Note: This is a review by Chuck Caruso of MBTB:
Blackbirds stands out as one of my favorite novels so far this year. To be fair, it's probably not everybody's cup of hot arterial blood, but if you like your novels down-and-dirty, pedal-to-the-metal, and still thought-provoking, you can't miss with this novel.
The Premise -- Wrestling with the question of fate versus freewill is as ancient as the Greeks and as timeless as Shakespeare, but you'll notice that we've never actually solved this particular problem. Add in a protagonist who can foresee the future, and you've got all the working materials of classic myth. Wendig makes these old conundrums fresh with his lively prose and his knack for contemporary grit.
The Prose -- This author can flat out write. There's nary a wasted word in the novel. The nouns sing brightly and the athletic verbs leap from the page. Ray Bradbury would have loved Wendig's effervescent prose style. You will too.
The Protagonist -- Miriam Black is the most troubled, sexiest, spookiest clarivoyant you'd ever hope to meet in a novel. Her struggles with her gift-curse and the problems it causes her in relation to others makes Miriam a girl you'd never want to meet in real life, but vicariously through a book, her character is as compellilng as they come.
Rampant, Greeful Mayhem -- From midnight strolls along the interstate, to bar room brawls, to visits from thuggish people carrying FBI badges, you never know what's going to happen from one page to the next. This ups the ante in the fate versus freewill contest because Miriam has already seen the deaths of anyone she's touched. And fate always wins, right?