Laura and Alec are trained terrorists. Jack and Aubrey are high school students. There was 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.
Audrey has an incredible power of invisibility, but she sees herself as a freak and think she's the only one cursed. But when teenagers are started to be rounded up by the military and tested for a strange virus that is giving teenagers the powers to become terrorists, Audrey knows she has to avoid being caught at all costs. She teams up with Jack, her old high school friend to escape, but their plan fails and their lives are forever changed. With terrorists attacking the country and destroying everything in their path, and teenagers all around with incredible powers, the country is a powder keg waiting to blow. It's only a matter of time.
BLACKOUT had a really interesting combination of concepts. First off you have this really interesting virus that has spread like wildfire throughout the nation afflicting teenagers with incredible abilities not unlike the X-Men. That alone would have made for an incredible story, but then you add in the terrorist angle, and you have a book that sucks you right in. I'm not typically a fan of multiple perspectives, especially when they result in different storylines, but I have to admit this type of narration worked really well for BLACKOUT. Seeing the destruction through the terrorist's eyes really added a whole another level to the intensity and horror, something that just wouldn't have had quite the same impact if we had only been shown Jack and Audrey's side of the story. There's so much more going on with this book, but trust me, it's worth the ride to experience it for yourself.
All of the characters in BLACKOUT were very well formed, which was rather impressive as there were so many. Granted the terrorist side of the equation did keep a lot of things close to the vest, so I did feel like that there was some things missing there, but you could tell that was done intentionally to keep the reader guessing. But Audrey and Jack were open books and I adored them. Audrey is your typical flawed girl who just wanted to fit in, and Jack was the boy who loved her but she left behind. I loved seeing Audrey's progression as Jack came back into her life just as everything started falling apart. It woke her up to what was really important in life and I loved seeing her change over the book for the better. Even Jack changed as well, gaining confidence and made him rather swoon worthy in my opinion, adding just the right amount of romance to the story.
While BLACKOUT earned 4 stars from me, it wasn't without flaws that stemmed some frustration for me. There were so many burning questions from the start, but the answers were far and few between and overwhelmingly slow coming. In fact, things still aren't really clear at all about the terrorists, particularly their motives. It was even more frustrating because throughout the book there were periods where things were told from that perspective, and yet nothing was ever made clear. Considering the ending twist, I have to wonder if they ever will be, and that made me almost want to dock my rating down a notch. I'm just not a big fan of being strung along and still left so largely in the dark by the end of the story. That being said, the entire book kept me sucked in and I honestly couldn't put it down. I'm incredibly anxious to see where the ending twist leads thing. So if you are looking for a fast paced read and a fresh concept, then BLACKOUT is for you.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)