Blackout by Robison Wells

October 1st, 2013 Kimberly Giveaway, Review 69 Comments

1st Oct
Blackout by Robison Wells
by Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
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.

Three cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne Star

Thanks to HarperCollins we are giving away one copy of Blackout to a US resident!

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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69 Responses to “Blackout by Robison Wells”

    • 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.

  1. 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 🙂

    Tanja recently posted: Something Wicked Returns Hop
    • 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

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

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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.

    Nick recently posted: Review : Tandem by Anna Jazarb
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • 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

      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.

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  4. 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! 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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! 🙂

    Giselle recently posted: Review: Blackout by Robison Wells
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  8. 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!

    Andrea recently posted:
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    Adriana recently posted: Autumn by Sierra Dean
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  10. Kimberly

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

    Kimberly recently posted:
    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  11. 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!

  12. Tamara

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

  13. LisaILJ

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

  14. 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.