Saturday, March 26, 2011

Radiance by Alyson Noel

Paperback, 183 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Square Fish (first published August 24th 2010)

Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .

I picked this up on my iPod through the Clearance list for basically nothing, otherwise I would have been disappointed. I have never read anything by Alyson Noel, not even The Immortal series from which Radiance came and I had no idea that it was considered a middle-grade book. I thought that for what it is, it was a cute and easy read only after knowing that it is for a much younger audience than YA is intended to be for. If I were 8-10 I would give this a much better rating, maybe? 

My biggest gripe with this book is that nothing happens. Riley dies too young and goes to Here & Now, Alyson's version of what lies beyond death. She is given an assignment and goes and de-haunts a haunted castle and then goes flying with her guide, Bodhi. Then the story ends. It's very short which is good for the audience that it is intended for, but just not for me. I didn't particularly care for any of the characters, they were just normal fill in the blanks. After finishing this one I read other people's reviews and from what I gather maybe it would be better if I read The Immortal series so as to better like this story. If I do and it changes my opinion, I will adjust this review accordingly, but for now, not my cup of tea.

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