Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he’s pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.
Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John’s gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He’s on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can’t let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that’s so obvious even John’s mom is playing matchmaker.
The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they’ll have to save themselves.
Review: I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I found myself really enjoying this one. I felt that the romance aspects were a nice backdrop to the overall story. That doesn’t mean romance fans wouldn’t enjoy this title, but it also talks about a worldwide power outage that actually made sense. Cole had explanations that made me sit back and go “wow, I feel like that could actually happen.” It made the story feel more realistic and that’s always good for science fiction.
As for the romance, John is desperate to get out of the house and prove he can do something useful but he doesn’t get that chance until Mykhail stumbles across their house. He has an idea of what is happening and he wants to visit an old mentor at the local university. With an almost immediate crush and the urgency to do something, John is ready to join Mykhail on his journey. Mykhail isn’t thrilled by the prospect, even though John knows they have some sort of connection, but he ultimately lets John join him as John is adept in navigation.
On their journey to the university, they have to be wary of people willing to shoot first and ask questions later, as the world has gone back to pre-technology, fight and survive days. They work together to make their journey, and at the same time, they begin to learn more about each other and grow even closer. Their relationship isn’t without issues of course, which I appreciate, since no romance is ever perfect.
Overall, I did really like this one. I liked that the science made sense, I liked the romance, and I thought Cole did a good job creating a book that was suspenseful and engaging. The story begins in Radio Silence with John’s friend Arden and his brother Gabriel falling in love (FYI: Arden is female). I did not read this book first, but if anyone is interested in reading in order! I felt Signal Boost made sense without it though.