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Cover art forBlackout


Connie Willis

Started Reading
Oct 28, 2022
Finished Reading
Oct 30, 2022

My introduction to Connie Willis’ loosely-connected Oxford Time Travel series was via To Say Nothing of the Dog. If that novel went heavy on the comedy, Blackout (part of duology with All Clear1) is decidedly more serious. It follows three historians (Merope Ward, Polly Churchill, and Michael Davies), all on different assignments during WWII, who find themselves stranded in the past. I particularly loved how Willis gradually shifted the tone: the historians’ feeling of academic remove and control gradually gets overrun—first by dread, and then panic, as they realize that they may have no way of getting home.

  1. Apparently Willis realized midway through that she was writing more than one book (not unlike Tamsyn Muir with her Locked Tomb trilogy-turned-tetralogy). After tearing through Blackout I hurried off to the library to pick up All Clear and laughed when I saw that it weighed in at over 600 pages. ↩︎