Series: Blackout, #1
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
The virus has spread.
What would you do if you could influence other people’s minds? Disappear at any moment in time? Have your senses heightened to unnatural levels? Or even super-human strength? Would you use it, or would you wane away from the new reality? In Robison Wells’ latest YA novel, Blackout explores and answers some of these questions in a virus-spreading dystopian setting, compact with action.
For my first ever Robison Wells novel, I can say that I am impressed with his cast of characters. Despite the one or two, I fell in love each and every single one of them, even their flaws and fears. Like many other books I’ve read in the recent past, Blackout is a character and action driven novel. Aubrey and Jack are high school students; they’ve known one and another for most of their lives and have been friends. That was until Aubrey found out she could become invisible whenever she wished and befriended the most popular girl in the school where she’d spy on her fellow school mates in exchange for popularity. The reason why she has the ability to become invisible is because she’s been infected by the virus. So quite obviously, I was not a fan of Aubrey to begin with, she was probably the most irritating and dependent character I’ve come across. However as the story unravelled; Aubrey faces some heart-racing events, I could see her character changing to a much more stable level. This character arc was quite a strong one and I’m truly impressed. Aubrey was definitely one of my favourite characters. Nonetheless, my ultimate favourite character was Jack. His personality was flawed without exceptions, yet his faith and simplicity were in great contrast to the general mood of Blackout which made him stand out.
Per contra, we have three teen trained terrorists. Laura, Alec and Dan. However we only really get to hear from the perspectives of Laura and Alec. Laura has super human strength whereas Alec can plant images in other people’s mind with his brain. I wasn’t as enthused about Laura and Alec’s ego. Acknowledging that they have been brought up as terrorists, I still could not but help feel that they weren’t as clear or genuine compared to Audrey or Jack. But then maybe that’s what the author was attempting to suggest or place emphasis on? About the pair of teens being utter opposites. Still, the perspectives were quite a mouthful to digest and since I was more enticed by Audrey and Jack’s story, therefore I only really anticipated their chapters.
Another contributing factor to why I felt disconnected to Laura and Alec was their story line. I could not get my head around what their motives where, why are they rebelling? What are they trying to terrorise, while some answers were hinting throughout, this lack of world building let down not only my enjoyment towards the characters but also to my overall attention to this book. The pace and shortage of answers subsided my will to turn the pages altogether.
I’m sure many people will come to fall in love with this book, unfortunately for me; it did not awe me as I had expected. Though I am quite certain that I’ll be looking out for more of Robison Wells’ books!
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~
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