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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review: Blackout: A Novel by Marc Elsberg

Blackout: A Novel
by Marc Elsberg
June 6, 2017
450 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark 
Fast, tense, thrilling — and timely: this will happen one day. Highly recommended." —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

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.

Shivers! I haven't been as paranoid and wanting to hoard my money in the mattress since I read "The God's Eye View"!! This book is all and more than that one.

The amount of research and technical information is staggering. But I believe everyone should read this book and not worry about understanding the tech parts. The human (both citizen and government) reactions to an apocalyptic event is worth it all. Loosing power, not just localized but for entire countries make you leery of all the technical advances that have been made in the past 30-40 years.

Dependence on data sharing and computer grids, apparently, could be devastating. Ask yourself what you would do when the power goes out and the dominoes fall one right after the other? First the power for lights, hot water, cooking, pumping gas, refrigeration; then data hackers affecting the cooling of nuclear reactors, communications between people and nations limited or nonexistent. Next, a run on banks that have to limit withdrawals or close...the list goes on. Black market on gas, food, and medicine is rampant. Theft and unrest part of daily life. This, after only 10 days.

So, middle of winter, what do you do? Planes, trains and automobiles grounded because no power to pump or deliver fuel. Is this even a plausible scenario? We can only hope that we never have to find out but I think we may be farther into this global wide dependency than we know.

Getting 5 "survival" mode sheep!

Jeanie G

About the Author:
Marc was born in Vienna, Austria. After 20 years as a creative in advertising in Austria and Germany Marc turned into a bestselling novelist. His thrillers BLACKOUT and ZERO were translated to more than a dozen languages and sold million copies worldwide. His new thriller HELIX is out now (2016, German and Polish edition, more to come). BLACKOUT and ZERO were awarded "Science Book of the Year" (category entertainment) in Germany in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The books also made Marc an sought-after speaker and dialogue partner for business and politics. Currently he lives and works (mainly) in Vienna, Austria


  1. Nice review! I'm from Germany and I can recommend also the other books from this author. Hopefully they will be also translated into English.