Friday, August 04, 2017

Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman

Frances has two major obsessions -- doing well enough in school to get into Cambridge and listening in the evenings to an enigmatic science fiction podcast about a survivor in 26th century Earth by the name of Radio Silence.  No one know who writes and performs these podcasts, but uncovering the identity of the "Creator" (as he is known in the fandom) has Frances and a few hundred other diehard followers are obsessed.  Then, quite by accident, she discovers that the Creator is actually her old friend Aled and a new world opens to her.

However, the anonymity of the podcasts turns out to be a crucial ingredient and, as it is cracked open, Frances discovers disturbing truths about Aled and about herself.  The publicity threatens not only to destroy the joy that Radio Silence brings her but also causes her to question every thing else she's ever valued.

Quirky and engrossing, Oseman's second YA novel creates a unique world with vibrant and authentic characters.  The mood is dark and gloomy, but the story is fast-paced and never boring.  I didn't really see the appeal of the podcasts, but I didn't need to in order to appreciate the characters and their motivations.

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