Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

Title: Radiance 
Series: Riley Bloom Series
Book #: One
Author: Alyson Noel
Published: 2010
Source: Received for Review

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 . . . (taken from
When I read Alyson Noel's Evermore, Riley was my favorite character, hands-down. She was original and spunky, something I really appreciate. I was intrigued to find out that she was going to star in her own series. Unfortunately, Radiance didn't do it for me. While it wasn't awful, it wasn't great either.

Unlike in Evermore, Riley's spunky attitude is a little over the top and annoying. When she was playing the role of annoying yet adorable little sister, her personality fit perfectly. Now that Riley is on her own, she isn't quite as cute. She was probably my biggest problem with the book. 

I've always enjoyed books about the afterlife. Don't ask me why. Still, Riley's afterlife wasn't all that entertaining. She even went to school. If I die young and have to attend school as a dead teenager, then fate will be cruel. Anyway, things got a tad bit more interesting after Riley was assigned a task, but I was still bored. She breezed through her monumental task, which was completely ridiculous. The only light in the dark tunnel was Bodhi, Riley's young guide. His task was far more interesting and original. 

Even though this book is classified as young-adult, I would definitely consider it middle-grade. I'm not a huge fan of Noel's Immortal series, and I didn't really care for this novel. I think I'm going to avoid her books from now on. They aren't terrible, but they aren't my type. 

*I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review