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Radiance: A Riley Bloom Book Paperback – August 31, 2010
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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 . . .
Amazon Exclusive: Alyson Noël on Radiance
When Jean Feiwel, Publishers of Feiwel & Friends and Square Fish, approached me to write a spin-off series starring Ever’s little ghostly sister, Riley, I jumped at the chance. I’d had so much fun creating her character in Evermore that she ended up getting a much bigger part than I’d originally planned. She just kept showing up—usually dressed in some kind of kooky costume and wig—and by the end of the book I was saddened when it was time for her to move on. Though, I have to admit, as excited as I was to get started, I was also a little nervous about writing a twelve-year-old, as all of my previous protagonists have been fifteen and up. But once I realized I didn’t have to write a twelve-year-old per se (since no two are alike!), that I was only writing Riley, a character I’d already grown to know and love, the story took off from there. Picking up right where we left her in Evermore—on the other side of the bridge, firmly ensconced in a place called the Here & Now, and surprised to learn that it’s not exactly the eternity of harp lessons and cloud lounging she’d envisioned. She’s got a job as a Soul Catcher, a guide named Bodhi who is as nerdy as he is intriguing, and a pretty terrifying first assignment she’s not entirely sure she can handle. . . Writing Radiance was the most fun I’ve ever had writing.
Amazon Exclusive: Jean Feiwel, Publisher of Feiwel & Friends and Square Fish, on Radiance
As a publisher, I read a lot. So I’m always on the lookout for a book that has an author’s special voice, a memorable story, an irresistible character. When I first read Alyson Noël’s Immortals series (which at that time was only Evermore and Blue Moon), I loved Ever and Damen, but I really fell for Ever’s younger sister, Riley. Here was a character who was a real scene-stealer: sassy, true, real (and yes, well, dead). I wanted to know more about Riley. I approached Alyson through her Immortals editor and agent, so as to be respectful of her writing schedule and prior publishing commitments. She was enthusiastic and gracious, and the editing process has been fun (!) and gratifying. Alyson is a rare person: a dedicated and talented writer, and a caring and spiritual person. I’m so lucky to have Radiance on our Square Fish list and to have Alyson Noël in my life.
From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
- Publisher : Square Fish; First edition (August 31, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312629176
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312629175
- Reading age : 9 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 1060L
- Grade level : 4 - 7
- Item Weight : 6.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.53 x 8.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #326,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I don't want to mislead you with my rating. I didn't rate it a 2 out of 5 because it sucked. It didn't suck. I just don't feel that it was something that really fit my interests and I don't think I'll be re-reading it any time soon. With that said, I am curious to know what Riley's next adventure is but I won't be rushing to find out what it is like I did with this one.
In Radiance, Riley is still interesting. She still has an attitude and she still has that spunk she had in Evermore, but I think the reason why I liked her so much in Evermore was because of her relationship with Ever. Being the nosey, annoying, caring younger sister. If you take out Ever... you just have Riley, who's scared and confused and is just trying to understand her place in the afterlife.
I found Riley's task to be a little... unbelievable. She pretty much breezed through it. I was really intrigued by Bodhi's task more than I was with Riley's. It also baffled me how close both of their tasks were to each other and had no idea. I guess that's one of the upsides to not knowing what happens in the afterlife, all the different things people come up with! I kinda liked Bodhi, he seemed like an interesting person. Kinda wish I knew more about him. I thought it was cute that Riley got to keep Buttercup, I think he's helping her cope with her afterlife... life. Wow, that sounded weird lol.
I probably should also add that while this is under young adult, it felt more like a middle grade read than a young adult one! If you were a fan of Riley in Evermore, do I do suggest reading this, if you have any interest in what Riley is up to after she had to leave Ever behind.
That being said, the story had some merit. I find Riley's new otherworldly job as a Soul Catcher very interesting. To me, she is a therapists of sorts, as she provides much needed counseling to these spirits that are stuck in Limbo. Riley's first case was quite difficult. However, she shows courage and perseverance (and possibly stubbornness) throughout her trials and tribulations.
I adored Buttercup, Riley's yellow lab. I was happy that Riley had a companion in the Here & Now. There is a scene where he learns to use one of his newly attained abilities as a spirit, and I smile through it all. It was an adorable moment. There was also a very interesting scene with a dead mother who was literally stuck in her own personal hell, full of grief and despair. Riley was sucked into the world through her eyes and it was quite eerie and heartbreaking.
All in all, I think this book is a great paranormal starter for younger kids!
The author starts off by explaining what Riley is experiencing after she had crossed the bridge to meet her parents and dog. From there the author takes you on a journey of discovery. Allowing you as the reader to see what the heavens look and feel like from Riley's point of view.
Not wanting to say much more because there is many more twists and turns in the book I would recommend it for teens and adults. I think that although it is not a super long book the material is well written and worth reading.
The author still carries descriptive wording that makes you live in the story... onto the next now.
Top reviews from other countries
The story begins quite quickly, not wasting any time in getting Riley on the right path. She soon learns that her purpose in the afterlife is to be a Soul Catcher. Riley must convince souls to take the leap and finally cross over after hanging around for far too long. I really liked the fact that by giving Riley a job, we get to see herself growing in different ways. Not only does her personality develop but we also get to see her strength and determination grow. Her first mission as a Soul Catcher is to convince a boy living in a castle in England to cross over even though he is seemingly terrifying and people have been trying for years to complete this task. I really enjoyed the fact that Riley wasn't eased in to her new role but instead, thrown fully in to the deep end and had to live up to expectations pretty quickly.
There aren't too many new characters introduced in this book but I don't think that was a bad thing at all. Along with Riley, her beloved dog Buttercup has quite a large role considering that he is a dog and all which was quite strange but it was a very sweet thing for Riley to have taken with her to the afterlife. The one new major character was Bodhi who is given the role of Riley's mentor and teacher when it comes to being a Soul Catcher. He's a really interesting character who we don't get to learn too much about in this book. Bodhi seems to be hiding quite a lot from Riley as he doesn't really know her yet but I can see more and more being revealed about him as the series continues and I can't wait for that!
My only real problem with this book is how short it was. I felt like the action was over far too quickly and it could have probably be drawn out a little more. That being said, it was a lovely, cute, quick read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A good thing about the book is that you don't need to have read The Immortals series to know what is going on as you get a brief recap of what Riley has been up to at the beginning of the book.
The second book in this series, Shimmer is also now available.
Riley must learn what it means to be in the 'here and now' the past life world. She is trained as a soul-catcher, someone who moves lost ghosts on. When she's faced with a challenge no one else could complete she has to use all her inner strength to succeed.
I love the originality of the story and the writing sweeps you away. :D