So it's the year 2060 and people have invented time travel, as they do. It's being used as a research tool for historians, wherein they hippity hop back in time to observe and gain insight. If you've read Doomsday Book by Willis, you'll likely be as pumped as I am that this book features not only the same world but many of the same characters.
In Blackout, we follow multiple historians, three most prominently, who have travelled back to 1940 to observe different aspects of WWII. Things are going well, they're observing away, and then it all starts to feel slightly ... off. I'm trying my best to get less spoilerific here at the Enthusiast, so I'll leave it to the back of the book to tell you "the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past." It's pretty much so tense that my insides feel compressed when I think about it.
|Yes, kind of like that.|
The story is a page-turner and an extremely well-crafted and well-researched read, but it was the characters that really made the book for me. I feel especially invested in the characters in the Blitz, who are so optimistic and calm, yet hiding their terror just beneath the surface. For all they know, the apocalypse is taking place around them, yet somehow, life goes on.
|Wait, that can't be right.|
The environments are also incredibly vivid, as if Willis really saw the streets of London levelled by bombs, the beaches strewn with barbed wire, the stately manors packed with evacuees. I was entirely absorbed.
Read this book if you're looking for some historical fiction with a sizeable helping of suspense and a healthy dash of science fiction. Delicious.
Most importantly, make sure you have All Clear on hand before you finish Blackout. THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR YOU.