Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Radiance by Alyson Noel

This review contains some 'spoilers' but nothing major. 
Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her 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 he's never met Riley...

I don't know what to say about this book. I thought it was very confusing and a  little bit ridiculous. Nothing was explained well at all, at the beginning and parts near the end I hadn't a clue what was going on. I didn't think the whole earth plane and 'Here & Now' or anything in between was explained properly. I also found the way it was written hard to understand. There was too many 'well's' and 'like's' and 'anyway's', if you know what I mean.
Riley was just really annoying. Sometimes I felt like telling her to grow up and stop being a spoiled little brat. She was shallow, vain and stuck-up. Bodhi had no depth and wasn't believable. I don't have a favourite character. Like I said about Bodhi, I don't think any of the characters had depth and to be honest, I didn't really care what happened to them.
The plot was very weak, if there even was one at all. It pretty much went like this: Riley dies, she whinges a lot, she's given a job as a Soul Catcher, she goes down to earth, gets the Radiant Boy to cross the bridge in about two seconds, something happens with a woman who won't stop crying (I'm not entirely sure what. That part was the most confusing) and then it's all happily ever after, or something.

I really didn't like this book. I'm not even sure why I finished it. I suppose I was expecting something to happen but nothing did. There was no twists, and nothing remotely exciting happened. I wouldn't recommend it and I don't think I'll be reading the next in this series, Shimmer. Before reading this, I was really eager to read Noel's 'Immortals' series, but now I don't know if I will. Overall, Radiance isn't a great book.

                                                        Rating: 2/5
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 178
Age Group: 10+
Official Publication Date: This edition 4th Feb 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Author Website: www.alysonnoel.com


  1. Sounds pretty rubbish! I can't read a book if the characters aren't strong enough, and don't really have a personality. I love the cover though!

  2. I though the plot was a bit weak too, but I didn't really find it confusing. Interesting review!

  3. Ugh, I hate when books go all New Age-y like "The time is Now." It doesn't make any sense.
    And I hate when the characters aren't believable!!! It's so hard to read when the characters are annoying and fake!!
    Great review!!

  4. It's a shame you never enjoyed this. I've read some mixed reviews on this book and it has now been sitting on my shelf for a little while now... I don't think I'm going to read it.
    I think the Immortals series is supposed to be good, I think I read that somewhere but I can't really remember :o

  5. Oh that book. I saw it and it looked interesting. The cover and the length (I'm always looking for short bites of a good story!) tempted me to get it, but I didn't in the end. And I'm still considering reading it, or at least borrowing it from someone, because I've been left with a curiosity and I guess I'm not the type to turn away from a book even if everyone else dislikes it. But I don't have high expectations for it anymore when I read it, heh...and it probably won't be for a long time.

    Thanks for this!

  6. I agree with the Here&Now being confusing as to where she is exactly and why she still has connections to people that have crossed the bridge/people on the Earth Plane.


Comments make my day :)

This is an award-free zone, sorry but I just don't have the time to pass them on! Thanks for thinking of me anyway :)