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L. Frank Baum
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Blackbirds  - Chuck Wendig Between 4 & 5 stars, closer to 5.The majority of this book takes place on lonely highways in between cities, pockets of life. Fitting, since Miriam is not exactly the homey type, and where she goes, death is not far off.It's dirty, crass, brutal, violent, ugly, swear-filled but not one where I was left at the end devoid of any spark of hope. When I started the book, I wouldn't have thought that to be the case, to be honest. Many books showcase the more heroic side of people with "superpowers". This one starts with someone who has been destroyed by hers.Miriam can see death. If she touches someone, she knows how and when they die. Past experience has taught her that she can't change fate. She lives a nomad's life, acting as a vulture at death. Stealing enough to get by on and moving on. She drinks, smokes, swears and is generally as nasty as possible so that no one gets close.Then of course, someone does. She sees his death and knows she is a part of it.And that's all I am going to say about specific events in the book. You are just going to have to read it and experience every dark, knife-studded curve for yourself.The narrative does jump around a bit, but I never had trouble following. It was very interesting to see how Miriam got to the point where we find her at the beginning, and how her character progresses to the end. It's not a complete end - there is more than enough here for moe books, but the main issue is solved (no cliffhangers).The one thing that I would have liked more insight on was Louis - why he does what he does with Miriam.Overall I really liked this book - not so much that I liked the characters, but I was drawn into the story and I wanted to know how they all made out. Liking the characters isn't a requirement; they just have to be interesting. Wendig's characters are 100% interesting.