Radiance by Alyson Noel
Publisher: Square Fish
Release date: August 31, 2010
Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.
Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her 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 he's never met Riley...
I've read and enjoyed the first two books in the Immortals series, and Riley has always been one of my favorite characters. When I heard she was going to have her own series, I was beyond excited. Luckily, Radiance was a fun and exciting read, and I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel.
After finally crossing over to the Afterlife, Riley learns it's much different than she ever expected. The Council tells Riley she is going to be a Soul Catcher. Her job is to round up stubborn souls who refuse to cross over, and bring them to the other side. Riley is a really sweet and energetic main character, and she never backs down from a challenge. While at times she acts immature, I enjoyed watching her grow throughout the course of the novel. I especially love her attachment to Buttercup. He has a small role in Radiance, but he still adds so much to the story and always can bring a smile to my face.The other main character, Bodhi, is a unique and brave guy, who is the perfect friend for Riley. He can deal with her stubbornness but can also make sure she does the right thing. I can't wait to see where Alyson takes Bodhi, Buttercup, and Riley next!
The plot was original and entertaining and I enjoyed watching Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup solve the mystery and save the day. Bodhi and Riley were courageous and determined and while they faced some frightening things they never backed down.
This novel is great for fans of the Immortals series, as well as readers who are new to Alyson Noel. She is a great writer and I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes next.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars