Book Review: Blackout by Robison Wells

Title – Author: Blackout – Robison Wells
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Series/Standalone: Series – Blackout #1
Format – Source: ARC – Borrowed

As a mysterious virus infects the youth of America, four teenagers find their lives intertwined in ways they never could’ve imagined.

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I went into Blackout thinking it would be the YA version of that movie Contagion, but it ended up being different than I expected.

First of all, Blackout is a mixing pot of different kinds of stories. There’s the terrorism angle as two of our main characters, Alec and Laura, commit devastating acts across the United States. Then there’s the virus that only affects teenagers and causes a state of martial law. The angle that I didn’t expect at all (because the blurb on the back of the book didn’t mention it) was that the virus causes the teens to have different powers. While I think that so many different things going on might overwhelm some readers, I really enjoyed how Robinson Wells brought all of these elements together.

What I enjoyed most was the level of danger I felt throughout reading. At times the characters don’t know who the enemy is. So many people are dying and the terrorists are so smart that it seems hopeless.

I also actually liked the multiple points-of-view because we got both sides of the story: from the perspective of two teens affected by what’s happening and from two of the terrorists implementing these disasters. None of the narrators are really likable, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying their story and watching as they interacted with each other (sometimes unknowingly).

I will say that I wish there had been more world-building. I get that this is the first novel, so it’s setting up the series, but I want to know more about the virus and how it got started. I want to know more about why the terrorists are doing what they’re doing.

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Though lacking in world-building, I found Blackout to be an enjoyable thriller with a variety of elements that come together to make a lot of action.

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6 – good but doesn’t have that wow factor – Mrs. Figg




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