by Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Laura and Alec are trained terrorists. Jack and Aubrey are high school students.There was no reason for them to ever meet.But now, a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible powers. And these four are about to find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.
Blackout is the first book in Robison Wells Blackout series. An apocalyptic book featuring young men and woman with unique abilities from mind bending to fire breathe. While I still crave more details regarding the world-building, this was an engaging novel and a series that I will continue. Three word review: unique, X-men vibe, action-packed.
The tale opens as two teens Laura and Alex attack an infrastructure in the Midwest. Then we zoom to another town where it is prom night and a young woman named Aubrey is listening to the boys talk about her. Strangely they cannot see her standing there. From a distance a young man named Jack is waiting for the prom to end, and listening about the attack on the radio. A caravan of buses and the military arrive at the prom. They begin to gather up the students, when one tried to attack, they shoot him. The tale that unfolds is fast-paced and action packed as we along with Aubrey and Jack try to determine what is happening and stop a war.
Told from multiple POV’s we get inside the minds and lives of several young adults. Laura and Alec are on an agenda involving terrorist acts, and we learn bits and pieces about their abilities and their past. They added a darker element to the tale, and I am anxious to see what drives them. While neither is likable, they are essential to the tale. Aubrey and Jack each have a unique voice and are the most fleshed out characters. They are strong, loyal and while they could at times be annoying I eventually connected. Other characters, both adult and teens help provide information about the plot, but as secondary characters we learn very little about them individually. The tale is more event driven and I am hoping we see further development with the characters.
While Blackout lacked some of the world-building I crave Wells did give us enough to keep me on edge. Throughout the books there were strange little text messages and when I finally learned what they were, I thought it was brilliant and actually went back and reread them. The way the tale unfolded regarding the superpowers, and the US governments response was terrifying but sadly plausible. I just wish, the author had fleshed out parental response and what propaganda was being used to gain citizen corporation. Wells weaves several story lines and occasionally overlaps them keeping the reader on edge with just enough information to have them craving more. There is a romance, that develops slowly out of friendship and trust, it was sweet and I am rooting for them. Wells offered up some unusual powers for these teens and while the reasons behind the attacks are vague, the world-building about the powers was captivating. I felt Wells’ description brought them to life. I enjoyed the multiple povs and really felt it worked for this story. I am hoping that book two develops the characters further and answers some questions. The tale did end with a minor cliffhanger but nothing so horrible that I was left reeling.
Fans of the X-men, Four and superheroes will find Blackout, a solid start to an exciting new series. There is a prequel called Going Dark that may shed some light.
Three cups of coffee out of five
Thanks to HarperCollins we are giving away one copy of Blackout to a US resident!
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