SciFi Book Review: Blackout

Blackout by Robison Wells

Laura and Alec are highly trained teenage terrorists.
Jack and Aubrey are small-town high school students.
There was no reason for their paths to ever cross.

But now a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible superpowers—and all teens are being rounded up, dragged to government testing facilities, and drafted into the army to fight terrorism. Suddenly, Jack, Laura, Aubrey, and Alec 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.

Laura and Alec are mysterious characters throughout. You’re never sure what they’re really doing until later in the story. Jack and Aubrey are average teens, infected by a strange virus that only affects youth. They’re not sure why the government is rounding them up and treating them like criminals. But they’ll doing anything to be together.

The thrilling mystery surrounding Blackout is both the virus and the terrorism sweeping the nation. It has a bit of the feel of the movie Chronicle, as teens suddenly have super powers and don’t always use them for good. The narrative jumps around different character, which at first was confusing when readers didn’t know the characters. But after a while, this wasn’t an issue and helped explain characters and their abilities. Though I would have preferred more character development with Alec, as we have yet to see any motivation behind his evil. Fast-paced and full of intrigue, there are a lot of questions but not many answers. We’re left with a big cliffhanger at the exciting climactic end, that will leave readers waiting for the next installment.

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