Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

May 4, 2012 Review 2


Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1) Title: Blackbirds
AuthorChuck Wendig
Series: Miriam Black #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Horror
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Netgalley
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; April 24, 2012
  • ISBN-10: 0857662309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857662309

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Sexual Content:
References to sex, attempted rape, sex scenes.


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.


Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. 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.


Bleak and broken, BLACKBIRDS is a different brand of darkness than the average urban fantasy. Miriam Black is pain wrapped in swagger, and the supernatural aspects of her life are no gift. As despairing as she may feel, I couldn’t help but root for her through the violence and intrigue, hoping against hope she’ll wrest control of her destiny. The avalanche of violence was brutal, however, making it a feat for me to get through book one.  I don’t think I have the fortitude to venture further into the series, Miriam Black is not for the faint of heart. 

As cinematic and violent as a Tarantino movie, BLACKBIRDS and its heroine are just balls-to-the-wall tortured and dark.  Miriam is both strong and brittle, and her self destructive drive drew me in.  Like driving past an accident, part of me was eager to find the root cause of all of her pain and a small part of me remained pitifully hopeful that she’d somehow beat destiny.  By the halfway mark, however, the story was oppressively, unrelentingly black. Miriam seemed more the victim of her story than heroine, and her pain choked my optimism down nothing. The story kept moving so fast, however, and even without hope I found I couldn’t look away.

Morbid and tormented, BLACKBIRDS is not for the sensitive or weak of stomach.  This book shares a pedigree with the hyperbolic violence of some graphic novels, and I was hard pressed to come up with similar titles in novel form (UNHOLY GHOSTS only shares a damaged heroine in common, Chess is infinitely less depressing than Miriam).  Definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind your magic slick with blood and heartache, BLACKBIRDS is a gorgeously imagined nightmare of a tale.



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2 Responses to “Review: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig”

  1. Shah Wharton

    I love the cover of this and having followed Chucks blog I'm intrigued to hear what you thought of his fiction. Unsurprised by the dark elements and a fan of horror/supernatural and the darker side, I may have to partake 🙂 X

  2. Julia

    I caught a glimpse of his blog when I linked to this post, he seems like an entertaining guy (though I was already biased by the snappy dialog in his book). I'm glad I didn't put you off, even though I wasn't a fan of the tone, I definitely enjoyed Wendig's writing. If you don't mind some gore, this is fun (and funny) book.