Plot or Premise
A blackout hits New Jersey and two kids try to figure out how it happened and how to fix it.
What I Liked
The level is middle-grade and moves along at an okay pace. The cause of the blackout comes down to computers, and the solution is relatively straightforward without seeming too simplistic. Good interesting characters, for the most part.
What I Didn’t Like
There’s a plot hole in the solution — without revealing spoilers, the solution might fix homes and businesses but it wouldn’t have fixed the street lights, for instance — but it’s a small quibble. The real challenge is the level of exposition that is frequently dumped heavily into the story. Since they’re kids, they don’t know the “details” so everything they find out, they ask someone to explain it to them. At length. It really slows down the pace. The book tries to ramp it up a bit with a bit of suspense and violence, but they seem more amateurish than threatening.
The Bottom Line (★★★☆☆)
Okay, but expect most middle-graders would find it slow.