Publisher: Macmillan Childrens Books
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 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 . . .
The main reason why I picked up this book is because I received book two from the publishers, so it makes sense to start with the first one of the series.
RADIANCE is the spin-off to Alyson Noel's Immortals series and unlike that series, this one is told through the perspective of Ever's dead younger sister, Riley. Right from the start readers will get to see how Riley is dealing with her own death as well as how she really feels about walking away from Ever, then venturing into the afterlife of Here and Now. Now here's the thing: I loved Riley in Evermore and I'm glad we finally get to read her story, seeing exactly what she's up to. In this book, Riley has a lot of spunk about her - which I love her for - however there were times where I found her quite annoying. I don't know whether it's because this is a middle grade novel or because the main character is a 12-year-old girl, which seems unappealing to me since I'm way older, but either way, this book is recommended more for younger readers. But that doesn't mean it's wasn't a good read, because it was . . . in a fun and quick sort of way.
I admit, I rarely read short books. Very rarely. The issue with shorter books - at least for me - is that they lack in character and story development. For Noel's spin-off RADIANCE, it was a shame in novel length especially when the author here had great potential in making this spin-off series a real kicker. But despite some 'little' things that I didn't like, I was still invested in the unique take on the afterlife. Anyway without getting into too much detail since it's a pretty quick-paced story and since I read this book under a half hour, I will say this book will most likely be enjoyed by a younger audience. However, if you're like me who'd read the Immortals series, then RADIANCE is a nice addition to Noel's writing.