Review Round Up: Signal to Noise

5 years ago

Out now, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel Signal to Noise is a beautiful literary fantasy about music, magic and Mexico:

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape.

Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends – Sebastian and Daniela – and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. The three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as nonentities,and maybe even find love…

Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns alone for her estranged father’s funeral.

It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, reviving memories from a childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? Is there any magic left?

Here are just some of the lovely things people have been saying about it so far:

"Haunting and beautifully nuanced, Signal to Noise is a magical first novel."
- The Guardian

“One of the outstanding debut fantasy novels this year.”
Chicago Tribune

“You’ve never read a book about Magic and Loss like Signal to Noise
- i09

“This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous ’80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Fans of Eleanor and Park, meet Meche and Sebastian.”
- Schools Library Journal

"The power of music and its effect on people is at the heart of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Signal to Noise."
- Strange Horizons

“I know it’s very early in the year but I can already tell this is one of the Notable Reads of 2015.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In a poignant, graceful coda, Moreno-Garcia brings the book full circle, slyly subverting the expectations of a linear narrative and punctuating Meche's story with a hushed, lovely flourish. In many ways, Signal to Noise is a coming-of-age tale, but it's also the tale of what comes after — and what happens when forces beyond our control, magical or otherwise, are better left that way.”

“Moreno-Garcia has a solid and convincing prose style, robust and subtle in all the right places… a successful debut, and a very interesting book.”

“If you like well drawn characters, cool tunes and lashing and lashings of nostalgia, then you should check this out.”
Starburst Magazine

Signal to Noise is an utterly gorgeous book, and will make you want to get out your old turntable and records and give them a spin or two (or three.) Don’t miss out on this one.”
My Bookish Ways

“Suffused with the music – English-language and Spanish, pop and punk – that Meche and friends use to make their magic and soundtrack to their lives, this is both a spiky and charmingly sweet romance of making amends and starting again. 4 stars.”
– SFX Magazine

Kirkus Reviews top SFF picks for February

“Beautiful, descriptive language and authentic character banter are both essential parts of Moreno-Garcia’s lyrical storytelling… Refreshing, lively and unique, Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel is a triumph. 4 ½ Stars”
RT Book Reviews, Top Pick review

“This book is about mood, about adolescence and adulthood, about growing up and accepting loss and a whole lot of other things. It's solid and intense… Signal to Noise is an amazing read.”
Nerds Feather

“I don’t feel like I’ve been peering over someone’s shoulder into a brand-new world. Instead it feels like Moreno-Garcia has peeled back a curtain that lets me see what’s been hiding in this one all along.”
Lisa Shininger

“Each of the two temporal layers is interesting in its own right but is, of course, enriched by the information given in the complementary one. The few cross-overs between them, allowed by magic, are a quite elegant touch. The frequent dialogues in the narration are always believable and often amusing. Moreno-Garcia succeeds at the very difficult task of convincingly giving voice to both teenage and adult characters.”
Future Fire

“What’s particularly wonderful about Signal to Noise is that this is a novel about Mexican kids living in Mexico City. It mentions Timbiriche and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs as well as Billy Idol and Joy Division. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who writes in her bio she is “Mexican by birth and Canadian by inclination,” delivers a reading experience full of cultural references that are often sorely missing from the genre.”
Far Beyond Reality

“This is the book that rocketed me out of a reading slump when I zipped through it in 24 hours… a great coming-of-age story that isn’t YA, but I think would definitely appeal to YA readers and adult readers alike.”
The Book Riot

“An evocative, powerful, and beautiful tale of magic, dreams, love and hate, betrayal and redemption, this book is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and one of the best I have read so far this year.”
The Book Adventures

“It’s rare to find a book that captures both the feeling of a teenager and the feeling of looking back on that time in a way that isn’t all sunshine and roses… The characters are messy and complex, the music evocative, and the magic shines through all of it.”
- sepiidae

“Readers can expect to feel every one of Meche’s mistakes and heartbreaks as if it were their own… [a] heartwarming masterpiece.”
Gnome Reviews

Signal to Noise is a fun, peculiar novel. It’s magical in and of itself, enjoyable, and you can’t help but feel captivated by the plight of the awkward trio”

 “Signal To Noise isn’t a flashy novel, or one that is particularly trying to impress you with its theatrics; it’s a very human, personal novel, a beautiful and painful story about love, loss, family, friendship, and the idea of home.”

 “Unusually accurate portrayal of Mexican pop culture (and the 1980s) as the backdrop for a coming-of-age story with magic and lots of music. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Jo Walton's 'Among Others'.”
- murmuju

“Apart from the excellent characters, the novel manages (at least for me) to give a very good impression of how life for a teenager in 80s Mexico City might have been like.”
Reading SFF

“breathtakingly perfect”
A.C. Wise

Signal to Noise is an original, unique, and compelling début novel and a wonderful introduction to the work of Silvia Moreno-Garcia.”
Urban Fantasy Magazine

“If you like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, read Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”
- The Moor Maiden

“This is a Mexico City that its residents live and love in, a mysterious place to a gringo americano, but it's simply a Home, like barrios we grew and grow up in. Abject realism, centered on the characters.”
La Bloga

“Unusual and intellectual fantasy fare.”
Strange Charm Books

“An evocative, powerful, and beautiful tale of magic, dreams, love and hate, betrayal and redemption, this book is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and one of the best I have read so far this year.”
- Live to Read

And finally don’t forget to check out the book’s goodreads page where the good vibes continue to roll in!