Rumors say that somewhere in a secret laboratory scientists have combined the DNA of Stephen King, Edvard Munch, and Salvatore Dali. If those rumors are to be believed what broke free from the lab some time later is now living among us under the name Chuck Wendig.
Having made good his escape Mr. Wendig gives us Miriam Black. Miriam knows when you are going to die. This particular talent has been written about before. What’s special here is the way that it’s written about. The conversational tone of the book pulls you right in. It’s immediate. It’s like you’re there. You know these people, or at very least you feel like you could know these people. They have very genuine reactions to the things happening around them.
In addition to the well drawn characters you have the brutally visceral imagery. To paraphrase one of my favorite movies: Mr Wendig works in profanity the way other artists work in oils. He’s a master of the medium. You’ll be reading and all of a sudden there will be this… this grotesque gathering of words on the page in front of you… and before the phrase “WTF?!?!” can fully form in your brain you will realize that this unholy union was in fact the perfect way to express what the characters are feeling, or seeing, or smelling. Somehow, despite the complete impossibility (one would hope) of these elements ever combining in nature, you will know exactly what it is that the author is trying to convey. (You have been warned.)
And then there is the “Interlude” before Chapter 33.
Miriam Black is a strong character in a well drawn world populated by other strong characters. Blackbirds does not leave you hanging at the end, but it does leave you wanting more. Which is good, because there is going to be more. Hopefully there is going to be a lot more.