Author: Robison Wells
Series: Blackout #1
Publication date: October 1st, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Laura and Alec are trained terrorists.
Jack and Aubrey are high school students.
There are 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.
I had never read any books by Robison Wells but I had heard about her Variant series and was anxious to try out her writing for the first time. A dystopian book about X-Men-esk teens was the perfect place to start in my opinion.
Aubrey and Jack were friends in elementary school, but once they entered high school they drifted apart. Aubrey became one of the popular girl with the help of the queen bee of the school, Nicole. Aubrey was happy for the most part, but she also felt like a freak. Aubrey could disappear. Not metaphorically, physically. Once the queen bee of her school found this out, she used Aubrey to spy for her. One such mission ended up causing Aubrey to witness the military breaking into their school dance and shooting one of their students dead. The student wasn't a regular student though. He was like Aubrey. He had powers. He was a freak.
Aubrey stumbles across Jack as she flees the military and they start on the run together. Eventually they are caught anyway and that is where they learn the truth about their crumbling world. There are terrorists bent on destroying America. The terrorists are teenagers with abilities just like Aubrey's. The military now needs Aubrey and even Jack's help shutting down the terrorists, but what they don't know is some of the teenagers who are meant to fight the terrorists may be terrorists themselves. Aubrey and Jack must find a way to survive while also dealing with a blossoming romance. Can they save their country or are they better off running as far and as fast as they can?
I was not too fond of Aubrey's character. She was just all over the place. She was wimpy in the beginning and then she was the ideal soldier and then she got wimpy again. I got pretty sick of her rollercoaster of personality shifts. The saving grace for the book was Jack. I loved Jack. He was determined, level-headed, and even romantic at times. I think if he would have had a better leading lady, the book would have been a smashing success.
Now, let me not dwell on Aubrey's shortcomings. The story line was unusual and unique. I loved the variance of powers the teenagers could present with. I would have liked a bit more background on the terrorists and why they were doing what they were doing, but I am hoping that will be covered in later books. It was unnerving how likely this sort of situation could possibly happen. Teenagers are loose cannons, give them powers to destroy and see if they don't find a reason to do just that.
Blackout is a paranormal spin on a plausible apocalyptic occurrence. It's a glowing example of what science fiction truly is.