Signal to Noise is an all-to-realistic piece of magical realism. It took me quite awhile to actually get to starting this book, languishing on my to-read list for over a year. So I made a deliberate choice to include it as a book club pick and read it, hence it's place as my February read.
While the book gives a coming-of-age magical realism front, the story eschews many of the all-to-common patterns. Moreno-Garcia's prose possesses a rich lyricism that fits well in a story so filled with music. The story has its bright spots, but much of it is harsh and scrabbling, a story of friends struggling to overcome the hands they were dealt, a story of consequences, and a story of resentment. For all of that, the story is beautifully told, but one that I personally felt reluctant to read at times, a result of seeking extra escapism in reading than normal as of late.
From Wikipedia: "Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels."
- What is the nature of magic? How does it connect to the different characters? What about their different objects of power?
- Meche says "Why shouldn't music have power? My dad say it's the most powerful thing in the world. Nietzsche says that without music, life would be a mistake." What are the different roles of music, and it's power, that manifest throughout the book?
- At it's core, Signal to Noise can be considered a love story (though not specifically one of romantic love). How do the different relationships and loves morph throughout?
- Does the story have a hero? Does it have a villain?
- We're warned early on that "magic will break your heart." In what ways does this come true?