I am a huge fan of Alyson Noel’s other series, first loving the Immortals series, then most recently the soul seekers series. This book, Radiance, is the first in her series of a Riley Bloom Book. We first met Riley in the Immortals series as the younger sister to Ever, who has recently died and has been able to visit her sister, Ever, as a ghost. Ever finally comes to terms with the death of her family and convinces Riley to cross over the bridge, and this is where this series begins.
Riley has finally crossed over a bridge to a place called Here. Riley, along with Buttercup, her dog, have now been reunited with her parents. Just after getting settled into her new life, or death, she begins school. On her first day there the Council summons her. The Council explains that the afterlife isn’t all about relaxation and fun, you also have to work, and Riley has the new job as a Soul Catcher. Her teacher, Bodhi, is a very unique boy whom she is trying to understand. Riley isn’t overly thrilled with having to have a job in the afterlife, especially since she feels like she was already robbed of her life on the Earth plane. All she wants to do is go back.
Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup travel back to the Earth plane in order to complete Riley’s first assignment, which turns out to be helping a boy, known as the Radiant Boy, to cross the bridge. The Radiant Boy has been haunting for many centuries in a castle in England. Can Riley be the first one to get him to cross when all others before her have failed?
While this first book wasn’t as captivating as the Immortals series, it was entertaining. It was easy to read and followed one simple plot line. I feel as though this series is geared towards a younger audience, and, of course, fans of the Immortals series. While I found the plot to be not overly exciting, she does draw upon people’s fears and Riley has to overcome her own fears in order to do her job. While I didn’t love this book as much as I loved the Immortals series, I did like it, and will continue to read the rest of the series. I am curious to see what other challenges Riley will face, and I want to experience more of her life in the Here and Now. I do wish there was more explanation into that world in this book.
Her character development and rich descriptions bring you right into the book, Noel never fails to deliver in making you feel like you are right there, experiencing it all with them.