Sunday 27 March 2011

Book Review - Radiance

Title: Radiance
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: Riley Bloom
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release Date: 4 Feb 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0330526913

Riley Bloom died, aged twelve, in a car crash with her parents and her beloved dog Buttercup. Her sister Ever survived – but that’s another story. Riley must let go of Ever and all the things that tied her to life – and discover what she’s meant to be in the afterlife. Riley is a soul catcher. That means helping the unhappy lost souls who stick around in the human realm to move on – and find their own place, over the bridge, in the great hereafter. With her spirit guide, Bodhi, and Buttercup by her side, Riley embarks on an adventure that will take her around the world – sending ghosts back where they belong, until she can finally make it there herself. 

My Review
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I loved the character of Riley in the first Immortals book, she was cheeky and spunky and quick witted, just a great personality, so I couldn't wait to read her own series.
Riley has moved to 'Here' where the time is 'Now', she can manifest anything she wants, she is with her family again, but it's not free 'living' she has to go to school to find out what her job will be, that's right it's not an easy ride in after life, you have to work for your merits. Riley is assigned the job of 'soul catcher', she must go back to Earth and convince other ghostly spirits to cross the bridge and leave the world behind. Riley jumps at the chance, if it means going back to Earth and all she left behind. But she must also realise it's not all fun and games as she imagined, Life on earth is never the same once your dead.
Riley is still the loveable yet slightly mouthy 12 year old we met in 'Evermore', but now she is discovering where her new destiny lies. With only Buttercup her adorable golden Retriever beside her she faces big decisions, and I have to say I enjoyed how the story evolved, it was like you were experiencing all of the things just like Riley. She is assigned a guide 'Bodhi' but is not happy, what she faces is the dorkiest guy she has ever met and he has an attitude to match, talk about personality clash. Together they have to banish 'the Radiant Boy' a very stubborn ghost causing havoc in an old castle, scaring visitors and refusing to leave.
I liked Bodhi, he clearly isn't all he seems and proves first impressions can often be wrong, I came to like his dry humour and how the two of them worked together.
The descriptions were very detailed and I loved the idea of this evil ghost refusing to move, but was slightly freaked by some of the tricks they pulled. For a young ghost, he was seriously advanced. 
The story is quite short at only 178 pages and took me just under 2 hours to read, but that time flew by and I read it in one go, I was immersed. And looking forward to reading book 2 'Shimmer'. Riley really lights up the page, and I look forward to her growing more as a character and person as she moves through her ghostly life.

My Rating
I would give this book 8/10. A short but sweet story.  

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