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www.readingbifrost.comWhen the entire world falls into darkness, the US is divided into two halves the northern half with power, America the southern half in darkness, the Dark Zone Star and Phoenix are DZs from the Dark Zone, taking care of their families and each other When Star s little brother, Wick, gets a sickness that only the heat from electricity can heal she turns to the Frontier the divider between their worlds to give herself up to the Easies so her family will be granted the www.readingbifrost.comWhen the entire world falls into darkness, the US is divided into two halves the northern half with power, America the southern half in darkness, the Dark Zone Star and Phoenix are DZs from the Dark Zone, taking care of their families and each other When Star s little brother, Wick, gets a sickness that only the heat from electricity can heal she turns to the Frontier the divider between their worlds to give herself up to the Easies so her family will be granted the power they need.Phoenix has always been taught his family comes first in everything, but he can t let Star go to America alone He follows her beyond the Frontier into a world of bright lights, working cars, social media, and a real deal game of the bachelor bachelorette where DZs aren t held accountable for how they play the game All is fair in love and war, and this is both I might have to make this girl love me Love me I can t be thinking of ways to kill her Henry s Blackout is the start of differently crafted dystopian series There s no fully established and controlling government that needs to be overthrown, there s no TV show centered around murdering teenagers, and both sides have advantages and disadvantages At times it almost reminds me of The Outsiders Socs vs Greasers, privileged vs underprivileged DZs are seen as being from the wrong side of the tracks Frontier , and Easies from the wealthy side.Of course there are similarities with other dystopian series as well A group called the Shadows can be compared to the Careers in The Hunger Games trilogy And even though the game isn t televised, the Easies follow their favorite DZ competitors through social media and magazines.The story moves along at a continuously flowing pace giving a few short flashes into Star and Phoenix s history together, but there s never a point where there s dead space clotting the story s progression.Phoenix s character is in tune to his side of the Frontier when it comes to everything but Star He s strong, a hunter, naturally cautious, but still holds the qualities of a 16 year old boy and not a super human survivor that s become the predominant protagonist in dystopian novels.Star s character is weak, when you re thinking physically and emotionally But she has a strong determination that outweighs her weaknesses and balances the heroine s flaws and attributes She seems a little air headed but the way Henry has her playing the game Star might not be as clueless as she seems at first We ll just have to wait for the next book to see how her character progresses.Elektra is the Shadow character, trained in harsh conditions in the Dark Zone to be that super human survivor I have a strong feeling that her character will most likely have a good number of followers by the second book.Overall, Henry s Blackout is about loving and letting go loyalty to family and learning your own way, and knowing what is worth fighting for in a world separated by light and darkness If you like young adult dystopian novels, I recommend Blackout I was so hooked and it happened so fast I can t wait for the next books Reading about Star and Phoenix s love is so heart warming and some times heart breaking.One of the best books I have read so far Anyone who love romance and adventure must read it it is that good. Blackout is an intense and gripping novel that takes readers on a wild ride after a worldwide blackout results in the division of America.When unexplained events leave the the world in total darkness America realizes they don t have enough electricity to support the entire country Without warning they construct a wall dividing America in half Electricity is restored to the northern half leaving the southern half to fend for themselves As a result most people living in the area known as the D Blackout is an intense and gripping novel that takes readers on a wild ride after a worldwide blackout results in the division of America.When unexplained events leave the the world in total darkness America realizes they don t have enough electricity to support the entire country Without warning they construct a wall dividing America in half Electricity is restored to the northern half leaving the southern half to fend for themselves As a result most people living in the area known as the Dark Zone do not survive Phoenix and his parents are just one of 8 families left in Dark DC Like the other survivors, they have learned to adapt to their new life Phoenix even falls in love with a girl named Star Phoenix and Star discover that America is offering to trade electricity for Dark Zone residents In order to save Star s sick brother her and Phoenix agree to the trade But, things aren t always as they appear and this seemingly generous offer has a hidden agenda Can Phoenix and Star survive Blackout is absolutely riveting The story is well organized and powerfully consuming I liked the fast pace and numerous twists which kept me on edge The book was so captivating that I read the entire story in one day I anxiously await Book Two.I highly recommend picking up a copy of Blackout This book felt a bit like The Hunger Games but without all the blood and guts and with a very different competition It was a fast read that really pulled you in The characters were varied and interesting I liked it enough to continue the series. I received Blackout from the author in exchange for an honest review.Before Blackout, I hadn t read a dystopian in quite a while Well, I read The One in May, but it s one of the few I ve read all year I ve been reading so many contemporaries lately I m not sure what I was expecting from Blackout, but it wasn t what I got It was so good though It has similarities to both The Hunger Games and The One, but it s also similar to something else that would be a spoiler if I said what it is There I received Blackout from the author in exchange for an honest review.Before Blackout, I hadn t read a dystopian in quite a while Well, I read The One in May, but it s one of the few I ve read all year I ve been reading so many contemporaries lately I m not sure what I was expecting from Blackout, but it wasn t what I got It was so good though It has similarities to both The Hunger Games and The One, but it s also similar to something else that would be a spoiler if I said what it is There are reviews on Goodreads that give the whole thing away, so if you really need to know, go read one of those That s a warning to be careful on Goodreads if you don t want to know.Set sixty seven years after solar flare hit the Earth, Blackout is narrated by Phoenix, the male DZ, as the citizens of the Dark Zone are called That surprised me, as it seems like the obvious choice for a female YA author would be to write from the female DZ s point of view I really like Phoenix, though, so I m glad that Madeleine Henry went with him for the main character Seen only through Phoenix s eyes, Star is a weaker character and I don t know if I like her that much Not much time is spent on their relationship at the beginning of the book Phoenix seems to believe he s deeply in love with Star and that she loves him too but they seem to be together out of convenience to me There are only seven families twenty four people in all left in Dark DC, and most of them are adults I hope Phoenix and Star don t end up together at the end of the trilogy, but if they do I can t say I wasn t warned in advance.Right now, my pick for Phoenix would be Elektra After Phoenix, Elektra is probably my favorite character They re thrown together, along with another boy named Tinder, as roommates in America Most dystopians give their characters unusual names with no explanation Blackout actually gives that information DZs all have names that symbolize light and warmth Flint, Spark, Wick, Aura, and Burn Elektra is a Shadow, one of the mysterious elite DZs who are the best hunters and fighters and are rarely seen by the rest of the DZs She s strong, smart, and a fast thinker, but there are hints that her life as a Shadow is not easy.I like Tinder, too At first meeting, he seems timid and weak He is physically weak skinny, with knobby knees but I think there s a quiet strength to him He stands up for himself when he needs to I think he will end up being an asset to Phoenix as the trilogy moves along I hope Phoenix learns to relyon Elektra and Tinder and to dwell less on what he thinks Star might be doing.Blackout is pretty short, but a lot happens in those 182 pages I hate being so vague, but I really can t talk about the plot without giving away spoilers The ending brings a lot of information all at once and of course it ends with a cliffhanger just as Phoenix is discovering what he and his companions are really in for It made me wish I already had the next book to read It s not out yet maybe soon It truly says something about a book when, despite all the hectic things going on in your life your busy schedule, work, kids, writing, whatever it may be you make time for the novel You invest in it, and savour it.I read this in less than three days, which always means I enjoyed the book A book that is read in that time for me, is good And not just good, but addictive I want to knowI can t leave it alone.I even read this book while I was eating dinner That s how much it hooked me It truly says something about a book when, despite all the hectic things going on in your life your busy schedule, work, kids, writing, whatever it may be you make time for the novel You invest in it, and savour it.I read this in less than three days, which always means I enjoyed the book A book that is read in that time for me, is good And not just good, but addictive I want to knowI can t leave it alone.I even read this book while I was eating dinner That s how much it hooked me.The concept of Blackout isn t really new, but the details were unique The whole dystopia, end of the world, YA type novel isn t anything we haven t seen before But I m a sucker for a good one And this book is like the Hunger Games meets a very soft non alien infested Pitch Black It has hints of other stories I ve read, and films I ve seen that focus on the post apocalyptic society the injustice, the conspiracies, the dictatorship that is only just hidden by a we re in this together bullsh t smoke screen This novel is no different And yet, it is.I loved it.The characters were undeniably some of the best I ve read in a while And to make a change, the POV was in the head of a male, named Phoenix Now when I first read the description I nearly scoffed Phoenix Troublefield Are you kidding me But in the first few chapters I began to understand the odd names Star, Phoenix, Blaze, Wick All the names of the DZ s a.k.a the Dead Zone inhabitants who are on the other side of the enormous wall known as the Frontier that separates them from the easies who have all the power are names that represent light, warmth Everything they don t have Which is kind of sad in a way And it made me appreciate their names and meanings even.Phoenix is tough, strong and very male I liked how he was portrayed But his weakness was Star, and that just made himadmirable and likeable He has a strong sense of family, though he questions his place as a Troublefield until he eventually leaves to go to the US on the other side of the Frontier I liked how he did it for Star For love She wanted to get electricity so her brother Wick would have heat and hopefully recover from his illness The Easies offer electricity for one young DZ in the home to come across the Frontier and join the Carnival It isn t clear what the Carnival is until they go to the other side Worst part is, they re separated when this happens so you truly feel the anxiety of Phoenix s mental state as he fears for her and wonders where she is and if she s okay.Then they get to the other side and discover that the Carnival is like some kind of twisted dating game show where they, the DZ s, have to win the hearts of four spoiled a hole kids from prominent United States families Two boys, two girls It shattered my heart as both Phoenix and Star sat side by side painfully absorbing this sh tbomb the b stards have just dropped on them.From then on it s like The Hunger Games with all the schedules and faking things, pretending to be happy and smiling for the camera But with a twist Phoenix plays the bad boy and their profile pages are online, and they update for all the internet users to see Like a social network A TV dating game show on the web It s clever I also loved the idea of the phones they all had with the pop up schedules It just felt so realistic I could imagine the future being like that.As for characters besides Phoenix, there were many to like Elektra being one of them She s a shadow DZ s that keeps to themselves, are basically the strong elite of the DZ s and are feared by those who aren t them She turns out to be a complex character She s tough but not confrontational and doesn t try to make a point of her strength or abilities You just know it and you know not to mess with her The scene where they get a medical exam and Phoenix says that she has several hairline fractures on her legs and severe burns on her back, and he tries to ask her about it, she just brushes it off I like that about her and admired her after that She doesn t want people feeling sorry for her, despite her tough life She s worked hard and earned it and that s all she sees about it Good for her.Tinder is a cute kid, and a softie Phoenix abhors his weakness at first but then you see him start to treat Tinder like a little brother It s a nice, subtle relationship they have I love the contrast and their banter was always funny to read.Blaze is supposed to be the bad guy, but I didn t see him that way He and Phoenix end up being rivals which wasn t a surprise, but they re both doing it for similar reasons They want people they love to have electricity To have power and live in warmth Blaze is tough and strong but his fear of losing out on the prize a.k.a the girl called Hazel who they re both playing to win the heart of causes him to act irrationally and that doesn t end well for him I felt a little sad for him.Star She s Star Not my favourite character Oddly, my least favourite She has a loving heart and warmth about her but she seemed easily swayed and didn t hold a strong sense of who she is, of who she and Phoenix are to each other I understood her jealousy at times but I just thought she reacted like an idiot She was unfair to him and the way she hid so much from him pretending to play Wesley when instead she goes for Bing the pervy dufus, without telling Phoenix just annoyed me I like a girl who tells the truth because it s right Not hide it because she thinks she s protecting him He s a grown man, and a tough one at that, he can handle it Phoenix may have been just as jealous but he was mentally strong enough to know that the Carnival was just a game A dangerous one And he knew they needed to win, no matter the cost Otherwise bad sh t would happen Though we don t know what exactly that means until the end And it s horrible.They use the rejects, those that don t win the competition, as guinea pigs to try to find a cure for this epidemic that is turning the infected blind It was an unpleasant discovery to say the least But I m so intrigued to knowThe ending left it with many questions unanswered and I m desperate to read book two I m sure it will be even better than this one.I rate this book 5 out of 5, simply because I couldn t find fault with it Love the writing, loved the characters, the scenery, the plot Everything.Thank you for letting me read this Awesomesauce Reviewed for Bit N Book Promoters web facebook twitter I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review Powerful and engaging Blackout takes dystopia to a new level and gives the readers a story reminiscent of Kiera Cass s The Selection but withblood This is one new series to watch out for.Imagine a day without electricity No lights No gadgets No machines No electronics No heat Unthinkable, right Welcome to Phoenix Troublefield s life Except it s a thousand times worse because he s been living in I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review Powerful and engaging Blackout takes dystopia to a new level and gives the readers a story reminiscent of Kiera Cass s The Selection but withblood This is one new series to watch out for.Imagine a day without electricity No lights No gadgets No machines No electronics No heat Unthinkable, right Welcome to Phoenix Troublefield s life Except it s a thousand times worse because he s been living in darkness ALL HIS LIFE And no daylight either because the solar flare that caused the worldwide Blackout sixty seven years ago also left the sky covered with jet black clouds, plunging the world into perpetual darkness Life basically sucks in the Dark Zone, so what do you do Here s what You survive.And that s what I like best about the main character, Phoenix He s a survivor He s not a character you get to like at first sight He s angry and rough but he does what he needs to survive And he s damn good at it He doesn t only provide for his own family, but for his girlfriend s, too Speaking of Star, I think she s one hell of a liability for Phoenix She s too soft and doesn t have the sense of self preservation needed to survive in the Dark Zone I don t think she could ve survived without Phoenix.But wait til you see them on the other side of the Frontier The Carnival changed these characters into somethingI love the character development Phoenix meets new people and I think it helped change the way he sees things Star s change is astounding The kind and timid girl transformed into an aggressive player who will do what it takes to win The Carnival and provide electricity for her family.The other characters are worth mentioning, too Elektra and Tinder are actually my favorite characters although they re totally opposites Elektra is feisty and smart and cool, while I admire Tinder s innocence and sincerity.I also liked the world building The Dark Zone is as grim as it gets, while in the other side of the Frontier, people are practically wasting electricity I like this contrast between the two settings and how the characters acted in both I also think The Carnival is a very unique contest to be in Honestly, when I read that the chosen DZs will compete in a game, I thought,Oh no, not another Hunger GamesGood thing, it s very different from THG, but still a really good dystopian tale.The twists and turns are also unexpected and will put you on the edge of your seats The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, too But it s not a cliffhanger that will frustrate you but one that will carry you on until the next book Practically screaming for book two here *Free E-pub ↴ Blackout ⇝ 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 ZoneSixteen 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 The United States is a divided country literally since a solar firestorm plunged the world into a never ending, cold, gray wasteland Well, everywhere on the Dark Zone side of the wall that now bisects the nation, anyway That includes a decimated Washington D.C., where most of the opening action in this arresting YA dystopian tale begins.Unlikely young hero Phoenix Troublefield and his girlfriend Star Windsong are making a life for themselves and the eight remaining families who still liv The United States is a divided country literally since a solar firestorm plunged the world into a never ending, cold, gray wasteland Well, everywhere on the Dark Zone side of the wall that now bisects the nation, anyway That includes a decimated Washington D.C., where most of the opening action in this arresting YA dystopian tale begins.Unlikely young hero Phoenix Troublefield and his girlfriend Star Windsong are making a life for themselves and the eight remaining families who still live inside the Beltway, but that life is a hard one, with no light, no heat and very little in the way of hope until one day, the mysterious people on the northern side of the wall offer a bizarre exchange They will restore electricity to families that are willing to sacrifice one family member each to the Frontmen who stand silent sentinel on the wall.The exchange will mean new life for the parents and siblings of Star and Phoenix So, in spite of qualms about their uncertain future, they climb into hulking black cruisers one bleak morning and set off for New York City, the site of a competition known to them only as The Carnival Object of the games is clear Phoenix and Star must set aside their love for each other at least temporarily and compete instead for the love of one of the privileged sons and daughters of the hated and feared ruling families of the North If they win, all will be well, and their own families will get to keep their newly acquired electricity If they fail, their families will go back to a bleak existence, and Star and Phoenix will face isolation and hardship, stranded in the North.The games begin and Star and Phoenix find themselves suddenly at odds with each other Jealousy on Phoenix s part threatens to drive a wedge between them But all is forgiven as each one gets down to the serious business of convincing everyone they re REALLY in love with their prospective mates offered by the games creators.The competition continues in deadly earnest, with Phoenix s teammates Elektra and Tinder joining in to ensure they all succeed Text message updates are beamed nationwide as throngs of fans follow the unfolding action.Does Phoenix finally unite with his own true love, Star Or does The Carnival ultimately wreck their blissful hopes and dreams This well wrought tale of a future where youth is both celebrated and exploited makes for a diverting read, with many fine characters made memorable by a deft and marvelously restrained authorial hand.I give Blackout five stars and join other reviewers in looking forward to Book Two in this trilogy Blackout is a young adult dystopian novel.Henry has created a cohesive and elaborate world A solar flare fried all the electricity, the sun went dead, and America is divided down the middle by a giant wall The Easies live in the north and have regained electricity The DZ s live without power in the south Phoenix and Star live in the Dark Zone, until they are taken across The Frontier in exchange for electricity for their families Once there they discover they are contestants in something Blackout is a young adult dystopian novel.Henry has created a cohesive and elaborate world A solar flare fried all the electricity, the sun went dead, and America is divided down the middle by a giant wall The Easies live in the north and have regained electricity The DZ s live without power in the south Phoenix and Star live in the Dark Zone, until they are taken across The Frontier in exchange for electricity for their families Once there they discover they are contestants in something called The Carnival where they compete to marry one of four sons or daughters of the ruling families.Contestants are instant celebrities and the whole thing is reminiscent of the Hunger Games but at the same time nothing like it The organisation of The Carnival and events was very well thought out and I loved waiting to see what kind of strange things they would be doing next in order to find love Of course the competition puts strain on the relationship between Pheonix and Star I had some trouble believing their interactions and arguments and this is possibly because their characterisation was a little two dimensional I feel like Phoenix spent a lot of time talking about what Star was like as a person or underlining what she was doing as a typical Star thing to do Rather than just letting the readers draw their own conclusions I can t put my finger on what felt off with those two, but that might be just me.The plot is engaging and the prose is mostly well written The prologue however, is too long and unnecessary Most of the information told in there could be shown in the first few chapters with some tweaking The opening chapters in the Dark Zone drag on a little long but the plot really picks up about 25% through the book.Once Pheonix crossed The Frontier and began the Carnival I couldn t put the book down You get new characters, new technology and new and exciting environments I loved the Carnival way of notifying contestants of upcoming events via their phones with only 15minutes warning It s a great plot device to keep the reader guessing and to avoid large chunks of exposition.The ending was a pretty big cliff hanger,questions were raised than answered but if you have the next in the series sitting there to start straight away then no problem Overall this was a very enjoyable book.I received this book free of charge from the author in return for an honest review