Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Blackout

Blackout is a book by Connie Wills who has won a large number of hugo and nebula awards for her fiction. Blackout is basically about three time travelers who get stuck in WWII whilst documenting various elements of the bombing of London. The reader is left wondering if they have broken the timeline or not, thus leaving the suspense open and real for the planned second half of the book “All Clear” (which came out in the latter half of last year.)

Willis’s work with the historical accuracy of the book is uncanny, and it is clear that she has done an extensive amount of research. In fact, the characters who are not time travelers often show more depth and humanity than those that are. I am rather curious to know how much they were based on real people or not. Still while the book starts out somewhat slow, over time it draws you in more and more as the stakes are raised for each of the three, and their revelations that they are dealing with real people with real problems who face real consequences, even if it was (for them) more than a hundred years ago.

Blackout is an excellent lesson on the fact that the Past Is not Frontierland or a Pirates of the Caribean ride. Our ancestors had real hopes, dreams and fears and seeing them as people rather than as icons can help us understand ourselves a bit better. I greatly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the second half of the story.

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