Thursday, 22 June 2017

Isabella's Reading Corner: Blackout

Author: Marc Elsberg
Publication Date: June 6th 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Blackout starts with a bang! Ex-hacker Piero Manzano is driving home one night in Milan, Italy and finds himself in the midst of a disastrous traffic accident when all the street lights suddenly stop working. It's the first day of Winter holidays and Europe is plunged into darkness as electricity grids begin collapsing due to an attack of cyber-terrorism. Fuel pumps no longer work and many are stranded without transportation. There is no TV, internet or heat and water stops flowing through pipes. This is going to become the least of Manzano's worries, along with the rest of the population, as more threats loom on the horizon. 

Manzano initially joins forces with the authorities to discover what is causing the blackout, but unfortunately finds himself the victim of a set up. He goes on the run with journalist Lauren Shannon in a race to find out not only who is behind these acts, but how to stop them from causing more devastation.

It's a frightening thought that so little holds society together and what could happen if the electricity that we rely on so heavily, was taken away. The novel plays out well and it's certainly a page turner. The one negative for me was that there were quite a lot of characters and places to keep track of. I would have preferred the author focused more on developing the main protagonists, their backgrounds and interactions instead. However, the pace moved deftly from one scene to the next, so I was able to sit back and enjoy this exciting disaster thriller.

From the publisher:
This is no accident.
This is no act of God. 
This is Blackout.

A terrifyingly plausible million-copy selling debut disaster thriller.

When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse. There is no power, anywhere.
A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates a possible cause of the disaster. The authorities don't believe him, and he soon becomes a prime suspect himself. With the United States now also at risk, Piero goes on the run with Lauren Shannon, a young American CNN reporter based in Paris, desperate to uncover who is behind the attacks. After all, the power doesn't just keep the lights on―it keeps us alive.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on Blackout here.

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