Book Review: The Blackout by Stephanie Erickson

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The Blackout by Stephanie Erickson

A Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (01/26/2014)

 

Summary:

Molly and Cindy are professors at the local college in Florida in the middle of the teaching day when the power goes out. After twenty minutes the school is let out and they discover that more than just the power is gone. Cell phones, cars, appliances, running water are all not working. Molly is most worried about her husband, Gary, a pilot currently in Pennsylvania. Gary’s first concern is for his customers, but after several days of no power and no help he decides to make the long trek on foot back home. There are dangers for both Gary on his journey and Molly as she stays put in their small neighborhood community. All it took was an EMP blast for chaos to reign in the United States and a blackout lasting indefinitely. Will Gary be reunited with Molly again?

 

Keywords:

 Apocalypse, Power-loss, blackout, brownout, chaos, EMP, government shutdown, military, coming together, community, family, hope, loss, scarcity of supplies, primitive living, violence, wandering thieves and murderers

My Review:

Erickson is not the first to imagine a world without power, but her story is not less frightening. She shows us a brief glimpse into a world we are familiar with and worries we may have ourselves about our day to day lives. After the blackout, Erickson shows us the step by step fall into chaos as a world falls apart without order and electricity. Erickson captures the attitude of those in her world as they go through the stages of disbelief and acceptance of this mind-numbing, terrible disaster. “The darkness was so… penetrating. She couldn’t wait for morning, when the world would be returned to the light.” (Page 31).

Erickson switches POV from Gary the husband in Pennsylvania to Molly the wife in hometown Florida. I liked having both perspectives and two different paths to survival. Gary was trying to get home, walking through cities and outskirts of town and he had different troubles and similar problems to Molly who stayed put in her neighborhood home. The Wanderers, the scum that rose up to take what they needed and wanted during the time of instability, plagued both Gary and Molly, providing an extra element of suspense and horror to the book.

Books like these are chilling. Can you ever be ready for this kind of total world chaos? Gary was a pilot and Molly a teacher, both nearly useless skills in a world without modernity. Almost nobody had supplies stocked or weapons ready. Almost nobody was prepared for what followed after the Blackout.

“Everyone in the world thought normalcy would be restored any minute, and no one was thinking in terms of permanency – not yet at least. Each community assumed they were the only ones stricken with the debilitating problem, and that soon their neighboring cities would come to their aid. They were wrong.” (Page 44).

My only complaint is why wouldn’t Gary find a bike to help him go faster in the beginning of his journey and to cover more than 10 miles a day?

 

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. 01/26/2014 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Stephanie Erickson’s Website

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