Sunday, August 7, 2011


by Alyson Noel
Riley Bloom series, book two

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? (description from

Riley's story once again just struck a total chord with me and I found myself tearing up in two really excellent scenes. Though I did really enjoy the books in the Immortals series, I don't think I ever really connected like I do with Riley's books. There is just something so emotionally pulling for me in her afterlife quest to grow more mature, both physically and emotionally.

I LOVED the connection in this book to the real life story of the slave revolts in St. John in 1733. To see the actions from both sides and how the emotional fallout stuck with everyone...that was powerful. When Riley is able to bring the souls to a state of forgiveness...WOW. I cried. I'll admit it. Alyson Noel did a great job not only dreaming up a really cool way to have souls relive horrors of their lives, but also a way to find redemption.

Noel's imagination never fails me. I love how there are layers of complexity in the Here&Now. Every scene adds something to the world. Such a good series! I can't wait for book number three, Dreamland (out in fall 2011).

Full disclosure: Received from publisher for review

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