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Shimmer: A Riley Bloom Book

Review

Shimmer: A Riley Bloom Book

Twelve-year-old Riley Bloom has experienced a lot in the past year. She died in a car crash with her parents and dog Buttercup, and then wandered on the earth plane for months, until finally crossing the bridge to the Here & Now and being assigned to the very important job of Soul Catcher. A Soul Catcher helps lost souls cross over the bridge from the earth plane to the Here & Now. Riley managed to complete her first assignment from the Council with flying colors. Of course, she couldn't have done it without the help of Buttercup or her guide, the handsome but somewhat irritating Bodhi. And as a reward, their team of three gets a much-needed vacation.

However, like most vacations, whether one is alive or dead, things don't go quite as planned. While hanging out on the beach, Riley is charged by a huge, scary ghost dog. Despite warnings from Bodhi to let him go --- that the dog is not an assignment from the Council, so it's none of their business --- Riley is determined to help it cross the bridge. Unfortunately, the situation isn't quite that simple.

Riley quickly learns that the ghost dog belongs to a lost soul named Rebecca who died in a horrific slave revolt in 1733. So enraged by what happened while she was alive, Rebecca is now trapped on the earth plane by her anger. But she doesn't stop there. She uses her fury to entrap the others involved in the revolt, holding them prisoner in their own personal nightmares. And when Riley, Bodhi and Buttercup try to intervene, Rebecca traps them as well.

Bestselling author Alyson Noël gives fans the second book in her fascinating series about Riley Bloom and her life after death. The character of Riley brings a lot of energy to the story, and her clumsy but heartfelt attempts to do what's right are endearing and contagious. Her strong views on life (and the afterlife) and her bickering with the frustrated Bodhi are amusing and compelling. She uses a clever approach to sharing the many horrors of the characters by taking Riley's first-person point of view along with her when she steps into the others' nightmares, experiencing their terrors as her own. She also offers quite a few interesting topics and words of wisdom on which readers can contemplate during and after reading, including destiny, free will, fate, the fact that "words have the power to harm or heal" and that "anger and guilt mixed together made for a pretty strong brew --- one that could trap a person forever."

Fans won't have to wait long for the third book in the series, as DREAMLAND is set to release in September.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on March 15, 2011

Shimmer: A Riley Bloom Book
by Alyson Noël

  • Publication Date: March 15, 2011
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • ISBN-10: 0312648251
  • ISBN-13: 9780312648251