Blackout by Sam Mills

Published by Faber & Faber

4 out of 5 stars

Format: paperback

Blackout is the first book by Sam Mills I’ve read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m not a YA but tend to read a lot of YA books as I tend to like the themes better. However I’d been through a few ‘duds’ in the genre lately and was apprehensive about this one.

Blackout is the story of a boy, Stefan who lives in a future London where many books are banned, the penalty for being in possession of a banned book is severe. His father owns a bookshop and tried to pass his love for books onto his son, but that’s a far more of a difficult task when the books that are currently allowed are dull, safe and don’t promote emotions like books should. The reason books are banned is all related to terrorism and rings very true in the current climate, Mills has picked a subject and run with a very good and thought provoking ‘what could happen’..

I don’t like to give away the plots and twists of books I review, but the general story arc surrounds Stefan’s discovery that his father is hiding a writer of a banned book, one related to terror no less.

Despite my reservations, Mills proves there is still live in the YA genre, and her gritty, troubling and touching story, with characters that are not always likeable, but definitely human is a must read. There are some negatives, I felt the core of the story took a while to get going, and it could of gone longer and further.

I’m looking forward to sampling Mills other offerings and I didn’t want the book to end, always a good sign!


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