...blogs are on page 1-8....With google crawl being less likely to crawl over 3 clicks deep, will pages not immediately linked get penalized ...
It really comes down to user experience.
If you lay out your site as if it was a gigantic story book where users will have to click "next page" all the time, then Google (or any other search engine) might not have time nor the encouragement to index all the pages and rank them high. This is because many people don't like to read hundreds of paragraphs in order to find what they are looking for.
Search engines are invented so that people can type in a query and find what they need easily and quickly.
However, if you still want your website with pagination ranked higher, then what you should consider doing is offer other ways to access those pages several links deep.
For example, if you're running a store and you have different kinds of products, then rather than expect a user to click a category, then a sub category then a sub category then a... (you get the drift...) then finally after x number of clicks, the item, ... What you want to do is consider bringing the items users are interested in closer to the front page. So in the store example, add a "product specials" section on the home page and make a direct link to that product so when users click it, they will save themselves from (how many dozen did I say?) clicks to get to the same product.
So in your blog example, you could do modify your home page and add sections that show people what pages you want them to read the most then they can make a one-time click to reach those pages instead of (8?) clicks.
As for penalization, That really depends primarily on the content. As for the rest of the pages several clicks deep that are of less important, let Google find them. It will take time, but Google will eventually scan for them. I'd give them at least 2 weeks.