Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
My favorite category of time travel fiction sends cautious but dauntlessly curious academic types into the past to research history and Blackout, set during the Blitz of London, stands out in this group because it also includes plenty of humor, lots of period details about ordinary lives, and a large cast of intriguing characters all having different experiences. I loved the story and highly recommend it, but there were a few things that marred its perfection for me.
It’s a long book, over 500 pages, and too much of that length is taken over by the repetitive thought processes of its worried main characters. Also, I was well into the novel before I could figure out its overarching plot direction--lots of interesting things happened but I didn’t see their connections. And then there’s the fact that the story just ends, and I don’t mean in a cliffhanger it simply stops to be continued in All Clear, the second book in the duology.
But in a strange way those complaints actually helped prove to me how great a book Blackout is because even with a few minorly exasperating elements I was still totally invested in the story and characters. Blackout is suspenseful and moving and full of the courage, perseverance, cheerful defiance, and ongoing heroism of WWII Londoners amid bombs, uncertainty and destruction. Plus there’s all those fun time travel paradoxes, conundrums and embedded dangers the main characters have to cope with.
I listened to the audiobook version of Blackout with a wonderful narrator who managed to give distinct voices to each of the story’s many characters. In theory I planned to take a break and listen to another audiobook when I was finished Blackout rather than going on with its sequel All Clear, but no way that ended up happening. I started All Clear during the same car ride that I finished Blackout. The story goes on and so do I.