Winners of The Hammer and The Blade Giveaway

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner(s)! I  have randomly selected two winners for a copy of The Hammer and The Blade by Paul S. Kemp.  And the winners are (drum roll, please)…

Steven Hill and Barry Paddock

I will be sending e-mails to confirm addresses and these beauties will be shipped forthwith.  I would like to thank everyone for entering and check back regularly for more contests.  This is the first of many, because the second best thing to reading a great book is giving it to someone.  I would also like to thank Angry Robot for contributing copies of the book.  Darren, you rock!

Giveaway – The Hammer and The Blade by Paul S. Kemp

Stefan’s Bookshelf is proud to announce it’s first giveaway contest.   The wonderful folks at Angry Robot have graciously supplied two copies of The Hammer and The Blade by Paul S. Kemp.

I think this will be the landmark fantasy book of the summer so don’t miss an opportunity to win a copy.  For those of you not familiar with the book, here is a my review.

Contest Rules

  1. This contest is open for US residents only (sorry everyone else).
  2. To enter, send an e-mail with your name and mailing address to stefan AT stefansbookshelf DOT com with HAMMER GIVEAWAY in the subject line.  Only one entry per person please.
  3. The giveaway will end on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM, and TWO winners will be randomly chosen and notified via e-mail.

Best of luck to everyone!

(Stefan’s Bookshelf is not responsible for random bouts of awesomeness brought on by the reading of this book.)

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Miriam Black has a unique ability, one she would be just as happy without. Through skin-to-skin contact she can tell exactly when someone will die and in graphic detail, down to the day, hour, minute, and second.  She scavenges from the dead to fund her nomadic lifestyle, drifting from place to place, always on the fringe of society.  When a hitchhiking incident goes bad she meets Louis, a truck driver, who treats her with kindness and respect, something that she is certainly not used to.  She realizes that her situation turns even more hopeless when she touches Louis and sees that he will die in a gruesome way in 30 days while calling her name.

Blackbirds was one of the most brutal books I have read in some time.  The story is bleak and depressing, filled with piteous characters.  Miriam has been broken by her ability and pushes everyone away with venom and vitriol.  Miriam’s character is a cross between Final Destination and Neil Gaiman’s character Death, just not as nice.  She is foul mouthed and uncaring, again a product of her ability, but you can’t help but fall in love with her.  How did she develop this terrifying ability?  Will she ever be able to get rid of it?  Questions like these kept me plowing through the book.

The villains in this story are not people you can sympathize or relate with.  They are brutal and cruel, simple as that.  I can’t remember a “bad guy” that scared me as much as the one in Blackbirds.

Blackbirds is not for the feint of heart.  There is sex (and not of the intimate, romantic kind), brutal depictions of violence, and lots and lots of language, and I loved every minute of it.  Mr. Wendig takes all of these elements and weaves them into an unforgettable tale.  Miriam and company will stick with you long after you finish the book.  Blackbirds is urban fantasy at it’s gory and violent best, 5 bloody stars.

This is the first book that I have read by Chuck Wendig and was initially drawn to it by the cover.  The blackbirds flying apart speak volumes as to the destructive nature of Miriam  Black and those around her.

This review was of an eARC I received from Angry Robot books as a proud member of the Robot Army.