My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary Advanced Review Copy of “Blackout”.
by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn
Football hero Riley Covington is tasked with a mission that has nothing to do with passing, rushing, or yardage. His FBI former colleague and close friend Scott Ross says Riley is the only person who can help protect the United States from the next terrorist attack. His college thesis on the exact type of weapon aimed at the US makes him the only knowledgeable person on the subject, and his past service with the FBI as a Special Forces operative makes him more than fit to lead this mission.
As someone who doesn’t even believe in coincidences, I found the plot rife with them.
Often while reading “Blackout”, I had the feeling that I was reading a sequel: too much back-story was referred to but not explained, and I was left confused. The first hint I had that this was indeed not the first novel in the Riley Covington series came from reading an endorsement on the back cover after I’d finished. If either less or more attention were focused on previous events, I would have been better able to concentrate on the current scene. Because I hadn’t read of the previous adventures of Riley Covington, the hints were distracting rather than helpful.
I so wanted to like Riley, and almost did, but I didn’t find his character believable. He is too amazingly talented, and while I admired the strength and depth of his faith, he was too humble, for the average person to relate to.
I could never get a gauge of Riley’s age or the ages of the supporting characters. The respected positions they hold and the power and respect they garner don’t match their juvenile dialog and personal actions. The author tries to explain it away in a confrontational scene late in the book, but it was too late by that time to internalize.
The writing in the first half of “Blackout” staggered from passable to intriguing as chapters bounced from The Professional Football League to the Counter Terrorist Division. Midway through, however, the excitement picked up and the writing style smoothed out, making me want to keep turning pages.
In addition, the storyline of “Blackout” is totally believable – it could potentially happen tomorrow and we all know it. Which is why, though I don’t necessarily recommend this book, I ended up enjoying it despite its shortcomings.
My rating: 2 out of 5
Coming soon: a review of
"Eyes of Elisha", a chilling thriller by
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)