Goodreads ratings
4.33 / 5

"Blackout" Summary

By Joe Craig

young adult | 610 pages | Published in 2010


Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

Fifteen-year-old Alex wakes up in a world where he's the only person who remembers 9/11, and must navigate the dangerous conspiracy and threats that surround him.


"Blackout" by Joe Craig is a gripping and intense thriller that follows the story of a young boy named James, who wakes up in a strange room with no memory of who he is or how he got there. As he struggles to piece together his past, he discovers that he possesses extraordinary abilities that make him a target for dangerous forces. The novel is set in contemporary London and is filled with suspense, action, and unexpected twists that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Brief Synopsis

The story of "Blackout" takes place in present-day London, where James wakes up in a room with no memory of his past and no knowledge of how he acquired his remarkable abilities. As he embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about his identity, he becomes entangled in a web of danger and intrigue. With the help of a few allies, James navigates through a city plagued by corruption, uncovering shocking secrets and facing life-threatening challenges along the way.

Plot Overview and Setting

The novel is primarily set in the bustling and diverse city of London, where James must navigate through both the vibrant urban landscape and the hidden underbelly of criminal activity. As he delves deeper into the mystery of his own identity, James finds himself immersed in a world of danger, deceit, and high-stakes espionage. The fast-paced and thrilling narrative unfolds against the backdrop of London's iconic landmarks and its lesser-known, shadowy corners, creating a rich and evocative setting for the story's high-stakes action.

Main Characters

The main characters in "Blackout" play pivotal roles in shaping the narrative and driving the story forward. Each character brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the unfolding events, creating a diverse and dynamic cast of personalities.

JamesThe protagonist of the story, James wakes up with amnesia and discovers that he possesses extraordinary abilities, making him a target for dangerous forces.
LucyA resourceful and determined ally who assists James in uncovering the truth about his past and navigating the treacherous world they find themselves in.
The AgencyA mysterious organization that seeks to control and manipulate individuals with special abilities, posing a significant threat to James and those around him.

Story Points Over Chapters

The narrative of "Blackout" unfolds through a series of gripping and suspenseful story points that propel the plot forward and keep readers engaged. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, leading to a crescendo of action and revelation.

Chapter 1-5: Awakening in Mystery

James wakes up in a strange room with no memory of his past. As he struggles to make sense of his situation, he discovers that he possesses extraordinary abilities that set him apart from others. Confused and disoriented, he begins to unravel the mystery of his identity and the origins of his powers.

Chapter 6-10: Uncovering Dark Secrets

With the help of Lucy, James delves into the shadowy underbelly of London, uncovering the existence of a clandestine organization known as The Agency. As they dig deeper, they realize that The Agency poses a significant threat to individuals with special abilities, including James himself.

Chapter 11-15: Navigating Danger

James and Lucy find themselves pursued by relentless adversaries as they attempt to evade the clutches of The Agency. They must rely on their wits and resourcefulness to stay one step ahead of their enemies while piecing together the puzzle of James's past.

Chapter 16-20: Confronting the Truth

The pursuit leads James and Lucy to confront the shocking truth about his origins and the dark forces that seek to control him. As they face escalating danger and betrayal, they must muster all their strength and courage to confront their adversaries and secure their freedom.

Main Events

The main events in "Blackout" are characterized by high-stakes action, intense confrontations, and unexpected revelations that drive the narrative forward.

James wakes up with amnesiaThe story begins with James awakening in a mysterious room, devoid of memories and unaware of the extraordinary abilities he possesses.
Discovery of The AgencyJames and Lucy uncover the existence of The Agency, a clandestine organization with nefarious intentions towards individuals with special abilities.
Evading pursuit and dangerJames and Lucy navigate through a perilous and treacherous London, evading relentless adversaries and facing life-threatening challenges.
Confrontation with the truthThe climax of the story sees James and Lucy confronting the shocking truth about his origins and the dark forces that seek to control him.

Themes and Insights

"Blackout" explores a multitude of themes and insights that resonate throughout the narrative, offering readers thought-provoking perspectives on various aspects of the human experience.

IdentityThe novel delves into the theme of identity, as James grapples with uncovering his true self amidst a web of deception and manipulation.
Power and ControlThe concept of power and control is central to the story, as The Agency seeks to manipulate and exploit individuals with extraordinary abilities.
BetrayalThemes of betrayal and loyalty are examined as James and Lucy navigate through a world fraught with deception and treachery.

Reader's Takeaway

Readers of "Blackout" are in for a heart-pounding and adrenaline-fueled journey through the murky underbelly of London, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and the truth is a scarce commodity. The novel offers a compelling exploration of identity, power, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of relentless adversity. With its gripping narrative and dynamic characters, "Blackout" is sure to captivate and enthrall readers who enjoy pulse-pounding thrillers with a touch of the extraordinary.


"Blackout" by Joe Craig is a riveting and compelling thriller that immerses readers in a world of danger, intrigue, and extraordinary abilities. The novel's fast-paced narrative, richly evocative setting, and dynamic cast of characters combine to create a captivating reading experience that will leave readers eagerly turning pages until the final, pulse-pounding conclusion. With its exploration of themes such as identity, power, and betrayal, "Blackout" delivers a thought-provoking and adrenaline-fueled journey that is sure to resonate with fans of the thriller genre.

Blackout FAQ

  1. What is 'Blackout' about?

    Blackout is a young adult thriller novel about a boy named Alex who wakes up in a dumpster with no memory of how he got there. As he tries to piece together what happened, he discovers that he's being pursued by a group of dangerous people.

  2. Who is the author of 'Blackout'?

    Blackout is written by Joe Craig, a British author known for his young adult fiction, including the popular Jimmy Coates series.

  3. Is 'Blackout' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Blackout' is the first book in the 'Code of Silence' series by Joe Craig.

  4. What genre is 'Blackout'?

    Blackout falls under the thriller and mystery genres, with elements of suspense and action.

  5. Is 'Blackout' suitable for all ages?

    While 'Blackout' is primarily targeted towards young adult readers, older readers who enjoy fast-paced thrillers may also find it engaging.