Review: Blackout

Cover of "Blackout," featuring a dark photograph of the Capital Building in Washington, D.C. with barbed wire in the foreground
Image from Madeline Henry

Title: Blackout

Series: Darkness #1

Author: Madeleine Henry

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Back Cover:

One wall divides life from darkness. After the worldwide Blackout, America built a concrete wall—the Frontier—across the middle of the nation to isolate its precious electricity in the top half. Everyone below the Frontier was forsaken, and now only a few survive in the grim region known as the Dark Zone.

Sixteen year old Phoenix Troublefield endures the dark with his girlfriend, Star Windsong. When America announces that it will trade electricity for immigrants, Phoenix and Star sacrifice themselves for the power that might save her younger brother. On the other side of the Frontier, they find America is not what they expected, and instead they are thrown into a shocking and deeply personal contest that threatens to destroy their love. When the chance comes to escape back into the Dark Zone, it may already be too late.


I almost decided to ignore this book. The author sent out an ARC offer and wanted the book read and reviewed within a week. But the plot looked interesting. So I went against the part of me that said “you have your graduation open house coming up and there’s no way you can read and review that in one week!”

And I’m very glad I did.

I probably liked Phoenix so much because he was a lot like me – he had a lot of anger he wasn’t always sure what to do with. He also had some kick-butt skills with Magic (his rifle), and loved Star a heck of a lot. I didn’t really expect to like him much, but he got under my skin and made me love him anyway.

Star was Phoenix’s complete opposite. She was sweet and innocent and cared so much about everyone, and had a gift for making everyone like her. But I think she has more strength than anyone gives her credit for.

Phoenix and Star were the main characters, but there’s so many others. Dangerous and ridiculously smart Elecktra, child-like Tinder, even Star’s brave little brother who’s only in two scenes. They all felt amazingly real.

I’ve read quite a few post-apocalyptic books, but this one is really different. Instead of trying to rebuild the world after the apocalypse, it’s more of a group of underprivileged survivalists trying to navigate a world of high-class people they despise. Plus a competition. And there’s a lot more going on than anyone suspects (me included).

I devoured Blackout in one sitting. It’s one of those books where the characters got under my skin like close friends and the plot captured my imagination. I didn’t want it to end! And I can’t find anything on book two, but I need it soon.

I received a free ARC of Blackout from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.

The Darkness trilogy:

  1. Blackout




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