Radio Silence (Alyssa Cole)

Radio Silence is the first novel in the Off the Grid Trilogy by Alyssa Cole.
Finished on: 16.7.2021

Content Note: threat of rape

Arden and John were roommates in Rochester, New York when something happened that turned the whole world upside down – no more electricity, no more internet, no information on what is going on. It has been a few weeks and things have gone from bad to worse, so the two decide to hike to the Canadian border where John’s family has a cabin. John hopes to meet them there and that life in the countryside is still a bit safer than in the city. But just before they reach the cabin, they are attacked. Fortunately, John’s gorgeous brother Gabriel comes to the rescue. Navigating this new life isn’t easy, and definitely not made easier by Arden’s attraction to Gabriel, or Gabriel’s controling tendencies.

Radio Silence was a really good read – I practically read it in one sitting and enjoyed it all the while. Good characters, nice setting and a main pairing that has excellent chemistry – nothing more I could ask for.

The book cover showing a young Black woman looking at the camera.

Radio Silence is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but firmly from the perspective of “normal people”, that is, people with no access to top secret information or government friends. There is no great investigation that they lead where they uncover some dastardly plot. They are just cut off, and have very limited options other than just waiting and hoping that information will reach them at some point.

Until then, they are stuck in a house together and that can get rather boring – for the characters. While the setting doesn’t offer much excitement (except for the very first scene and a bit at the end), I did enjoy how these characters (most of the time we’re talking about Arden, John, Gabriel and Maggie, John and Gabriel’s teenage sister) come together under these circumstances and find ways of dealing with each other. Their relationships are all different with each other and feel very real, so that’s pretty great.

The focus lies on Arden and Gabriel, though (the following books tell John’s and then Maggie’s story), and I really liked them. Gabriel’s bossiness is offset by the fact that he is also rather reflected and can acknowledge when he overdoes it. And Arden, thankfully, calls him out on his shit. Plus, their chemistry is pretty damn steamy.

That Arden is Black and Gabriel (and his family) are Korean-American rounds things off very nicely – especially since Cole incorporates their racial identities really beautifully in their overall characterizations. I will definitely continue reading the series.

Summarizing: really good.

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