Blackout by Kit Mallory

blackout.jpgAfter the Board came to power the world changed the way a hunter stalks its prey: all paranoia and imagined flickers of shadow, so that while you were being torn to pieces you were still wondering whether you were overreacting.

For 16-year-old Skyler, fear is a way of life. For three years, since the Wall split the UK in two, her survival as an illegal Northern refugee in the South has been a perilous balancing act between staying in the shadows and clinging to her reputation as the South’s best hacker.

Fellow refugee Mackenzie is a ghost from her past she’d rather ignore. But when their paths collide unexpectedly, Skyler sees an opportunity to exact revenge on the brutal regime that destroyed her home and family – even if it means she goes down with them.

Forced, with extreme reluctance, on the run together, Skyler and Mackenzie, along with enigmatic contract killer Angel, must find a way to outrun not only the Board and the South’s most sadistic crime lord, but their own personal demons. If they can manage to not end up murdering each other in the process, that’ll be a bonus.

But more is at stake than any of them realise. And Skyler, who has long believed she has nothing left to lose, is about to discover just how wrong she is.

Shortlisted for the 2016 Mslexia Children’s Novel Award, Blackout is a story of resistance, friendship and survival.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

* I received the book in exchange for an honest review*

I was reluctant to start the book as it came in the middle of my extra-romance period when I could barely read non-romance books. But it turned out my reluctance was unwarranted.

The story is happening in the UK, which is unusual setting for the topic of the book, but it is a nice change from all the US-based ones.

I liked the characters. Mackenzie, despite being a master thief deals with OCD and other issues. Skyler is an angry, excellent hacker living in the basement of one of the worst people in the South. Both of them are Northerners living illegally in the south and have history between them (not romantic one though). Angel is a mystery. No one really knows anything about her, just that she can be ruthless and is yet also a healer. There is also a f/f couple in it, even though they are still getting their feelings sorted and getting together.

It is set in a dystopian not-too-far future UK with a tyrant government – The Board, who control everything. They’ve even built the wall in the north and rounded up all the northerners living in the south. The rhetoric of The Board was terrifying as it seemed oh-so-familiar.

I liked how the story progressed and I couldn’t stop reading. I liked how the ‘bad guys’…the northerners who had no choice but to go illegal after The Board took over, banded together to oppose it.

There are also morality debates – yes, one of the things they do is act of terrorism towards the Board. It is bad in some cases. Or how Mackenzie opposes killing all the people even when they work for the Board. It’s not just black or white, there are nuances and is trying to break a dictatorship okay even if majority of population doesn’t want to/dare to do it?

And the ending was both amazing and ughhh. The last part mostly because I have gotten used to HEA in romances and as this is not one, and as this is the first book (with a sequel coming), the ending wasn’t like that. However, it did make me want a sequel right that moment! 🙂

I enjoyed the book a lot and would recommend it to people who like dystopian settings (but if you need just a bit of angst and a HEA, then it’s not for  you).

Oh, and don’t miss the Guest Post by Kit Mallory: Beyond Coming Out: The Evolution of F/F Stories!

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