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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

Title: Radiance
Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 08/31/10
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...

Plot: 2.5 Stars
This was a very short novel, and it really showed. It seemed like a lot of the details were glossed over, and some elements of the plot were a bit rushed. Riley's conflict and resolution were a bit early on in the story compared to most, and there really wasn't much to it. It seemed like Bodhi's conflict and resolution were more important and given more detail, but he was not the main character. There were also some details that didn't always add up. At one point, Riley is told to shush because the kids around her can hear the thoughts she's projecting, but there are other points in which she is ignored. Plus, Riley can't hear anyone else's thoughts. It would've been fine if it had been described as something you can turn on and off, or turn into, but it was not.

Pace: 3.5 Stars
Although a few elements in this novel seemed a bit rushed, it was definitely a quick and easy read. I really enjoyed how it took a character from Noel's Immortals series, but was it's own story. It could've easily been bogged down by too much information about Riley's sister, Ever, and what was happening in the other series. I just wish there was a bit more too the story. It seemed to end a bit too quickly.

Characters: 3 Stars
Having never read a young adult novel with such a young protagonist, I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to connect with Riley. As much as I wanted to connect with her, she came across as very whiny and self-conscious. But she also came across as a bit mature for her age, so it wasn't a complete disconnect. Bodhi stayed a complete mystery throughout the whole novel. I hope we get to learn more about him in the future, because he has the potential to be a great character.

Cover: 3 Stars
My favorite part of this cover is the bridge in the background, since it plays such a big part in Riley's character, both in this series and her sister's series. I also enjoy that Buttercup is with Riley on the cover. The model chosen to play Riley was a good choice to portray her, and the pose is very interesting. The one aspect of the cover that seemed off for me was the bright colors. The story wasn't nearly as light and fluffy for such bright colors in my opinion.

Overall: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.

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