Blackout

( 13 )

Overview

Attacks are sweeping across America.

Alec and Laura are at the center of the violence, while in a small town out west Jack and Aubrey feel sheltered from the turmoil.

But these four teens are about to find their lives intertwined in ways they never could have imagined—and one wrong step could trigger an explosion that ends it all.

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Overview

Attacks are sweeping across America.

Alec and Laura are at the center of the violence, while in a small town out west Jack and Aubrey feel sheltered from the turmoil.

But these four teens are about to find their lives intertwined in ways they never could have imagined—and one wrong step could trigger an explosion that ends it all.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/26/2013
Wells (Variant) knows how to snare readers’ attention and hold them spellbound. In this unnerving thriller, he ingeniously connects the stories of four teens—all afflicted with a bizarre virus that has given them powers ranging from super-strength and invisibility to mind control—who live in an America under siege by terrorists intent on taking out the country’s landmarks, power grids, and populace. The catch? The terrorists are also teenagers infected with the same virus. The army is forced to round up the nation’s youth for testing and quarantine, making it difficult to distinguish friend from foe. Wells allows the intensity of the story and the heart and soul of each character to shine through. He doesn’t overcomplicate matters with lengthy explanations or political background, and instead lets the teens take center stage: Jack and Aubrey, who just want to stay together and stay alive; Alec and Laura, who are full of vengeance and hate. There is no shortage of white-knuckle action or eyebrow-raising violence—fans of Wells’s earlier work won’t be disappointed. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Oct.)
VOYA - Erika Schneider
Everything is going great for Aubrey at her first high school dance. At least until her date manifests superhuman powers and the army comes to take all the teenagers away on buses. Although Aubrey manages to escape and meet up with her friend, Jack, they are not safe—terrorist attacks are occurring throughout the United States and the army is investigating all teenagers for a strange virus that gives them superhuman powers. When Aubrey and Jack encounter the army, they must decide whether the military can be trusted. Meanwhile, the book also follows the parallel story of two other teenagers, Laura and Alec. These teenagers have been trained their entire lives to be terrorists, but will they accomplish their goals? This fast-paced book will keep readers guessing. It is not the virus that creates superhuman powers that makes this book interesting, but rather the characters' reactions to it. Some are terrified, some delight in using their powers, and others work to manipulate it to their own ends. Readers will be kept wondering about the true intentions of many of the characters. Many readers will also enjoy the romantic element. The action, character development, and fast-paced plot will make it an appealing choice that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of young readers. Reviewer: Erika Schneider
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
Wells' new novel brings home all the uncertainty and fear that comes from the threat of modern warfare waged with terror. Life in small-town Utah is relatively simple for Aubrey, Nicole and Jack. Fitting in, being popular and getting by are their priorities, until the night of the homecoming dance. They've heard about the terrorist attacks being carried out across the country, but nothing has prepared them for the mass roundup of all teens by the U.S. military. A virus has been discovered, leaving some teens with superpowers. Aubrey can become invisible, Jack can read minds, and Nicole can make everyone like her. Some teens were infected on purpose, evaluated for their powers and trained to carry out terrorist attacks designed to bring America to its knees. The government is now fighting back, quarantining all teens to identify those with powers that can be used to establish a new line of defense. But can they really be effective as a defense if they can't tell who among their friends and co-workers is really working for the other side? Wells clues readers in, though, keeping tension high. While the end brings the immediate episode to a conclusion of sorts, more and bigger conflicts loom. In a world where terrorism is an increasing threat, this fast-paced book brings it home. (Thriller. 13 & up)
Ally Condie
“Blackout is a thrilling combination of Wells’ trademark twists and terror. Fantastic!”
Deseret News
“Blackout offers almost non-stop action. An explosive ride of suspense, thrills and frustration.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“This fast-paced book will keep readers guessing.”
School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 7 Up—When a virus gives teens superpowers (some more super than others) and terrorist attacks erupt across the country, the military detains all teens for testing and quarantine. Aubrey, who can become invisible (sort of), is reunited with her childhood friend Jack after having ditched him for Nicole's popular crowd, and they must decide where they stand. There's no real questioning of the government rounding up young people, performing medical tests on them, detaining them indefinitely, and essentially coercing then into military service. This should raise serious concerns, but the good (or good enough) guys are always the government, and the bad guys are always the terrorists. Their motivation is only hinted at toward the end of the book, leaving them nothing more than stock sadists. While Jack does mention options other than working with the government (like fleeing to Mexico), they're never seriously considered. Even when the government betrays them and they're wanted for supposedly double-crossing their handlers, Jack and Aubrey turn themselves in, and, after a simple confession, all misunderstandings are cleared up and the two are back on the team. This lack of ethical concerns and the required suspension of disbelief will disappoint some readers, but the threat of terrorism and a too-powerful government are highly relevant today, making this novel easy to recommend. And while the immediate action is wrapped up at the end, a shocking final line propels readers into greater conflicts for future books-where they might get more answers. A one-dimensional start with room to grow.—Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062026125
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 97,024
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robison Wells is the author of Blackout and the YA science-fiction thrillers Variant and Feedback. Variant was a Publishers Weekly Best Book and a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Robison lives in the Rocky Mountains in a house not too far from elk pastures. His wife, Erin, is a better person than he will ever be, and their three kids cause mischief and/or joy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

        The world set up in this one was really interesting, but I t

        The world set up in this one was really interesting, but I think that my problem is that I didn't connect with the majority of the characters. I think that the lead up to the mutations wasn't well done, and I think that it should not have started from the terrorist point of view to start because that dropped my attention level. I didn't connect with them or understand why they were doing what they were doing. 
        Once I got going I did like Audrey and her story line. I think that her and Jack are what kept my interest. It was a gentle and then building connection between the two, because when it starts, Audrey is actually with someone else. 
         I think maybe a lot of the issues would have been fixed if there weren't so many points of view, but I felt bounced around. As is, I don't think that I will be continuing with the series. 




    Bottom Line: Great premise, but meh world building.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    When I first started this one, I admit I was a bit overwhelmed a

    When I first started this one, I admit I was a bit overwhelmed at the jumping back and forth between characters. Multiple POV's can be very tricky, but I finally found my groove and the chapters seemed short enough to be able to jump back and forth with little difficulty. I am always in the mood for a good dystopia and I found that I really enjoyed Blackout. It is action packed and really kept you wondering as to what the bigger picture was. However, I ended up rating it less than I originally planned because I did feel as if the storyline fizzled out a bit in the second half of the book. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it didn't grip me like the first half did.

    Books that involve multiple POV's make it very difficult for you to get invested in your characters. I found myself preferring to read about Jack and Aubrey over Alec and Laura more times than not. Jack and Aubrey were high school students whose school is infiltrated by soldiers at a school dance. All of the students were captured, save for Aubrey and Jack. Aubrey is special- she is able to turn herself invisible, which is how she got away. Jack, never having been at the dance, shows up later to clean up, thus not getting caught. I did like where Wells took Aubrey and Jack's relationship. The two used to be friends when they were younger, but Aubrey is not the same girl Jack once knew. She runs in the popular circles and dresses differently. She made her choice and he wasn't it. However, now that they are thrown back together and having only the other to depend on, Jack must let the sting of betrayal go and work with her to save themselves.

    Of course Jack realizes that Aubrey really isn't that popular girl, but is still the friend he used to know. The two vow to protect one another and should they be separated to find each other. Their relationship does develop into something more, which of course I liked.

    Laura and Alec were harder to care about. Not because they were terrorists, bent on destroying everything, but because I already liked Jack and Aubrey and would rather have read more about them. I also didn't really understand Laura and Alec's motivation behind their attacks. There is one line mentioned frequently, "For your mother and mine". I kept waiting for one of them to explain that, but no one ever did. It almost seems like Laura, Alec, and Dan (another boy with powers) are wreaking havoc just because- not for any set purpose.

    The premise was quite interesting- the world is succumbing to these terrorist attacks and the military is now bringing teenagers into captivity to check to see if they have a virus, which causes their 'superpowers'. Some of these superpowers prove to be useful and the government is enlisting their help to stop the terrorist cells, after placing them on lockdown and running painful tests on them, of course.

    I did find the ending to be quite confusing, however. It ends rather abruptly, and while it sets us up for a sequel, I still feel it could have done with a bit more resolution than it did.

    Overall, not a bad read- if you are a hardcore dystopian fan who likes action and superpowers, definitely give this a go.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Ugh

    This book is about: Teens develop superpowers. Some, considered terrorists, rebel against the government. The others not involved in the attacks on America get quarantined for their powers. Later, they get enlisted by the military to 'fight fire with fire'.
    I really, really did NOT like this book. It was poorly written. While the overal plot idea is interesting, the storyline needed much improvement. At times, it went too fast, and it didn't give the reader time to become attached to the characters. Other times, it was too slow and you wonder why a certain part was necessary. The only thing that kept me reading were Aubrey and Jack. At times, I found myself looking forward to when it was their point on view.
    Everything I hated about this book:
    -plot, it was poorly developed
    -characters, they were hard to related to plus I just didn't like them
    -the end, ...where to begin with the end... I HATED THE ENDING! It happened to fast, made very little sense, and was plain dumb. The last lines were, '...Russia invaded Alaska.' RUSSIA HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE BOOK! YOU CAN'T JUST THROW THAT IN THERE!
    Well, you know my standing on the book. Fyi, I'm a harsh critic because I read a lot. Probably too much.
    I recommened this book if you like Witch & Wizard, by James Patterson.
    I don't recommened this book if you like Hunger Games.
    Neutral territory is the Divergent Trilogy.
    Peace out, <3

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    Want free i pad

    Kiss your hand three times than post this under three books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Ugh

    Genevive if you read this i juss wanted to tell you tht ur a fake a** b**ch

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first novel I have read by Robinson Wells, and while

    This is the first novel I have read by Robinson Wells, and while I do enjoy science fiction and dystopian novels,  sometimes they tend to be kind of hit and miss for me.  There are four characters, Laura, Alec, Jack, and Aubrey.  Two of them are pretty normal, and two are definitely not.  In fact, two of them are terrorists.  There is a virus spreading around that infects teenagers with special powers.  The synopsis sounds exciting and the first part of the book was pretty interesting, but the second part had a hard time holding my attention.  It does contain multiple points of view, which at times can be challenging.  While there were parts of the story that I did really enjoy, there were others that fell short.  I have read positive, negative, and kind of in the middle reviews on this book, so its definitely for some people, and not so much for others.  I kind of feel like one of those people in the middle.  This is supposed to be a series, so hopefully things will improve and make more sense as the series progresses.  The premise is excellent so it definitely has potential to good.  If you enjoy science fiction and post apocalyptic type novels, then you may want to check this out.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Blackout

    Might be mad into a film

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Amazing

    Its like bourne made for teens

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Highly recommend!!

    Love Robison Wells books. Another must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

    My #1 YA book in the world

    Blackout is mindblowing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Amazing

    Robison wells finest books yet.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

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