Science fiction and fantasy
by Chuck Wendig
The main character's view of the world is hilariously black, and her mouth buzzes with filth. Anyone familiar with the Terrible Minds blog will recognise the style, a mixture of profanity and fast-talking craziness, although Miriam's character isn't quite as absurd. She seems like a lost soul, but underneath her deviant behaviour there's a strong thread of Catholic guilt.
The inevitability of fate is a major theme, and this philosophical angle raises the tone considerably. It needs to: Blackbirds is chockablock with hackneyed greasy trucker bar brawls, wife beaters, and assorted psychopaths who race through this depressing landscape in a quest to out-horrible each other. There are some pretty fierce episodes of lose-your-tea violence. In the hands of a lesser writer this plot would be relentlessly grim, but Chuck Wendig makes even the darkest parts seem light thanks to his characters' humour, and the story cracks along at a furious pace. It's a very fast read. I finished the book wanting to know more about Miriam's world with all its peeling paintwork, fading bruises, and grotification. It's the kind of story where no-one is getting out without a fair amount of staining, but the characters are more interesting as a result.
8th May 2012
If you like this, try:Sleeping Late On Judgement Day by Tad Williams
Bobby Dollar has already been to Hell, but his toughest test will come when he takes on a rogue angel who outranks him many times over. The third Bobby Dollar novel.
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
Baxter is trying to lead a normal life as a high school racketeer when his girlfriend goes missing, and he has to hire a supernatural bounty hunter to retrieve her. The first in the Apocalypse Now Now series.
The Dirty Streets Of Heaven by Tad Williams
An angel gets on the case of a missing soul. The first in the Bobby Dollar series.
Review © Ros Jackson