Review: Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole

During my ten billion year hiatus, I was determined to keep poking at my reading slump, so I picked up the shortest books I could find. I really wanted to knock out all of those $1.99 romance books I thirst-bought at the beginning of the year, but I only ended up reading two before getting distracted from the cause at hand and buying other books (because I lack the self-control). This was originally supposed to be two mini reviews, but I’m an English major. Writing so many words about something so short was literally my major.

So, here it is… me attempting to be a productive member of the book community and finally busting out a review.

WARNING: This book is not really intended for children, so neither is this review! This book is also one of “those darn romance novels;” so if that doesn’t suit your fancy, back away slowly and pretend you didn’t see this.

Review: Radio Silence by Alyssa ColeArden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the “off” switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family’s cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn’t necessarily equal safety.

When scavengers attack, it’s John’s ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden’s life, so he can’t be all bad…but he’s also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren’t bloodthirsty maniacs.

No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there’s a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

Radio Silence by Alyssa ColeWant to know what happens when you wait ten years to actually type up a review? You sometimes decide that, hey, maybe I really did like didn’t mind this book that much after all. That’s the relationship I have with this NA (???) title. Radio Silence takes place in a world that just shuts off– no power, no running water, no nothing (I know that’s a double negative, but work with me here)– with zero explanation. Enter Arden Highmore and her roommate John Seong who begin the story by traveling to the safe haven of the Seong family cottage up north. Long story short: bad guys attack, John’s (hot! doctor!) brother Gabriel saves them, then it’s on to the cottage to live out the rest of their lives with the boys’ little sister Maggie.

I’m not going to lie, a good portion of the reason I kept reading this had to do with the black main character. What? I’m shallow as fuck and wanted to see myself in a romance for a change. So, sue me. There’s some dramz surrounding the fact that John’s parents are missing; but, for the most part, nothing really happens throughout the book. The reader is literally sitting here watching this quartet entertain themselves in an isolated cabin in the woods, waiting to see when Arden and Gabriel are going to admit they’re into each other because it’s that kind of story. They read one day. There’s some gun-shooting practice at one point (don’t worry, kiddies, there were no bullets in aforementioned gun). And yet, there was something about the way Cole told the story that had me captivated enough to see it through to the end which is saying a lot of a book in which nothing happens until the last maybe 10-15 pages.

All of my notes for this one are negative af. For example “the cliche framework was shoddy, at best” and “this book is lackluster at times (I know they’re in a cabin in the middle of a power outage. I know).” But the thing is, I just can’t get this book out of my head. When nothing happens plot-wise until the bitter end and you’re still willing to stan for a book (and read on to the second book because SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN EVENTUALLY DAMMIT), that’s when you know there may be something there. Besides, I’m such a goddamn sucker for those stories where the romantic leads are annoyed with one another then it escalates to a point where there’s obvious sexual tension between them even though there’s some legitimate reason they can’t get down and dirty at the very moment (seriously, I’m into all of the cliched tropes when it comes to romance).

As a romance novel, I give this story a B. As a post-apocalyptic novel, though, I have to give it a D- because there just isn’t enough here. There was no world-building to the point where it seemed as if locking the characters away in a cabin was a cop out. To be honest, if I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for a romance to happen, I never would have been able to get past the lack of explanation we get about what tf is going on and the lack of a world outside of this home. I know it’s a series so these items will hopefully be addressed in the next book, but surely readers deserve some kind of answers now, right? Ugh.

The Final Verdict: I’m going to read on because I have way too many unanswered questions. Though, I’m not jumping to do so any time soon. I’ll get to it when I get to it. And if that moment happens to come when I’m an 85-year-old hermit with ten cats who’s finally finished off her TBR pile and is willing to dip her toes back into the pool of frustration and flat story lines, then so be it.

3 thoughts on “Review: Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole

  1. I’ve never heard the term “thirst-bought” before, but it resonated with me to my very soul. I love it.

    “This was originally supposed to be two mini reviews, but I’m an English major. Writing so many words about something so short was literally my major.”

    I would lol, except IT’S SO TRUE.

    Well, it’s a shame the book was such a disappointment. The premise sounds interesting, and heck yes for black protagonists. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you enjoy the sequel significantly more (whenever you pick it up).

    “I’ll get to it when I get to it. And if that moment happens to come when I’m an 85-year-old hermit with ten cats who’s finally finished off her TBR pile and is willing to dip her toes back into the pool of frustration and flat story lines, then so be it.”


    Liked by 1 person

    • And here we have Morgan making up words and trying to make them canon one blog reader at a time c: I feel like a good portion of readers’ books were bought in thirst. So, frankly, I’m surprised no one has jumped on this term before now.

      RIGHT?! I used to think it was a myth. Now, I just tell everyone I majored in BS and keep it moving. It’s all good, though. BS is 100% how I got my job.

      Ugh. This book had all the makings of a good story, and I’m so mad it wasn’t. I wanted to LIKE a book for a change (is that too much to ask?!). Apparently, the next book shifts focus to her best friend who manages to find a lover… which is funny because they haven’t seen people for DAYS and now all of a sudden people are stopping by the house like it’s normal and the apocalypse isn’t going down. It’s kind of like all of the commercials for that show “Last Man on Earth” where you start seeing more than one person and wonder “Well… why tf is it called Last Man on Earth if there are literally 10 men and 15 women on my screen?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I approve any improvements you care to make to our fine language.

        Ha! I was wondering how you did it; because I WANT YOUR JOB, GIVE ME THAT JOB. No, seriously, how’d you get your job, I want it.

        Hmm, have you considered the possibility of NOT having good taste and a critical eye? That’d significantly improve your chances of liking books.

        The sequel sounds . . . uh. Interesting? I won’t lose any sleep if you never get around to reviewing it, is what I mean to say.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s