REVIEW: Quantum Radio by A.G. Riddle

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

Quantum Radio is the newly released multiverse thriller by A.G. Riddle centering on Dr. Tyson Klein, an American particle physicist working at CERN in Geneva. Ty’s research at the Large Hadron Collider leads to a breakthrough discovery in quantum mechanics pointing to the existence of a parallel universe. Ty detects an encoded signal from a type of quantum radio, which he believes contains an important message. He is determined to decode this message, both for the advancement of science and, potentially, for the benefit of humankind.

Quantum RadioTy’s discovery of the quantum radio is an astonishing scientific breakthrough. However, when he presents his work at a scientific conference, Ty immediately becomes the target of a shadowy organization known as the Covenant. With his life in danger, Ty flees to the safety of his estranged parents and the U.S. government.

The scientific premise of Quantum Radio is quite interesting, and I rather enjoyed the first several chapters of the book. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there as the plot devolves into a sequence of unbelievable coincidences. Moreover, the intricacies of the quantum radio are deciphered rather arbitrarily through Ty’s intuition rather than any compelling scientific arguments.

Quantum Radio is a fast-paced thriller that recalls Michael Crichton with its no-frills narrative style. A.G. Riddle maintains an even pace over the book’s 113 short chapters.

Regrettably, Quantum Radio strays too far from its sci-fi premise, becoming more of an alternate historical fiction where the Nazis won World War II and plunged the world into an extended period of darkness and oppression. The second half of Quantum Radio has more in common with the dystopian alternate history of The Man in the High Castle than with any science fiction novel.

Quantum Radio also suffers from unrealistic dialogue that features characters telling each other things they already know, solely for the benefit of the reader. For example, these supposedly world-leading physicists have a habit of describing basic scientific concepts to each other that they should have all learned as undergraduate students.

But the most cringeworthy scenes occur in the second half of the book, where characters read pages worth of text from museum exhibits at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. With all this extended info dumping, I felt like I was reading an entry in Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House children’s book series, but with more Nazis.

Ultimately, Quantum Radio falls short of its Crichtonesque aspirations, spoiling an interesting premise by straying too far from its sci-fi roots and by relying too much on awkward dialogue-driven exposition and an overly contrived plot. Grimdark readers with an appetite for mind-bending multiverse science fiction are advised to look elsewhere.

2/5

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John Mauro

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.