh-out-loud stuff I was expecting. That said, the laugh-out-loud stuff would have seemed out of place. It took me a little while to stop looking for the humor, but once I accepted the story for what it was I was much happier.

Side note, do you see the cover for this book? It's AMAZING, isn't it?

Title quote from location 86

Wendig, Chuck. Blackbirds. Angry Robot, 2012. Kindle edition.