Series: Blackout

ARC: Blackout by Robison Wells

Posted on 08/14/2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC: Blackout by Robison WellsBlackout by Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Published by Harper Teen on 10/1/2013
Genres: Science-fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Laura and Alec are trained terrorists.\r\n\r\nJack and Aubrey are high school students.\r\n\r\nThere was no reason for them to ever meet.\r\n

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.


I spent the first half of Blackout by Robison Wells thinking, “WTF?” to myself a lot.  And I mean, A LOT.  Because the book asks a bunch of questions, and as a reader, we aren’t given answers..until Robison Wells decides we’re damn good and confused – and frothing at the mouth – and gives them to us.

Aubrey can disappear.  She doesn’t know why, she just knows she can.  This is useful to the most popular girl in school, Nicole, who makes Aubrey spy for her, on everyone and everything, in exchange for popularity, because Aubrey’s also poor and from the wrong side of the tracks.  Aubrey is the only person she knows who is unusual, until the night of the prom, when the U.S. military surrounds the school to round up the children and her date becomes this beast thing and gets himself killed.

Aubrey runs.  Her old best friend Jack also runs.  They end up running together, although it doesn’t last long, because when you don’t know why you are running, or who you really running from, you typically are not very successful and get caught anyway.

I spent the first part of the book in a deep foreboding.  Why was the military hunting down all of these children and taking them to guarded camps like prisoners?  They also weren’t very nice to them, as noted in this quote:

“You’re American citizens and we’ll treat you with as much respect as our orders allow.”

Whoa.  Is that, like, carte blanche to drop a bullet in their chest or let them live in squalor if they are given directive to?  It felt very ominous, and the only explanation, while all these kids awaited their fates, was, “there’s a virus.  We’re protecting you.”  But it didn’t feel like protection.  It felt like they were in prison.

Meanwhile, there is a small group of rogue teenagers with these odd powers, and they are going all over the Rockies and California, blowing things up, killing people and generally creating havoc, all in the name of the Rebellion.  There is always a rebellion, but I didn’t know what this particular rebellion was about, and frankly, we are never privy to that information throughout the entire story.

Eventually, I learned that the military has a benevolent (sort of) agenda:  stop the terrorists from destroying property and people.  The only way to do that is to fight fire with fire, so…

The kids in this story have Avengers-like powers and that are really cool:  invisibility, breath hot enough to melt things, persuasion, memory alteration, and the list goes on.  They are called LAMBDAs and the government wants them.

Plot twists in the story were sometimes fairly obvious, or things didn’t make sense, like the “I-don’t-have-the-virus” bracelets for teenagers out in society, because if teenagers didn’t test positive for the virus, they were locked away back at camp to keep from contracting it, and as a safety precaution against the terrorism.  There were also hints that civilization was at a collapse, but I want to know who was keeping things running so people could use the internet, and cell service, etc.  I also wanted to know throughout the whole book where the parents were; I know mine would have been at the fence of Dugway creating a riot.

Overall though, Blackout was sort of, kind of epic.  I really enjoyed myself while reading it, once my questions started getting answered.  The ultimate question though, is: where did the virus come from?   Guess I have to read the next book to find out!