Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ARC Review: Blackout (Blackout #1) by Robison Wells

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
432 Pages

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.

Goodness me, Blackout was not what I was expecting, and I must say that is not a good thing. This was my first book by Robison Wells and I had high hopes. The synopsis was pretty intriguing and original. Too bad it fell flat for me. I had seen some mixed ratings for this novel, but I try not to let my opinions on books be affected by others until I can form my own so I ignored them and decided to give Blackout a shot. I really wish I hadn't.

Blackout follows the lives of four teens, Alec, Laura, Aubrey and Jack, during the start of a reign of terror. All four of these kids suffer from a new virus that has caused them to manifest powers. Each of them as their own background that causes them to react differently to the manifestation and the journey that follows could be the start of the end of the world. 

The background of the "virus" and the mutations that this teens had formed was severely lacking in depth. I had no grasp on why this was happening, how it was happening or really even what was happening. There wasn't enough detail for the reader to get a good grasp on the events of this novel. Maybe they will be explained further down the road, but I can't do that. I struggle with a book when I'm not completely in the know. I think that readers that are good with some intrigue will enjoy this--but that's not me.

I also loathed the characters. Do you know how difficult it is to read, and try to enjoy, a novel when you can't stand the characters about which you are reading? In case you didn't realize, it's extremely difficult. Not only did I not like them, I felt like I didn't know them. I couldn't tell you their motivation for anything. I didn't understand where they were coming from. Some of the changes in these characters seemed spontaneous and didn't tie in well to the story. It just didn't fit. Due to my struggle to form a connection to them, I contemplated putting the book several times, but there was the nagging voice in my head that kept saying, "What if it is about to get good?" Spoiler alert: It didn't. By the end, I sort of liked Aubrey and Jack, but as bad as this is to say, I really want someone to kill Laura and Alec, or at least lock them up and never talk to me about them again. They were utterly infuriating and I could hardly stand it.

Every once in awhile, I come across a book where I think, "What's the point?" Blackout was one of those book. It was too jumbled, like the author was having trouble mixing these ideas together. It dragged a lot, but at the same time… It moved too quickly. Does that even make sense? The author definitely should have explain the situations, the virus and the terrorism a lot more to make the story feel more believable. I don't think I'll be picking up the sequel, and honestly, I am a bit hesitant to read anything else by this author.
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.

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