Kelley's Reviews > Radiance

Radiance by Alyson Noel
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's review
Apr 26, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: audio-books, childrens-ghost, childrens-fantasy, own, unabridged
Read on January 01, 2011

Courtesy of Amazon

A CK2S K2 Recommended Read!

I loved Riley Bloom in Alyson Noel’s The Immortals series so I was quite excited to see Riley was getting a series of her own. Now, in Radiance, we finally get to learn more about this delightful character.

Riley was killed in a car accident at the age of twelve, but rather than crossing over, she decided to stay for a while with her surviving sister, Ever. Finally, Riley has crossed, with her beloved dog, into a new world only known as “Here” where the time is always “Now.” In many ways, Here is just like being alive, with a few exceptions. Life in Here is what people make of it, but they do have responsibilities as well, and Riley is assigned a job as a Soul Catcher.

Riley’s instructor is Bodhi, a cute, but nerdy boy who knows so much more than he’s willing to share with her. Her first assignment is the infamous “Radiant Boy” who haunts an English castle. Many Catchers have tried convincing him to cross the bridge into Here over the centuries, but all have failed miserably. However, the irrepressible Riley is on the case, and she is determined to succeed where all the others have failed. If Riley has anything to say about it, The Radiant Boy has finally met his match!

I have read the entire Immortals series, except the most recent, and out of all the books my favorite character still is Riley. Every time she appeared early in the series in one of her crazy costumes or her sister’s clothes, I got a chuckle out of it and she stole the show every single time. So imagine my delight to have an entire Riley-centric series! The best part is, everything I loved about Riley in her sister’s books, I have in abundance in Radiance. Riley is every bit as sassy as she ever was, complete with crazy costumes and her beloved dog.

One thing people may wonder initially is how much character growth can a dead twelve year old have throughout a book/series? The answer is… quite a bit! I especially love exactly how we learn more about who Riley was before she died and who she is now. When she views her life as she was prior to arriving in Here, as with most children, she didn’t think she had been doing much wrong. However, as her adventures continue after being paired up with Bodhi for her new job, Riley starts to realize maybe she wasn’t all that perfect before and realizes how many seemingly inconsequential behaviors have such a huge impact on others and begins to change her ways.

Kathleen McInerney is a perfect voice actor to perform Riley. She masters the carefree and loveable persona of Riley that made me be so drawn to Riley in the Immortals series. McInerney has a way with words that we get such a wonderful idea of what Riley and company are feeling throughout Radiance, simply by listening to the narration. Hopefully, future audio versions of the Riley Bloom series will use the same voice talent.

© Kelley A. Hartsell, January 2011. All rights reserved.
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