Author: Robison Wells (Twitter)
Publish Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
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.
Aubrey didn't have a very exciting life before. She was barely noticeable on the best of days, and when she was noticed it was because of her father, the drunk, or her less than posh clothing. Jack didn't care though. There was always something about her that he knew was special, even if she didn't know it herself. When Aubrey starts developing the power to disappear, she has to push away the ones she holds closest and live a lie. But the lies are catching up. The government is zeroing in on Lambdas - kids with powers - and using them to fight terrorists that harbour the same virus...but who can they really trust, and just how much does this virus take over their own beings?
I've read previous works by Robison Wells, and I've been nothing but impressed, so I've been just itching to read Blackout for some time now. Capitalizing on a the buzz of the sci-fi genre, this book offers readers a little bit of everything - war games, intrigue, powers and a sweet, soaring love to keep you invested in the characters throughout. Brimming with drama, overflowing with suspense and offering fans of the genre a series of modern-day heroes in whom to believe, Blackout will give you a taste of awesome and leave you wanting more.
I had a tricky time crafting my review for Blackout because while there was a lot about this story that I absolutely loved, I did have a few issues with it, as well. First off though, I loved Aubrey's character. We're not introduced to her first, but I feel as though her story arc became the most prominent in later chapters, and I latched onto her storyline above the others. She was a perfect mix of vulnerability, opportunism and strength. She clearly didn't have the best home life, but she did the best she could, and she certainly took advantage of the power she'd been given. It was something that I believed anyone her age would actually do, so I felt like I could understand her better. Jack, too, was a great character. He had the sort of all-American vibe to him that made you simply want to root for him just because he's a darn good guy. Plus, he has this almost adoration of Aubrey that is honest, pure and heartfelt. I loved that their gentle romance didn't simply jump to love. Rather, it stayed innocent and true of a simple teenage relationship. I don't feel as though I got to know Alex or Laura enough to form true opinions on their characters, though their arcs are just as important, if not moreso. Laura, from what I could tell, was a badass for all intents and purposes, but sometimes she showed a softer side. I never really got a grasp on whether that was all for show, or if it was real. Alec, was just a villain...and by a villain, I just mean he was generally an ass. My main issue with Blackout, however, is that we're given terrorists fighting a war with their superpowers, but we never really get to know what they're fighting for. What was their agenda? What exactly did they want? Then, we see that the government wants to mobilize these teens, activate their powers and pit them against the terrorist teens. My big question that seemed to stick with me throughout was just...why? Don't get me wrong, this story has a lot of elements that are crucial for success. We have incredible powers, multi-dimensional characters, a strong premise and all the makings for a great setup. I just think we need a little more backstory behind the rift in society to better understand why the world has fallen to pieces.
Overall, Blackout is an incredibly intriguing concept, and I'm invested enough in the kids' stories to want to know more from the next installment. Perhaps that's when we'll learn the big "why." I give this story a 3.5 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy science fiction and dystopian novels.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.