Series: Blackout #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Add it: Goodreads
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.
“Ready?” Alec asked, looking in the rearview mirror at Dan, whose eyes were closed in a kind of nervous meditation.
The reason I wanted to pick this book up was that I adored Variant. Robison Wells’ debut novel was action packed, engrossing, and I lost myself in the mystery. While I thought Feedback, the sequel, fell totally flat at the end, I was thrilled to find out that Wells had another YA novel coming out this year. Even better, it was uploaded onto Edelweiss, so that meant I spent a good fortnight with everything crossed in the hopes that I would get approved for this. And I was! So my sacrifices to Jupiter totally worked out.
I love books and movies about people with powers. Superhero movies, especially X-Men, are my favourites. And so when I was a few pages into this one and I discovered that it was about teenagers and terrorists who had special abilities, I couldn’t believe my luck. Christina expressed some concern over the characters not using their powers enough. She said she has had trouble with books such as this in the past. I don’t think anyone who has similar concerns has anything to worry about. The powers are used the entire way through, and they’re what the whole plot is based around.
In Blackout, there are terrorists with powers who are basically bringing the USA to its knees. *tries to contain maniacal laughter* They’re attacking everything from famous landmarks to shopping malls, causing mass panic and killing thousands. Because of this, the government are rounding up teenagers and testing them for the virus that is causing these abilities in teenagers and young adults. Aubrey and Jack are rounded up, while Laura and Alec are a part of the terrorist organisation.
I really liked how Wells handles the powers in Blackout. They seem to be connected, in part, with the characters’ personalities. For example, Aubrey is shy and previously unpopular, and her power is to turn invisible, but with a catch. You see, this is where it all becomes very unique compared to anything I have ever read before. Aubrey isn’t simply able to go invisible. Instead, her brain tricks other people’s brains into thinking that she is not there. Their brains just don’t acknowledge her presence. For this reason, security cameras still pick her up, and her power only has a small range. These powers were fresh and unique, and they also meant that the characters weren’t invincible. It also led to a lot of interesting scenes and plot points!
I found Alec to be a very interesting character. I very much enjoyed seeing him manipulate people the way he did, and some of the shit he did was brutal. There’s one scene in which he basically drives someone mad, unable to recall their own name. He is still very mysterious at this point, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the sequel. I wonder if he’s going to have a redemption arc, or if he’s going to stay a villain? I don’t see a full redemption arc working, but a little more grey area would be awesome. I want to see his reasoning behind the things he does, and also what he does next! It was great to get a brief look inside his head, as we often don’t get to see the point of view of the villains in YA literature.
There are some little bits in between chapters that are blog posts from a person with the username SusieMusie, which I must encourage you to pay attention to! I thought it was a bit random to begin with, but after some things started to happen I began to look more closely. Ha. Hahaha. Well done, Robison Wells.
Like I said, I loved Variant because it was action packed. Blackout was the same. It was non-stop action from the beginning, and I had to force myself to put my Kindle down a couple of times so I could catch my breath. There was explosions, death, fear, destruction, power-fights (like fist-fights, but obviously more awesome). Robison Wells is very talented in that respect; he is able to make a story consistently flow, without making it feel forced.
The ending was absolutely brilliant. It was a cliffhanger, but not one of those “is Character #1 going to die, what will become of Character #2, will Character #4 save the day?” cliffies. What I mean is, it’s one of those cliffhangers that make you go “O-M-G, how much more crazy shit can happen?!” I need the second book in my hands right now, or very bad things will happen. Consider yourselves warned.