Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

SUMMARY (From Amazon):

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 . . .


Set with an interesting new take on the afterlife and pushing Riley to the spotlight, Radiance is a cute, overall light read with a few more suspenseful moments thrown in at the right times. Introducing a new setting and one primary new character, there is very little tie in with the events of the Immortals series, making Riley's story a great stand alone, at least with this first book.

Riley is a brat. Self centered and stuck up, much of her thoughts center on herself, along with her (rightfully earned) anger at being killed at only twelve. Despite this, she is still likable and has her nicer moments, making her a perfectly blended brat. Still very new to things on the other side of the bridge, she puts her foot in her mouth more than once, creating humor and giving a better look at her character. Once she's given her new job of trying to lure souls across the bridge- ones like her who lingered behind- things pick up and Riley's character is tested. Her development is steady, with a clear change in her line of thinking after several of the events.

Bodhi is her guide, a boy who doesn't take too well to her thoughts of him being a nerd and a dork. Even through Riley's eyes, the reader is able to see a few different sides of Bodhi and really get to know his character too. He is definitely a good friend for Riley in the afterlife, and the two encounter some surprising things on their missions set before them.

This is a quick read, but enjoyable throughout. Noel's descriptions are striking in a few places, particularly with each of the two main missions the pair goes on. With humor and fun mixed in as well, Riley's story holds much less of the overall lingering drama of her sister's. Not to mention, Buttercup has a near constant presence in this book, and is quite the awesome dog. Radiance is steadily paced with a conclusion that ties up the events of this book while still leaving the reader curious for what's next with Riley and Bodhi.

Source: ARC received for review from publisher
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish; First Edition edition (August 31, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312629176
ISBN-13: 978-0312629175


  1. I have this one on my shelf yet waiting to be read. Love your review of it! I'm really interested in reading this one! :)

  2. This sounds like such a cute read! I think I'll pick it up after all. :)

  3. I haven't felt tempted by most tween reads, but this one does look good.

  4. sence i read this blog i have been thinking of getting this book you made it sound like a great book