Review: Blackout by Robison Wells

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Author: Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected Publication: October 1,2013

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 a book that can best be described as X-Men meets Heroes. Aubrey is a teenager from the wrong side of the tracks. All Aubrey has ever wanted was to fit in and not blend in with the crowd. Lauren is a girl on a mission. Along with her friends Dan and Alec they've been traveling around the country causing mischief and mayhem wherever they go. Two girls, separated by hundreds of miles are about to meet. One is a terrorist, the other is just trying to make it through high school. Both need each other if they're going to survive. 

I've spent 20 minutes staring at this review trying to think of  something constructive to say about Blackout. It's not that Blackout was a bad book its just nothing really happened in the story. Oh sure, we learn terrorists are causing all sorts of problems and that *spoiler alert* the super teens are being rounded up to help but so much of the story is spent laying the groundwork that I felt like I was reading a 400+ page first chapter instead of a dedicated story that's the first in the series. 

One of the problems I have with Blackout is to much tell and not enough show. From the characters to the superpowers we never really see much beyond the perspectives of Aubrey, Jack, Laura or Alec. You have all these kids locked together with extraordinary abilities and your telling me none of them are tempted to show off what they can do to each other?? You also have these terrorists hitting locations all around the country but instead of flipping the pov's to one of these groups and seeing how they act were stuck just learning about it secondhand and not even in any sort of descriptive detail. 

Another problem I had with Blackout is the characters themselves. We learn just enough to differentiate them from one another but not enough to really make us emotionally attached. I really couldn't care that Jack was injured in Seattle or Aubrey suffers temporary blindness as a side effect from her going invisible. Alec to me seemed like a complete douche *he actually reminded me of Pyro from the X-Men films* and Laura is so full of herself she's just downright unlikable. Had the Author spent a few chapters building up their lives outside of Quarantine maybe I'd feel differently but as it stands I really feel like again the Author was just choosing to lay the groundwork for later without giving us a story in the here and now to follow. 

Lastly, I think my biggest problem with Blackout is how underwhelming the whole book was. Teens with superpowers should've made for an action packed story but it just plodded along. Even the kids being Quarantined felt out of place. I'm not saying America is beyond rounding up ts own citizens and keeping them in detention camps (happened after Peal Harbor after all). It's just were talking about kids here. Parents *except Aubreys dad apparently* wouldn't just roll over and let these Detention camps happen. You'd see town wide militias form trying to stop kids from being taken or an underground railroad of sorts developed in the hopes that kids could be smuggled somewhere safer. I just didn't buy that the entire Adult population was OK with this or simply threw there hands in the air knowing they couldn't do anything to stop it. 

Overall, while I really wanted to love Blackout I was left terribly disappointed by it. Will I continue reading the series? In short, yes. I'm definitely curious to see what happens with the characters and also how the country will deal with the revelation at the end. However, I'm hoping that its sequel vastly improves upon itself as far as story goes or at the very least moves the plot along at a quicker pace. Had I known I would have to wait until the very end of Blackout to see at least partly what the terrorists motives were I probably would've saved myself the pain and suffering and just skipped to the end. Let's be honest, it's not like I'd be missing much by doing so anyway. While I will recommend reading this book *albeit a bit hesitantly* I will strongly suggest borrowing from a friend or library first before purchasing.  With that being said, I'll be rating Blackout by Robison Wells ★★★.

*Copy provided by Edelweiss. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them. 

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  1. Aww, how disappointing. You're right, a book about teens with superpowers should be exciting! It shouldn't drag and it shouldn't feel like the book has never really got past the introduction of the story. Sorry this one was so underwhelming to you - hopefully the sequel will be better! Thanks for the helpful review anyways - nicely done.

    1. I know Blackout has a prequel coming out next month so we'll see how that goes.

  2. It is a shame that you didn't truly love this story, but it is great to see that you want to continue the story with future books. Let's hope the author picks up on the action in the future!! Great, fair review Kristin!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. It wasn't awful enough to warrant not reading the sequel but I'll also have no problems DNF'ing if it falls into the same pattern as the first book.


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