Book Review: Blackout – Marc Elsberg

30840869Release Date: December 15th 2016
Publisher: Transworld Books
Pages: 437
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon

What would happen if half the world faced a power blackout?


Tomorrow will be too late.

A cold night in Milan, Piero Manzano wants to get home. Then the traffic lights fail. Manzano is thrown from his Alfa as cars pile up. And not just on this street – every light in the city is dead.

Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electricity grids collapse. Plunged into darkness, people are freezing. Food and water supplies dry up. The death toll soars.

Former hacker and activist Manzano becomes a prime suspect. But he is also the only man capable of finding the real attackers. Can he bring down a major terrorist network before it’s too late?


Do you ever sit down and read a book and get so sucked in you’re not sure where you are or how many hours have passed when you finally put the book down? That’s how I felt reading Blackout. I’d sit down to read a chapter or two and get completely sucked in. This book is so intense and actually really frightening. Not in a spooky horror kind of way, but in the absolute believability of the story. Elsberg has put a tremendous amount of research into this book, and highlights just how easy it would be for half the world to descend into chaos without any power.

Blackout centres on several different characters and what they’re doing during the power outage. The chapters can be quite short, and so in the early chapters I got a bit confused with who was who, as it was frequently jumping between character points. As the story develops though the focus is on Manzano and his struggle to stop the world from completely deteriorating.

I really felt that Blackout was a study of people, and how they react in this kind of situation. You see those that try to do good, to help their friends, to ensure the safety of those around them, those that attempt to profit from such events by charging extortionate prices for essentials, and how far people will go to survive. This book is frightening, but in the most excellent way. It is easily one of my favourite books of 2016. It really made me thing, and I continued to think about it long after I’d put the book down. Blackout serves to highlight how much humanity relies on electricity and power to provide even the most basic human needs. Without power for fridges and freezers, food becomes scarce. Without power there is no water, no heating and no light. If you’re looking for something intense and gripping, Blackout will be absolutely up your street.

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