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Blackout Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062026127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062026125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Superpower-laden high-school students tangle with terrorists in Wells’ YA sci-fi dystopian novel as it marches along a somewhat shaky route, with a boilerplate plot that borrows from Heroes and X-Men. Teenager Aubrey has managed to survive an alcoholic father and poverty, but that all changes when she discovers the power to literally vanish. Her classmate Jack has had to take a menial job that estranges him from his friends. When a militia force rolls into prom and rounds up the bewildered kids, it turns out they are seeking Lambdas, or teenagers infected with a virus that somehow causes them to develop superpowers. Aubrey and Jack get sent to a detention camp and eventually meet determined terrorists Alec and Laura. For the teens, discovering the bigger picture means leaving behind childhood and deciding which side is the right one to be on. While the characters are oddly flat and lack emotional connection, the small-town Utah setting frames this as an every-person story. The promise of a series and a huge cliff-hanger ending should entice some readers to follow the characters and events. Grades 8-11. --Julie Trevelyan


“Blackout is a thrilling combination of Wells’ trademark twists and terror. Fantastic!” (Ally Condie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Matched)

“In a world where terrorism is an increasing threat, this fast-paced book brings it home.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Wells knows how to snare readers’ attention and hold them spellbound. There is no shortage of white-knuckle action.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“This fast-paced book will keep readers guessing.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

“Blackout offers almost non-stop action. An explosive ride of suspense, thrills and frustration.” (Deseret News)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
All of the characters in BLACKOUT were very well formed, which was rather impressive as there were so many.
A Book Obsession..
Second, with all the different characters and POVs, I didn't think the character development was that great--most are rather shallow and one dimensional.
I have to say that this book didn't really give much world building and it's something that I would have wanted more of as it seemed to need it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By KVB99 on October 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A virus breaks out around the world causing certain kids to develop weird powers, some powerful and threatening, others more lame and useless. Some of the kids who have these powers were deliberately infected during childhood and planted in the US as part of sleeper terrorist cells, waiting to launch an all out attack on the US at the appointed hour. Once the terrorists strikes begin, the US begins rounding up all teens for virus testing as part of their efforts to find and stop the terrorists. One half of the story centers on Aubrey, a somewhat clueless girl (at least at first) who has developed a special power recently. Soon Aubrey is thrust together with her long time, though recently estranged friend, Jack and they're on the run from the Army. The other half of the story centers on a terrorist cell of Alec, Laura and Dan, who also are trying to outrun the Army. The book concludes with these two story lines colliding in a climatic shown down.

The story is fast paced and the writing is respectable, but I had issues. First, as others have pointed out, rather than tell the story from one or two POVs, we have a whole bunch of POVs and it's doesn't work that great. Second, with all the different characters and POVs, I didn't think the character development was that great--most are rather shallow and one dimensional. Third, related to the second point, we have upwards of a 180 terrorist teenagers running around the US--the country they grew up in--wreaking unbelievable destruction and killing millions. Why? Is it just political allegiance to a foreign country? Is it loyalty to their agent parents? Is it brain washing? We don't get an answer, and if you want me to buy into this story I have to understand what is motivating teenagers to decide to become soulless mass murderers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kimbacaffeinate on October 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The tale opens as two teens Laura and Alex attack an infrastructure in the Midwest. Then we zoom to another town where it is prom night and a young woman named Aubrey is listening to the boys talk about her. Strangely they cannot see her standing there. From a distance a young man named Jack is waiting for the prom to end, and listening about the attack on the radio. A caravan of buses and the military arrive at the prom. They begin to gather up the students, when one tried to attack, they shoot him. The tale that unfolds is fast-paced and action packed as we along with Aubrey and Jack try to determine what is happening and stop a war.

Told from multiple POV's we get inside the minds and lives of several young adults. Laura and Alec are on an agenda involving terrorist acts, and we learn bits and pieces about their abilities and their past. They added a darker element to the tale, and I am anxious to see what drives them. While neither is likable, they are essential to the tale. Aubrey and Jack each have a unique voice and are the most fleshed out characters. They are strong, loyal and while they could at times be annoying I eventually connected. Other characters, both adult and teens help provide information about the plot, but as secondary characters we learn very little about them individually. The tale is more event driven and I am hoping we see further development with the characters.

While Blackout lacked some of the world-building I crave Wells did give us enough to keep me on edge. Throughout the books there were strange little text messages and when I finally learned what they were, I thought it was brilliant and actually went back and reread them. The way the tale unfolded regarding the superpowers, and the US governments response was terrifying but sadly plausible.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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