Sunday, November 24, 2013


114. Robison Wells, Blackout

BlackoutI really enjoyed this book--set in a not-so-distant future, a group of teenage terrorists has been attacking targets all across the US, targeting valuable infrastructure, tourist landmarks--anything to raise fear levels. When it becomes apparent that these terrorists possess uncanny abilities, and these abilities are related to a virus that only targets teens, the US government responds by rounding up *all* teenagers, and attempting to recruit those with useful powers. If it sound vaguely X-men-ish, well, it is. But still highly enjoyable for that (or maybe because of that).

The story follows four characters: Alec and Laura, who are part of a terrorist cell, and Aubrey and Jack, former friends who attend a small town high school in rural Utah. Jack is a typical poor kid; Aubrey used to be just the same until she discovered that she could turn invisible--and got recruited by the most powerful girl in the high school. Aubrey's rise to popularity caused a rift between the two, but when both are taken to a government camp, Aubrey pledges to stay with Jack. But when the unthinkable happens and Jack gets sorted into a high-power camp for kids with the virus and Aubrey is let loose, Aubrey risks her life and freedom trying to save Jack.

I've read some reviews that suggest that the alternating POVs get confusing--I never found them so. In fact, I liked getting into the mind of the three characters, though obviously I connected more to Aubrey and Jack than Alec and Laura. The book is setting up a series, so not everything gets explained or resolved in this book (and having read Wells' previous books, I was pretty much expecting this). If I had a complaint, it might be that--as with Variant and Feedback--the focus on an intense, quick-paced plot sometimes overshadows character development. Aubrey was probably the most fleshed-out character here, but all of them could have used a little more depth.

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