Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: Blackout by Robison Wells (Whitney Finalist 2013)

Title: Blackout (Blackout #1)
Author: Robison Wells
Enjoyment Rating: **
Source: Library Copy
This book would be rated: PG-13 for violence

A virus is spreading across the United States, infecting teenagers. No, it's not mono, because this virus gives people special powers. The type of power depends on the person, but the result is that some people are using the powers to try to overthrow the government and wreak havoc and the government is responding by rounding up every teenager in the country, putting many of them in a concentration camp in the Utah desert.

I was very hopeful while reading the first few chapters of Blackout. The initial scenes, with the bad guys destroying the Glen Canyon dam, and the high school dance at a rural Utah barn made me hopeful that the whole book would have similar strong setting and past-paced action, but once the characters were rounded up, the story fell apart for me. Furthermore, there were too many competing voices and narrators to differentiate, especially since the characterization was not especially strong, and Wells seemed to rely on the characters to tell the story instead of showing it in scene. This one felt more like a first draft than a well-edited, well-considered finished product.

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