Blackout by Robison Wells

October 1st, 2013 Kimberly Review 69 Comments

1st Oct
Blackout by Robison Wells
by Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

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.


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

69 Responses to “Blackout by Robison Wells”

  1. Zoe N.

    I agree with you 100% – the world-building lacked so much, and the writing wasn’t the best either. Jack and Aubrey were okay, but I didn’t really enjoy them as much as I wanted to. Are you planning on reading the sequel?

    As always, brilliant review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Zoe, and I haven’t decided yet, once I read the blurb I may continue.

  2. LisaILJ

    Invisibility. That way I can really be a “fly on the wall”.

  3. Tamara

    The superpower I want is to be able to move things with my mind 🙂

  4. Berls

    For some reason I’m getting a Heroes vibe off of this one. I did like that TV series so maybe – it sounds like it has potential to turn into a really great series from your review and may just suffer a little from “first book syndrome.” Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was so mad about how Heroes ended, we loved that show ..grrr!

  5. Chene Sterckx

    This book sounds promising with potential 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed and I look forward to finding out how the sequel progresses on this story line 🙂 Great review Kimba 🙂

  6. Kimberly

    How did I not here about this book sooner? This is one I can totally see myself loving.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      While it has issues regarding character depth and back story, I enjoyed the action scenes

  7. Adriana

    This cover is gorgeous! I love that you felt it had an X-Men vibe (I love anything with powers). This sounds really intense. I also hope that if I do start this series that the characters are focused on more. I’m still really excited about discovering this book. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am really hoping that book two fleshed both the world and the characters out.

  8. Michelle

    I’m a bit sad to hear that it’s lacking detailed world-building…it seems like dystopians don’t think we need to know ‘why’.
    I’m a big fan of Xmen though so I’ll probably check this one out!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We get enough of the now, and I think the author purposely wants us not sure, I will withhold final judgement until book two. The superhero abilities are awesome and my favorite parts.

  9. Steph

    If i can have any kind of superhuman power, i would say flying. Because if things got to crazy i could just fly away.

  10. Lauren

    I adore X-men style stories and this one has me intrigued! It’s a shame there wasn’t more explanation and worldbuilding, and that the characters weren’t as fleshed out as you like. But I’m glad to hear there’s enough to enjoy for three stars. Lovely honest review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lauren, the action was good, and I was engaged enough with the plot. I am curious to see if things flesh out.

  11. Heidi

    I know this book is getting mixed reviews. It sounds so exciting. Too bad it has shaky world building. Hmm for super power, I want to teleport!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It lacked a back story, but I am willing to see how it develops.

  12. Candace

    I haven’t seen any rave reviews of this one and I just haven’t had an urge to read it. I’m glad that you managed to enjoy it even if it wasn’t perfect.

  13. Andrea

    This does sound pretty good, even if it’s not something I’m drawn to. In fact, I think I have a copy! lol
    Thanks for the review!

  14. Giselle

    I agree the action scenes were pretty awesome and the book was suspenseful. It wasn’t enough to keep me interested as much though I had to many questions that made me ultimately not care for what was happening. Like if I don’t know the reason for a war I won’t really know why I’m rooting for one side or another you know. I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, I wasn’t sure who the good guys were, I am hoping we get answers.

  15. Michelle

    I would love to be able to read minds. I am just nosey like that lol

    This book looks creepy and great. I am a sucker for special ability books, and I don’t know how the government responds but it doesn’t surprise me at all that you say it was both terrifying but not out of the picture.

    Thanks for the great review Kimba!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  16. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Sadly, this didn’t work for me at all, and precisely because of what you pointed out: I needed more info on parental response and propaganda to give this whole scenario more plausibility. As it was, it simply didn’t reach me.
    Fabulous review, Kim.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Since it is a series I am hoping book two fleshes things out.

  17. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Doesn’t seem like this one was a big wow, but still interesting enough to want the next book. Ugh… cliffie… even if it wasn’t a bad one.. it is bad to have one in the first place. I hate those things!!! I may wait for the next book before I pick up this series.

  18. Christa

    I’m a huge X-Men fan so I am really looking forward to this book. Will have to get my hands of the prequel while I wait.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am curious about the prequel, and while this wasn’t without flaws, I enjoyed it.

  19. Hillary R.

    The super power I would like to have is the ability to fly or teleport only because I don’t know how to drive and I get tired of telling people at home to take me everywhere. Thanks for the giveaway! 😀

  20. Ellen

    Thanks for the great review. I have been reading mixed reviews on this book. I have it to read soon. I am hoping I will like it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was enjoyable despite the flaws, I hope you like it.

  21. Felicia The Geeky Blogger

    This is on my audio wishlist because it is narrator by Ray Porter. I really like his narration. It sounds like the book might not be a knock out of the park but still enjoyable.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is a middle of the road book and one some will throw their hands up at, while others will love it and some like me will say yeah it’s flawed but I liked it and I’m willing to try the next book.

  22. kindlemom1

    I agree that while parts of this were very well done others were a little lacking. Overall this was a good read though.
    Great honest review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah I felt it was a solid three. Yes I wanted more details and to understand what motivated characters but I am willing to try the next book.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked Jack and Aubrey was ok, I am hoping book two comes in strong 🙂

  23. Nick

    This is the second mixed review for this book I’m seeing today. I’ve decided to give it a miss after your review. I can’t deal with unlikable characters and lack of world-building in a dystopian.
    Thanks for the honest review, Kim.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      At this point the unlikable characters are the bad guys, we need more deets and I hope we get them.

  24. Traci

    Agree with all above…good world building is crucial to story setup, however i am excited to read this….
    If i had a superpower, i would like time travel..cant see a downside!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      we get the now, but not a lot of the how or why, which I am willing to wait one more book for. LOL 🙂

  25. Mary

    So I’ve read one review that really disliked this and yours. I’m intrigued…but already I know I’d need more worldbuilding to be completely happy. Still, an X-man vibe? That works!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If you are unsure, wait for reviews of book two. I will know then whether I will continue.

  26. Tanja

    I haven’t heard good things about this one. Well the lack of world-building in dystopian novels can really be a problem. But my main problem here are multiple POVs. I usually don’t mind where there are two or three but several is another thing. Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think it worked, and while we didn’t complete connect with the characters we get the action from both sides. If book two doesn’t fill in the needed answered them I am done.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We don’t get a lot of the whys? answered, but I am willing to see how it develops and the special powers and action scenes were well done despite the shroud of mystery.