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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shimmer by Alyson Noël (A Riley Bloom Book)

Publisher:  Square Fish / St. Martin's Press
Pages:  208

(Released:  March 15, 2011)

From the Cover:

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over.

While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories.

Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

Riley Bloom is supposed to be on vacation.  The Council kindly agreed that after her last assignment which she pulled off without a hitch, Riley and Bodhi needed time off and to get to know each other.  But, when they arrive at Riley's dream vacay spot, something else is waiting for them.  It comes in the form of a large black dog, a HellHound.  Riley simply cannot have the beast wondering around, frightening people half to death.  She's determined to cross the dog or else.  What Riley finds when she goes in search of the dog is more than she expected.  Rebecca, a ghost too long left on her own and on the Earthly plane, manifests the worst experience in Riley's life and lets her relived it time and time again.  Then, Rebecca entraps Bodhi and Buttercup in their worst nightmares, and it's up to Riley to free them, and not only them, but the hundreds of other souls Rebecca was trapped in her evil web of hatred and anger.  And now, she'll have to worry about the Council again, because this was not what she was supposed to be doing...

Shimmer by Alyson Noël is another excellent addition to Ms. Noël's growing number of YA reads for both teens and preteens.  In Shimmer, we once again find Riley, the forever to be twelve sister to Ever Bloom from the Immortals series.  While Ever was called back to the Earthly plane and allowed to live, the rest of her family, including the family dog, Buttercup, dies and crosses over to the Here & Now.... except for Riley.  It takes her a while to give up the Earthly desires and Ever, her older sister and the one person she wanted to be just like.  When she finally see she needs to move on, Riley joins the rest of her family and begins her other existence as a Soul Catcher.  In the first book of the series, Radiance, Riley discovers what her new purpose is and get her first taste of a Soul Catcher by crossing the Radiant Boy.  In Shimmer, Riley isn't working with the Council, she hasn't been assigned to retrieve the souls desperate for release from their Rebecca imposed prison, but she exerts her "free will" and follows what she knows in her heart to be the right thing.  Now, if only she can convince the Council she was trying to help instead of being obnoxious and strong willed, that is when she returns to the Here & Now, and she's dreading being summoned.

Shimmer is a great read for grades 4 and up. As an adult reader, I was turning the pages of this quick little read, hoping Riley would find her way, as well as saving Bodhi, Buttercup, and all the others.  And there is a moment in time where she's trapped and has to save herself first, I found myself cringing along with Riley, but hoping for the best.  This is an easy read for the younger readers and an intriguing read for the older readers.  Riley was always one of my favorite characters, and her story is being laid out for us, bit by bit in every book.  I highly recommend this series for younger readers, and those who feel young at heart.  There's always a positive message left behind, and even when there's conflict, it's age appropriate and resolved the same way.  If you haven't read Radiance (Book One), I'd recommend picking it up, but it's not necessary to read these books in order, each book can stand alone, Shimmer (Book Two) has enough background given to easily be enjoyed.  YA lovers everywhere, if you enjoy the Immortal series, pick up Riley Bloom's series, Radiance and Shimmer, you won't be sorry, it's an excellent read for every age.  Riley's adventures will continue in Dreamland (Book Three).

(Release Date:  September 13, 2011)

From the Cover:

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. 

As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. 

Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears. 

Book Trailer:

I receive this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie!
*rushes in*
In a hurry again, so much to do so little time.

Nice review, I truly must read a book by her some day

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