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Blackout. Audiobook

30 review for Blackout. Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is a thought provoking debut thriller which bleakly and realistically depicts the meltdown of the world as we know it when a hacker attack instigates a power blackout in Europe. On a cold dark winter's night in Milan Pietro Manzano is thrown out of his car as traffic lights no longer work and the electricity grid collapses. A former hacker, Manzano joins the efforts of those entrusted to restore power and tries to chase down who is behind it. To his dismay, his past has turned him into a pr This is a thought provoking debut thriller which bleakly and realistically depicts the meltdown of the world as we know it when a hacker attack instigates a power blackout in Europe. On a cold dark winter's night in Milan Pietro Manzano is thrown out of his car as traffic lights no longer work and the electricity grid collapses. A former hacker, Manzano joins the efforts of those entrusted to restore power and tries to chase down who is behind it. To his dismay, his past has turned him into a prime suspect which forces him to go on the run with the Paris based American journalist, Shannon, in a desperate race to get the power switched back on and prevent a global catastrophe. Initially people respond positively and well to the situation but it does not take long before all this changes. It is a real eye opener to read just how much of modern society's infrastructure is completely reliant on power. The seeds of unrest are sown as people become cold and hungry, and tragedies become inevitable. Nuclear power stations begin to pose dangers amidst other grave concerns. The story shifts from country to country including Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and Austria. Manzano and Shannon solidify as their relationship begins to develop. They become closer and more united, at the beginning things were more fraught between them. There is real tension and suspense as they frantically try to ensure power returns as escalating horrors take place as politicians prove to be ineffectual in their responses and corporations become more self serving. This is a fast paced read that forensically examines and homes in on our reliance of power as the darkness begins to take hold. It does not seem that far fetched in its detailed descriptions of daily miseries that people have to face. The best part of the book is how it captures the unravelling of a contemporary society facing a tidal wave of incidents and tragedies accumulating. The story outlines just how vulnerable the world is with regard to its dependence on power, it's enough to make anyone paranoid. Some of the characters are a little too distant and emotionally closed for me but I liked the central characters of Pietro and Shannon. An apocalyptic read that is sure to make people think. Thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    Smart cars, smart TVs, smart phones. Has it ever crossed your mind that our society has become rather too dependent on these things? Shoot, those phones have practically taken root and grown to the hands of millions of users. There are few things that cannot be done on smart phones. For those of you who do your banking, your shopping, and everything else with those gadgets, you are about to be dead in the water. Blackout presents a frightening look at what happens when the power grids collapse o Smart cars, smart TVs, smart phones. Has it ever crossed your mind that our society has become rather too dependent on these things? Shoot, those phones have practically taken root and grown to the hands of millions of users. There are few things that cannot be done on smart phones. For those of you who do your banking, your shopping, and everything else with those gadgets, you are about to be dead in the water. Blackout presents a frightening look at what happens when the power grids collapse on an international level. Make a quick wish for some good ol' cash money, a simple flashlight, and maybe a bicycle. You are going to need them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The Hook - We’ve all been there. We depend on it, yet we take it for granted, electricity. In my head I can hear the sound I make when I lose power, the dread I feel that it could be hours or even days without, and the elation I feel when I hear the whir of my home coming back to life. I still remember the Northeast Blackout of November 1965, when my neck of the woods suffered an outage for thirteen hours. Though awful just for the magnitude of this event things can and have gotten worse. Living The Hook - We’ve all been there. We depend on it, yet we take it for granted, electricity. In my head I can hear the sound I make when I lose power, the dread I feel that it could be hours or even days without, and the elation I feel when I hear the whir of my home coming back to life. I still remember the Northeast Blackout of November 1965, when my neck of the woods suffered an outage for thirteen hours. Though awful just for the magnitude of this event things can and have gotten worse. Living in the country brings new challenges when we lose power, sometimes for days. Water and toilets become the big issues. I rarely complain about the cost of electricity. I hate to live without it but love to read disaster fiction when the scenario presented is plausible yet still only happening on paper in the imagination of a good author. The Line - ’The biggest challenge, however,’ Dienhof continued, ‘is that we don’t know hat we’re looking for. We’re searching in the proverbial haystack, but we have no idea if we’re looking for a needle, a tick, of a mushroom.’“ The Sinker - When the power went out at first it was just an irritation, an inconvenience. You know how that is. You’re in the middle of something that requires juice, lights go out, heats off or air-conditioning depending where you live, devices need charging, have to rummage for something to eat, and the worst, no TV. At first it’s almost fun, like a camping trip when you’re a kid, or perhaps you’re happy to disconnect from all that input for a few hours. Then the few hours become a day, then two, and then…What was at first a nuisance becomes devastating. As time goes by your world without power becomes a nightmare. The community that initially was all willing to pitch in and help, sharing food, and other commodities, now must focus on their own survival and that of their families. Survival, that’s the name of the game. It’s a disaster and the government is not talking even if you had a way to communicate with them. Blackout is this and so much more. What begins as a simple power outage in Eastern Europe soon becomes the shutdown of electric grids across much of the world. In the first days the US, Russia and China are up and running. As is the norm the US is doing all they can to provide aid, but soon they too go dark. Who’s responsible? It’s apparent this is no fluke and someone; most likely a group, possibly terrorists or even a world power is messing with our lives. No one has prepared for the reality of this meltdown. Marc Elsberg begins his award winning (Science Book of the Year" entertainment in Germany) in 2012) with a singular event that soon is seen to be a deliberate plot against all of us. He interweaves the science and technology with the strategy of the leaders of key countries as they seek solutions. We also follow a few story arcs of what’s happening to some of their families but hear little of the ordinary citizenry. It wasn’t so much the individual characters that interested me but the fate of the world. There is reference to looting, to bedlam and more we can imagine. That’s the power of this book, the shear excitement in reading, feeling and thinking about the ramifications of this situation from the comfort of our armchairs. At first the narrative device of telling the story in POV from the Eastern European bloc, quickly moving back and forth between these, was making it difficult to keep things straight. I went back and re-read some of this and soon was caught up in and couldn’t put the book down. Along with the usual acknowledgements Elsberg has included an afterword with enlightening information about his research and reaction to his fictional work. Be certain to read this. These references provided further thought and additional reading material. Blackout was first published in Germany and was released June 6th in the US. Edelweiss, Sourcebooks and Author, Marc Elsberg granted me the opportunity to read an advance copy. I couldn’t resist.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zuza

    How come this book has such high notes? I find it pretty boring. There are absolutely no surprises or moments of terror. I haven't connected with a single character nor felt sorry for people suffering. The dialogues are dumb as heck. What was the most interesting part are the technical specifications of power plants (whether they were true or not). I got this book through a radio contest, so at least I haven't paid for it, but before the contest I had a chance to listen to the interview with Marc How come this book has such high notes? I find it pretty boring. There are absolutely no surprises or moments of terror. I haven't connected with a single character nor felt sorry for people suffering. The dialogues are dumb as heck. What was the most interesting part are the technical specifications of power plants (whether they were true or not). I got this book through a radio contest, so at least I haven't paid for it, but before the contest I had a chance to listen to the interview with Marc Elsberg and it was so interesting I got curious of his book. How come an interview is more interesting than a book itself? Why do one need almost 800 pages to tell such a dull story? I do NOT recommend it with all my heart or at least I do not recommend reading it in Polish (because I strongly suspect the translation ruined anything good that was in this book).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Blackout is banging – a cool, surreal techno thriller that imagines societies reaction to a Europe wide blackout – and follows hacker Manzano (as well as other characters) as he races to find those responsible and restore order to the chaos. It fairly rocks along – and really does keep you thinking – I love the scenario’s the author creates to show us just how reliant we all are on technology and Blackout manages to be both a thriller and a commentary on the vagaries of human nature, as such it i Blackout is banging – a cool, surreal techno thriller that imagines societies reaction to a Europe wide blackout – and follows hacker Manzano (as well as other characters) as he races to find those responsible and restore order to the chaos. It fairly rocks along – and really does keep you thinking – I love the scenario’s the author creates to show us just how reliant we all are on technology and Blackout manages to be both a thriller and a commentary on the vagaries of human nature, as such it is a really terrific immersive read. You do have to suspend disbelief for parts of it, but you’ll get hooked into the event as it unfolds, from the first tentative “what the all heck is happening” moments right up until the final pages. Marc Elsberg writes with a kind of hypnotic style putting you right in the action and I ended up wanting to go out and stock up on tinned food and bottled water JUST IN CASE mind… Marc Elsberg asks the question – how long before chaos would descend should we suddenly be thrown into a world we’ve never known – one where the light doesn’t just come on when you hit the switch – and the answer is FAST and he’s probably right. Thought provoking and utterly riveting – Recommended for fans of socially current thrillers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This book started with a great premise and a "thriller" promise. It failed to deliver on both counts. Although the premise is interesting, the execution was dismally boring. There is NO thrilling action whatsoever. Instead of employing the "show not tell" narrative writing technique, the author repeatedly told the effects of a power grid meltdown over and over ad nauseam. Therefore, there was little propelling the plot forward. The book could easily have been trimmed .The author skipped around t This book started with a great premise and a "thriller" promise. It failed to deliver on both counts. Although the premise is interesting, the execution was dismally boring. There is NO thrilling action whatsoever. Instead of employing the "show not tell" narrative writing technique, the author repeatedly told the effects of a power grid meltdown over and over ad nauseam. Therefore, there was little propelling the plot forward. The book could easily have been trimmed .The author skipped around to various cities and countries, all reporting the same malfunctioning of generators and power structures. The characters were shallow and non dimensional, except for one man who was not developed The perpetrators were not introduced until after the halfway point. By that time, I didn't care. The tedium was painful and disappointing. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Celia

    What would happen if a group of terrorists orchestrated a successful strike at the technology that operates all electric and nuclear power sources in Europe, causing its power grid to crash? That is the premise of Blackout, and frankly, this book is almost terrifying to read because you realize that such a scenario (maybe not on such a large scale) might just be plausible. Elsberg very deftly goes from the blackout to the horrifying consequences that can be the result of just a few days without What would happen if a group of terrorists orchestrated a successful strike at the technology that operates all electric and nuclear power sources in Europe, causing its power grid to crash? That is the premise of Blackout, and frankly, this book is almost terrifying to read because you realize that such a scenario (maybe not on such a large scale) might just be plausible. Elsberg very deftly goes from the blackout to the horrifying consequences that can be the result of just a few days without power -- and that is just the beginning of this story full of disasters and twists that result in a book that is hard to put down. Can Piero Manzano, a former hacker who has offered his assistance (but is also seen as a potential suspect because of his background and skills), gain the affected nations' trust and find out what's behind the attacks before all of the affected areas become ground zero? I recommend this book because it really drives home the point of how reliant we are on computers and electricity, and the disastrous consequences of a long-term outage. Are you prepared? I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Thanks to NetGalley for access to this book. The power goes out all over Europe, causing all sorts of hardships. No one can figure out how it's happening, except one hacker and the reporter he finds. The two go on the run, as nobody believes them, and such knowledge is dangerous. Very good disaster movie type soap opera with a lot of tension, though it seems very European in prose style. Thanks to NetGalley for access to this book. The power goes out all over Europe, causing all sorts of hardships. No one can figure out how it's happening, except one hacker and the reporter he finds. The two go on the run, as nobody believes them, and such knowledge is dangerous. Very good disaster movie type soap opera with a lot of tension, though it seems very European in prose style.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    The premise for this book is great, a Europe-wide black-out in a clever and well-planned act of terrorism. We are desperately dependent on electricity for our lives to function. Without it, there is no water out the tap, it's not possible to fill your car with gas because the pumps won't function and you can't pay with your credit card. The food in the fridge goes bad, there is no way to cook what you have anyway (unless you have access to fire and coal). So absolutely, a book of the calamity th The premise for this book is great, a Europe-wide black-out in a clever and well-planned act of terrorism. We are desperately dependent on electricity for our lives to function. Without it, there is no water out the tap, it's not possible to fill your car with gas because the pumps won't function and you can't pay with your credit card. The food in the fridge goes bad, there is no way to cook what you have anyway (unless you have access to fire and coal). So absolutely, a book of the calamity that ensues when framework for our modern world disintegrates, fantastic. The execution does not live up to expectations though. Evidently this author hasn't heard of "show, don't tell". There are endless political meetings. The book is at least twice as long as it needs to be. There is no hint of the perpetrators until almost half of this 800 pages long book has passed. The characters are okay, the main one being the Italian hacker Manzano, who quickly ends up as a suspect. Calling this a thriller is going a bit a far. It's definitely an end-of-the-world scenario, but it could have been told better. It definitely was an eye-opener on our dependency on electricity. However, the plot really did not need 800 pages. Half would have been more than enough.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Blackout was a fast-paced read with an interesting premise but ultimately didn't work for me. When the power goes out one night, no one thinks anything of it and they simply wait for it to come back. However it soon becomes clear that something is wrong. The power grid across Europe never comes back online and any attempts to restore it, fail. When former hacker Piero Manzano begins investigating the cause of the outages, he turns his findings over to the authorities. Unfortunately they don't bel Blackout was a fast-paced read with an interesting premise but ultimately didn't work for me. When the power goes out one night, no one thinks anything of it and they simply wait for it to come back. However it soon becomes clear that something is wrong. The power grid across Europe never comes back online and any attempts to restore it, fail. When former hacker Piero Manzano begins investigating the cause of the outages, he turns his findings over to the authorities. Unfortunately they don't believe him and soon begin to look at him as the prime suspect. Now on the run with CNN reporter Lauren Shannon, the two are on a desperate search for the real culprits before it's too late. Throughout the book we follow several different story lines of the different agencies investigating what happened as well as the events at different power companies attempting to restore power. The story moved through the different events fairly quickly with chapters of varying lengths. The plot around what happened wasn't necessarily hard to follow but the constant shift to different events did make things a bit confusing. There are roughly half a dozen characters with a few others popping up occasionally. The main focus of the story is with Piero, or the Italian as he is frequently called, as well as with Lauren a reporter covering the blackout. I had the same problem with the large cast of characters as I did with the multiple plot lines and found it confusing to try and keep track of everyone and what role they played. We get short snippets from those behind the blackouts but I never felt their sections really added anything to the story. Overall, the multiple story lines and large cast of characters caused too much confusion and the book didn't work for me. **I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathi Defranc

    Wow...What a story of international disaster..the electricity goes out in Europe- cars crash, heat fails, water or gas cannot be pumped, accidents add up as there are no traffic lights..And then it starts the same way in the USA, in England, and on and on. You really do not think of all that can happen if a power grid fails, and with everything on a computer did you think of what 'hackers' can do?! This story is right out of something that could definitely happen today. The author does a wonderf Wow...What a story of international disaster..the electricity goes out in Europe- cars crash, heat fails, water or gas cannot be pumped, accidents add up as there are no traffic lights..And then it starts the same way in the USA, in England, and on and on. You really do not think of all that can happen if a power grid fails, and with everything on a computer did you think of what 'hackers' can do?! This story is right out of something that could definitely happen today. The author does a wonderful job, he obviously did his research as noted in all the companies we are introduced to, in different countries with differing standards. I took awhile reading this, as I wanted to understand all I read, but I never lost any interest as the excitement and suspense increased! A very good book that can scare you to tears, if you pay attention and think of what could happen today!! My thanks to Netgalley, the author Marc Elsberg , and publisher Sourcebooks Landmark for a copy of this book from which I could give my unbiased opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    Blackout was translated into English from German and while I had high hopes this book would be as it is described it fell flat. The author goes into lot of detail about the electrical grid in Europe that takes up way too much times bring the book to a complete and utter stop. 800 page story that could have been told 400 pages or even less. The story\ thriller\Mystery gets lost in the details of meetings, how would cars work and cities function and how life would come to a stand still unable to Blackout was translated into English from German and while I had high hopes this book would be as it is described it fell flat. The author goes into lot of detail about the electrical grid in Europe that takes up way too much times bring the book to a complete and utter stop. 800 page story that could have been told 400 pages or even less. The story\ thriller\Mystery gets lost in the details of meetings, how would cars work and cities function and how life would come to a stand still unable to move if terrorist took down the electrical grid. Instead of a fast pace story readers are bombarded with information overload. Endless details of what happened in meetings. Readers need less tell and more show to move this type of story along. I couldn't find myself as a reader rooting for one character. They were beyond flat and lifeless just like the 800 Pages in this book. This story could have been told in half those pages if not less making it a much more thriller story and less punishment to read. Received Advance Copy from Netgalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Park

    When the power suddenly goes out, everyone thinks it is a temporary power cut and that electricity will soon be restored. As the hours and days go on however it soon becomes clear that something much more sinister is going on. Working with those in charge of restoring the power Manzano, a former hacker, must try to unravel the mystery and try to find out who is responsible. Due to his background suspicion soon turns to him as the power continues to stays off and panic begins to set in. On the st When the power suddenly goes out, everyone thinks it is a temporary power cut and that electricity will soon be restored. As the hours and days go on however it soon becomes clear that something much more sinister is going on. Working with those in charge of restoring the power Manzano, a former hacker, must try to unravel the mystery and try to find out who is responsible. Due to his background suspicion soon turns to him as the power continues to stays off and panic begins to set in. On the streets there is unrest as people go hungry, cold and start to die. On the run and determined to clear his name, Manzano must find out what happened and catch the terrorists involved before it is too late. I found the subject matter of this novel utterly fascinating. I had no idea that so many every day things used electricity and how reliant on it we are. This book has caused a lot of great conversations with my friends and family particularly my husband who as a hardware engineer knew a little about it. What most struck me was how realistic it was. This could actually happen which is a terrifying thought and helps to add an air of foreboding to be novel. I found myself thinking what would I do and would I act like that? There is a lot of technical terminology mentioned in the book but it is done in a way that ensures the reader understands it. When it gets a bit complicated it is normally being explained to a character which doesn't have much knowledge of computers which means it is easy to follow. I really liked the main characters Manzano & Shannon. I felt that they went on a huge journey together which changed them for the better. At first they seemed to just be looking out for their own interests but they soon realise that they need to work together and form a partnership which was great to read about. They are contrasted perfectly with some of the more corporate characters who were hard to warm to as they seem more concerned with their own well being and the rules then others. As a reader you will go through a range of emotions whilst reading this book. There are huge highs when things go well and some very poignant and heartbreaking moments at the worst points of the blackout. Some of these scenes will stay with me for a long time. There are a couple of reason why this isn't quite 5 stars for me. The first is that you are introduced to a lot of characters quite quickly which makes it difficult to keep track of all of them and what part of the story they are from. It could maybe have done with a character list so you could quickly remind yourself. The second is that I felt a little let down by the ending. It was a good way to finish and very realistic but the pace slowed down a lot towards the end which made it harder to finish. Neither of these impacted hugely on my overall enjoyment of this book though and I will be recommending it to everyone as I found it very interesting. I think it would be a great bookclub book as there is lots to discuss. It should perhaps be mandatory reading for those in power to try and stop it happening in real life! Huge thanks to Thomas Hill and Transworld publishers for giving me an ARC of this book. If you like fast paced thrillers that make you think try this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Blackout is one of those books I was rather excited to read, only to be disappointed by the story I was given. Marc Elsberg had a wonderful idea, one that will make people think about the world today, but it did not hit the spot I had been hoping it would. In other words, the potential was there but it failed to deliver. The story itself was interesting, I cannot deny my interest in the story. I was left wanting to find out more, wanting to see how everything came together, but there was a signif Blackout is one of those books I was rather excited to read, only to be disappointed by the story I was given. Marc Elsberg had a wonderful idea, one that will make people think about the world today, but it did not hit the spot I had been hoping it would. In other words, the potential was there but it failed to deliver. The story itself was interesting, I cannot deny my interest in the story. I was left wanting to find out more, wanting to see how everything came together, but there was a significant feeling of disinterest towards many things. The story had me, but the other elements let me down. Take the characters – I didn’t care for any of them. There were quite a few characters within the book I could have come to love, had there been more to them. As it was, characters waded through the story and I never once came to care about any of them. I wanted someone to do something interesting, I wanted something to come out about one of the characters that would have made me obsessed with their characterisation. It’s not that the characters were flat – I simply found myself uncaring, forgetting the names as soon as the book was over. Another element I found to be lacking – the part to have saddened me the most – is the action scenes. I do not need action throughout, but thrillers need a few hard-hitting scenes. The heart should be pumping, you should be on the edge of your seat, and the pages should be turning. It’s a must for thrillers in my mind. This book, however, never once had my heart pumping. There were plenty of occasions where the scenes could have reached the necessary level, but they never did. Hence, my disappointment. Despite this, there was some pretty solid research throughout the book. The details given about certain things that occur, and how it links to parts of the real world, were wonderful. It simply wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with the book. Overall, I’d been hoping for more.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Meep

    So tedious. All dry meetings face-less people recounting disaster predictions but no human element to make the threat real. It's all reports from different locations with no glimpse of people on the actual street, no emotion. There's not enough personality to make any of the characters stand out or for their situation to matter. They're simply not interesting or developed enough to be worth keeping track of. How would a nation react to a loss of power? How quickly would chaos ensue? Well we don't So tedious. All dry meetings face-less people recounting disaster predictions but no human element to make the threat real. It's all reports from different locations with no glimpse of people on the actual street, no emotion. There's not enough personality to make any of the characters stand out or for their situation to matter. They're simply not interesting or developed enough to be worth keeping track of. How would a nation react to a loss of power? How quickly would chaos ensue? Well we don't really know because the book doesn't get out of the boardroom or fancy hotel. People's biggest priority has been to reach a working shower. Getting to 38% was a slog. Hero hacker with a scar will undoubtedly save the day in the nick of time and get the girl, one or several of them. Plucky reporter girl will break the news to beat all other news. The bad guys will be defeated, whoever they are, no sign of them yet another thing that stops the threat see real. But I just don't care. The concept had potential but the delivery is too dry and souless.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Warrengent

    A fast and gripping story,that will keep your interest,read in two sittings,an awesome novel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roxann

    From the cover: One night, the lights go out across Europe. The electrical grids collapse on an epic scale and unleash a devastating chaos in the total blackout. And unbeknownst to the general population, nuclear reactors are starting to overheat… When a former hacker and activist who knows a thing or two about infiltrating networks starts investigating the cause of this disaster, he soon becomes a prime suspect. As threats to the United States start to emerge, he goes on the run with a young Am From the cover: One night, the lights go out across Europe. The electrical grids collapse on an epic scale and unleash a devastating chaos in the total blackout. And unbeknownst to the general population, nuclear reactors are starting to overheat… When a former hacker and activist who knows a thing or two about infiltrating networks starts investigating the cause of this disaster, he soon becomes a prime suspect. As threats to the United States start to emerge, he goes on the run with a young American reporter based in Paris, racing desperately to turn the lights back on. Because if they stay off, tomorrow may be too late. I received this book free from Goodreads Giveaway. The plot of the book is interesting-the electrical grids collapse across Europe and the US. The book could be about a future disaster in this world, but I thought the book was a little slow moving and not the thriller/suspense that it was billed to be. Characters were ok, in the sense that I really didn't identify with them, but they played out their parts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    debra

    I think if I had read this in 2017 it would have seemed more exciting. Reading it in 2021, is not too much of a stretch from reading the newspaper.

  19. 5 out of 5

    KarenK2

    I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the book description, "When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse." Translated from German, the author goes into extensive detail about the electrical grids in Europe. But I felt it was a bit too much I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. From the book description, "When the lights go out one night, no one panics. Not yet. The lights always come back on soon, don't they? Surely it's a glitch, a storm, a malfunction. But something seems strange about this night. Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electrical grids collapse." Translated from German, the author goes into extensive detail about the electrical grids in Europe. But I felt it was a bit too much and dull. It was interesting enough describing how daily functions break down, a dairy farmer who can't manually milk cows fast enough, but again I felt the information was over done. 3☆

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Intense thriller about what might happen if the lights were to go out and everything that we rely on turned off....

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A terrifying but gripping electrical outage disaster, one that is hard to forget. SUMMARY The lights go out all across Europe. Hackers have infiltrated the interconnected electrical grid software through smart meters. The grid collapses. Fires are destroying substations and transmission towers are being blown up. Power generation units cannot be restarted. A nuclear unit in France is overheating. And that's just in the first three days. It's February and it's cold in Europe. Germany is hovering a A terrifying but gripping electrical outage disaster, one that is hard to forget. SUMMARY The lights go out all across Europe. Hackers have infiltrated the interconnected electrical grid software through smart meters. The grid collapses. Fires are destroying substations and transmission towers are being blown up. Power generation units cannot be restarted. A nuclear unit in France is overheating. And that's just in the first three days. It's February and it's cold in Europe. Germany is hovering around zero degrees. As the outage continues there are major problems. There is no water. Gas station can't pump fuel, food supplies are depleted, banks are out of cash, and hospital backup generators are shutting down. Stocks are plummeting and the European market is closed. People are becoming desperate. United States, Russia, China and Turkey are preparing to send aid. And then the U.S. goes black. A former hacker in Milan Italy, Piero Manzano notices something abnormal about his smart meter. He notifies the authorities, who are wary of his background and they wonder if he might actually be the culprit. Manzano ultimately is forced to go on the run with American CNN reporter Lauren Shannon. Both are desperate to find out who is responsible for the attacks before things get any worse. REVIEW Having worked for thirty years in electric regulation, and seen the advent and evolution of SCADA systems and smart meters, this book fascinated me. MARC ELSBERG has taken a complex multifaceted scenario and woven a thought-provoking tale of our dependence on software and the electric grid for every day life. Typically, when we have an outage the electricity always comes back on, doesn't it? But what if it didn't. The story involves a cyberattack of transmission and generation SCADA software and applies it to continental Europe, a huge geographic area. To bring a interconnected system of this magnitude back online requires an immense amount of cooperation and coordination. As BLACKOUT shows, cooperation and coordination is difficult at best, if not impossible in times of a crisis. And a cyberattack will be nothing like the recovery from a natural disaster. First you have to find the saboteur and what they did. The geographic scope in BLACKOUT is immense, unlike anything ever experienced before. And hopefully we never will. The story shifts between Italy, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and France. Each country experiences its own set of issues in responding to the power outage and its aftermath. Transitioning to the various locations adds to the complexity of the book and there are a multitude of characters to keep up with. ELSBERG gives us a small taste of what would happen to our society, if our food supply, transportation system, communication network, healthcare system, financial markets and water and wastewater systems were interrupted. He also raises awareness of how all of these systems are all interdependent on one another. Despite the magnitude of the story, BLACKOUT is very readable. It's a must read to truly understand the impact of a nationwide outage lasting more than three days. Living in Florida, I have experienced many multiple day outages following hurricanes. We always stock up on groceries, water and batteries in advance. It is drilled into us to be prepared. In the aftermath, we have always been fortunate to have neighboring cities or states help with our relief and disaster recovery efforts. But what if there is no warning and the lights just go out. How long could we actually survive without power. What if our neighbors couldn't help? What if we were all in the same boat? What if the outage was nationwide? MARC ELSBERG an Austrian author, researched this book by conducting interviews with intelligence, disaster, energy and computer security officials. His story has taken cues from previous large outage experiences in the U.S. and Europe. BLACKOUT was originally published in Germany in 2012 and has been translated into fifteen languages and sold a billion copies. It will be published in the United States for the first time in June, 2017. Thanks to Netgalley, Sourcebooks and Marc Elsberg for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Have you ever been in a blackout? I don't mean a 2 hour "fun" day but a major blackout like the Northeast blackout of 2003. I was in the 2003 blackout and it definitely gave me food for thought as to what might happen if there was a major power outage that lasted more than 2 days (as it lasted for me). At that time, no one knew when the power would come back on and I clearly remember a quick run to the corner store to get food and water that did not rely on using technology (stove/oven/toaster/r Have you ever been in a blackout? I don't mean a 2 hour "fun" day but a major blackout like the Northeast blackout of 2003. I was in the 2003 blackout and it definitely gave me food for thought as to what might happen if there was a major power outage that lasted more than 2 days (as it lasted for me). At that time, no one knew when the power would come back on and I clearly remember a quick run to the corner store to get food and water that did not rely on using technology (stove/oven/toaster/running water) and being thankful that I had a full freezer of meat and my neighbors had a bbq. This is the horrific reality that Europe is forced to face in "Blackout" when hackers successfully crash electrical grids across not only Europe but the United States as well. A former hacker who has changed his ways begins investigating the cause but becomes a suspect himself because of his dubious past. The novel did start out a bit slowly for me in the first few chapters but as the effect of the power outage grew while the blackout continued I became enthralled by not only the technical aspect but also the sheer human tragedy unfolding. There were so many ethical and long term consequences that I can imagine would be a logical result of a long term blackout of this magnitude. One thing that I found very unnerving and unsettling was when a general in the book mentioned that the next major war would not be fought on a military ground maneuver or nuclear scale but would be fought as a cyber war. It does seem a feasible possibility considering the confirmation of cyber meddling in the 2016 American election. I rounded up the book to 4 stars mainly because of the immense amount of research the author obviously did and also the fact that the novel was well thought out and very well written not only as a warning but also as a thriller. I received a copy of Blackout from the publishers (thank you!) via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    3.5 stars... What if the power went out? What if the power went out in not only your neighborhood, or in your city but in your entire country and then the entire continent? The is the premise of Blackout. Terrorist have infiltrated the electrical grid and all across Europe the power goes out and the power suppliers can't get the electricity back online. It's amazing how much our infrastructure relies on electricity. It is scary to think about what could happen if we lost that one thing, worldwide 3.5 stars... What if the power went out? What if the power went out in not only your neighborhood, or in your city but in your entire country and then the entire continent? The is the premise of Blackout. Terrorist have infiltrated the electrical grid and all across Europe the power goes out and the power suppliers can't get the electricity back online. It's amazing how much our infrastructure relies on electricity. It is scary to think about what could happen if we lost that one thing, worldwide. It's easy to get annoyed and inconvenienced when we lose power for a few hours or a day.  We get out the candles or go out to dinner and we know in a few hours the electricity will come back on, until it doesn't. This is an interesting thriller with the possibility of an impending apocalypse. One of the things I liked about this book is the main character is not some macho hero that can do impossible things to save the world. The book does jump around a lot from different locations and people and sometimes repeats some of the same themes (food shortages, medicine shortages, transportation issues, price gouging) but overall it is good read and it will leave you with some things to think about. I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    Great book, way too real, very scary, a must read, I am forever paranoid now, but one little question: Why the romantic subplot? Why is there always a romantic subplot? People are dying I don't care about romance right now. Great book, way too real, very scary, a must read, I am forever paranoid now, but one little question: Why the romantic subplot? Why is there always a romantic subplot? People are dying I don't care about romance right now.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    "RESET: bringing the system back to zero...taking away the foundation of our civilization." Desperation, chaos and anarchy ensue when the power grids start failing and people all over Europe are plunged into darkness. Without the basic amenities provided through the use of electricity, without communication, and without transportation -- collapse of society is quick. In a race against more devastation, exhacker Piero Manzano collaborates with authorities to find out who and what caused this devas "RESET: bringing the system back to zero...taking away the foundation of our civilization." Desperation, chaos and anarchy ensue when the power grids start failing and people all over Europe are plunged into darkness. Without the basic amenities provided through the use of electricity, without communication, and without transportation -- collapse of society is quick. In a race against more devastation, exhacker Piero Manzano collaborates with authorities to find out who and what caused this devasting act of cyberterrorism. Manzano ends up a fugitive on the run with an American reporter, Laura Shannon, and they are in a race against time as there are hints of further attacks on the horizon. I enjoyed this fast-paced action thriller as I like disaster stories. The author obviously meticulously researched both the IT and scientific scenarios described in this book. I enjoyed the multinational cast of characters (there are a lot of them) and the way the narrative changed perspective depending on the locations where the events unfold. Scary? Yes, as we live in a society that is very dependent on electricity for our very survival. I'd never want to go back to primitive times -- and the thought that some lunatic fringe could take it all away totally blows any sense of security that any of us have. We as a society don't need a new "start", but we can defnitely try for more harmonious order. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the e-book provided for review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    When the lights.... go out... in the city.... and don't come back on.. and then Europe finds that threats in the United States are also occurring.... you know there's a real problem. Cities are being evacuated - there's proof that there are bombings happening and threats to nuclear power plants are imminent. Former hacker, Manzano, thinks he is being sought after to help with figuring out how these acts are happening, but soon finds, he's one of a few suspects. Running with American Journalist, When the lights.... go out... in the city.... and don't come back on.. and then Europe finds that threats in the United States are also occurring.... you know there's a real problem. Cities are being evacuated - there's proof that there are bombings happening and threats to nuclear power plants are imminent. Former hacker, Manzano, thinks he is being sought after to help with figuring out how these acts are happening, but soon finds, he's one of a few suspects. Running with American Journalist, Shannon, they race against time to try and stop a global catastrophe. This book is written in various locations and through several POVs, and they all tie in together without getting overly complicated. The fascination behind this technological thriller is the plausibility. If this country (or any country really) went into permanent Blackout, it would take a LOT of adjusting to get the country working again. Elsberg does an insightful job of the unravelling of society and how we would react not only to being put in the dark but how dependent we are to power. It's scary, all too real and definitely makes you think. I've come to find that anything political pretty much doesn't suit my taste. Manzano and Shannon were the only characters I found myself drawn to and the rest made my eyes cross. There is a lot put on the politicians in this story being ineffectual. It's all too real with what is going on these days in the world. If you like fast paced, political, technology and dystopia thrillers, you're going to LOVE this book. As a personal preference, it didn't quite hit home the way I hoped that it would.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    “Blackout” is a “techno-thriller” that portrays ways in which terrorists can destroy civilization without firearms or explosives. From the comfort of their home, using their computer, hackers get into the mainframes of various countries’ power grid. Soon, most of Europe is in a blackout and can’t restart their grids. This has occurred historically. But in this novel, the grids can’t be rebooted. A clever bit of code makes the reboot impossible. We’ve all experienced a bit of time when the electri “Blackout” is a “techno-thriller” that portrays ways in which terrorists can destroy civilization without firearms or explosives. From the comfort of their home, using their computer, hackers get into the mainframes of various countries’ power grid. Soon, most of Europe is in a blackout and can’t restart their grids. This has occurred historically. But in this novel, the grids can’t be rebooted. A clever bit of code makes the reboot impossible. We’ve all experienced a bit of time when the electricity is out due to weather or human error. But most of us get our power back on within 24 hours. Author Marc Elsberg takes this further, taking the power away for weeks. Of course, it’s in the wintertime when humans need warmth for survival. Elsberg shows how quickly humanity loses itself when there is no electricity. Survival becomes the number one priority with chaos ensuing for the human basic needs. No more food, hot water, toilets, heat, medications….. Hospitals shut down, gas stations close, all stores close. It’s a disaster scene. I enjoyed this novel for it’s realistic portrayal of the future of terrorism. All of humanity is dependent upon electricity for survival. If that is taken away, civilization is brought to its knees. This is a compulsive read that is a great travel read/ beach read. It’s thoughtful and lifelike. It makes the reader ponder: what would one do in this situation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Aiello

    I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. Thrillers are not my typical genre, but the blurb caught my eye. The premise of this is terrifying because it truly could happen, and I don't know that I ever really thought long and hard about everything that would be affected if the electric grid just ceased to exist. Hell, I was without power a couple weeks ago for several days and barely survived...but I had options. It was inconvenient, but didn't impact my survival. I f I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. Thrillers are not my typical genre, but the blurb caught my eye. The premise of this is terrifying because it truly could happen, and I don't know that I ever really thought long and hard about everything that would be affected if the electric grid just ceased to exist. Hell, I was without power a couple weeks ago for several days and barely survived...but I had options. It was inconvenient, but didn't impact my survival. I found the story engaging and the writing was very well done, especially given the technical nature of trying to explain how power works and all the behind the scenes things that were impacted politically and financially, in addition to all these people just trying to survive. It was an uncomfortable read in many ways, but only because it is horrifying to think of what would happen in a prolonged global blackout.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie Grinsell

    also bad

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Ex-hacker Piero Manzano is driving home one night in Milan, Italy and finds himself in the midst of a disastrous traffic accident when all the street lights suddenly stop working. It's the first day of Winter holidays and Europe is plunged into darkness as electricity grids begin collapsing due to an attack of cyberterrorism. Fuel pumps no longer work and many are stranded without transportation. There is no TV, internet or heat and water stops flowing through pipes. This is going to become the Ex-hacker Piero Manzano is driving home one night in Milan, Italy and finds himself in the midst of a disastrous traffic accident when all the street lights suddenly stop working. It's the first day of Winter holidays and Europe is plunged into darkness as electricity grids begin collapsing due to an attack of cyberterrorism. Fuel pumps no longer work and many are stranded without transportation. There is no TV, internet or heat and water stops flowing through pipes. This is going to become the least of Manzano's worries, along with the rest of the population, as more threats loom on the horizon. Manzano initially joins forces with the authorities to discover what is causing the blackout, but unfortunately finds himself the victim of a set up. He goes on the run with journalist Lauren Shannon in a race to find out not only who is behind these acts, but how to stop them from causing more devastation. It's a frightening thought that so little holds society together and what could happen if the electricity that we rely on so heavily, was taken away. The novel plays out well and it's certainly a page turner. The one negative for me was that there were quite a lot of characters and places to keep track of. I would have preferred the author focused more on developing the main protagonists, their backgrounds and interactions instead. However, the pace moved deftly from one scene to the next, so I was able to sit back and enjoy this exciting disaster thriller.

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