Riley Bloom, Book #1
Finished: Nov. 1, 2010
First Published: Aug. 31, 2010
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: children, paranormal, afterlife
Many people think that death is the end.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Macmillan.
Reason for Reading: I enjoy reading fictional stories that involve death and imagine what the afterlife is like. I have my own unwavering religious beliefs but I can still enjoy the whimsy of what an author creates.
I have not read any other books by Alyson Noel. This new series concerns Riley, who was killed with rest of her family, except her older sister, in a car accident. Riley has just made it over the bridge, is settling into life in Here & Now and is given her job. She is to be trained as a Soul Catcher, someone who brings reluctant ghosts over the bridge into the Here & Now where they belong. There is plenty of information given that Riley was one such ghost herself for some time and references are made of that time and her sister Ever, which one presumes is covered in the beginning of The Immortals series, from which this is a spin-off.
Riley and her guide/teacher Bodhi do not get on very well causing a lot of friction between the two. Her first mission is to rid a castle in England of a ghost called The Radiant Boy who has been terrifying people who visit there for centuries while Riley and her attitude can't wait to go because this means she gets to go to the Earth plane again.
A delightful story. A quick, easy read with fun characters and fun hauntings. Not scary at all but a bit intense and there is some time taken to be serious when discussing how people died, giving them dignity. Altogether a cute, but humorous story sure to please the middle grades with not much of a wait now till the second book comes out in March, 2011.