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 . . .
First Sentence: “Most people think that death is the end. The end of life-of good times-the end of, well, pretty much everything. But those people are wrong. Dead wrong. And I should know. I died almost a year ago.”Originality: I really liked the unique perspective of seeing the story through the dead person’s eyes. Usually the story is told from someone who is alive and can see dead people, like Alyson Noel’s Immortals series, which is what started Riley’s story. Noel could have not told Riley’s story, but I am glad that she did, and glad that she added more details to the world that was started in Evermore. She went beyond Summerland…to the other side of the Bridge.
Characters: Riley…Oh, Riley. She is like a typical 12 year old, except she doesn’t annoy the heck out of me. Poor Riley really doesn’t know who she is, which is why she was always following her sister, Ever, around. Now Ever is alive, and Riley isn’t, and so she has to figure out who she is, and who she wants to be in the afterlife.
Content: I loved the Immortals series, with the, um, well Immortals, and now it’s Riley’s turn, showcasing the spirits, or ghosts, whatever you want to call them. There was a Q & A with Alyson Noel at the back of the book where Noel said that this is what she hopes the afterlife will be like, and I can’t help agreeing with her.
Setting: Radiance is set in the Here and Now. Hehe. I just thought that was hilarious. Everywhere you go, it is Here. No matter what time of day it is, it is Now. This could be a little confusing if you get all technical about it. Really, just think of it as Heaven. How I pictured it though, was seeing the communities of the real world floating on clouds. Okay, I know. That may not have been what Noel was trying to convey, but that’s was I pictured in my mind.
Overall Enjoyment: I was semi-bored at some points, honestly. But hey. I just got finished reading The Hunger Games, and nothing can hold up to those standards. Overall though? I liked the story, it was a good, fast paced read. I will definitely read the rest of the series just to see how Riley progresses. Now that the Immortals series is over, I’m reluctant to leave this world.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the Immortals series, starting with Evermore, than yes, I would suggest you pick up Radiance and give it a try. I need to see if the library has the next book, if not get it on Inter-Library Loan. J