Saturday, June 21, 2014

New Release Spotlight - Blackout by Madeleine Henry

"Blackout" by Madeleine Henry is a superbly written dystopian novel, full of action, suspense, romance and adventure.

The story begins after the world is plunged into darkness and America is divided by a concrete wall (the Frontier). The northern part of the nation above the wall has electricity, the bottom part below the Frontier does not. The lives of those without electricity in the Dark Zone is harsh, dangerous and barely above existing for most of the inhabitants in the region. The lives of those with electricity is much easier (thus the term, "Easies" used to describe them).

The main character, Phoenix, and his girlfriend, Star are selected along with several other teenagers to be allowed into America. In exchange for this, their families are given electricity and Star hopes it will be the answer to her younger brother's chronic illness.

Once in America, Phoenix and Star are thrown into a contest given by the richest families in the country. At first glance, the intentions of the families appear to be genuinely altruistic and the teens quickly adapt to the lifestyle. However, during the course of the contest, secrets are revealed that shake Phoenix to his core and make him question the true reasons for the contest.

"Blackout" was an easy read and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. Ms. Henry has delivered a great story with a wonderfully thought out plot. I loved the ending and am looking forward to the sequel.

I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy books such as The Hunger Games and other young adult dystopian, post-apocalyptic type novels.

About the Author

Madeleine Henry was born and raised in New York. This spring, she graduated from Yale University and began her adult life in New York City. Madeleine majored in psychology and wrote her senior essay on the extreme popularity of the Twilight book series. In college, she also ran a marathon and had a brief but enthusiastic stint as a stand-up comedienne.

BLACKOUT is Madeleine's first book. Parts of the story are drawn from two weeks she spent foraging for food and water in desert Utah while enrolled in a survival skills field course. She has since recovered.

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