Book Review: Blackout

Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: 10/1/13
Genre: YA dystopian/sci fi
 432 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher 

This inaugural book in Robison Wells's new series is reminiscent of Heroes: that television series that featured a super-powered high school cheerleader. There are high-energy action sequences, some characters that are clearly lovable and others that are quite hate-worthy, and some vivid mental pictures going on.  The concept is really good, though there are elements that are not quite as strong as I think they could be.

The book features a large cast of characters, some of which are not as distinct as they needed to be for the reader to be sure which was which. I had to stop and take a few notes to keep them straight. A handful were introduced, then faded out of the plot. I presume they will come back in book 2, but I worry that readers may not remember who they are by then. The main five, however, are fairly distinct and memorable. Aubrey, Jack, Laura, Alec, and Dan are the ones to keep your eye on. 

The author does a great job of intermixing male and female characters. The book is not just a guy book, or just a girl book; both guys and girls play major roles, and are featured with equal prominence. This, plus the romance storyline, plus the action sequences will make this series appeal to both male and female readers.

Speaking of the romance: This was well-done and appropriate for a younger YA audience. The relationship develops with an easy, natural progression, despite the decidedly unnatural situation the characters find themselves in. We get a sense of the sweetness between the two, without whole scenes featuring intimate moments. Thank you, Mr. Wells, for writing YA that I won't mind recommending to 8th graders because of content or language.

The action sequences are well-paced, with vivid description to help the reader visualize the scene. These would make great raw material for script development. They also are a reason that a reader who prefers video entertainment just might find that this book will hold their attention.

While the book didn't receive top marks from me, I did enjoy reading, and am confident that the book will find its audience. 


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.


  1. Sounds like a fun story to read! Thanks for your review!

  2. Good to see you around so much, Pili!


Post a Comment

We love your comments!