Whisper, however, I decided to start at the beginning, with Radiance.
I assumed correctly. Radiance is definitely more my sort of thing. The series actually reminds me quite a lot of the Angels Unlimited series (Annie Dalton), although there’s enough that’s different about the Riley Bloom books for me not to feel like I was revisiting old territory. In this first book, Radiance, there’s quite a lot of setting up that needs to occur, which means that the first third or so is a little slow-moving. Once Riley starts actually moving towards becoming a Soul Catcher, however, the book really picks up.
Nöel’s regular use of sentence fragments, my biggest issue with Fated, is not nearly as obvious in Radiance. They’re still used more than you would usually find in a published novel, but here it is much more unobtrusive. I would occasionally notice them, but they generally didn’t pull me out of the book.
I enjoyed Riley as a protagonist. She really felt like a twelve-year-old to me. She’s a bit annoying at times, but that’s just who she is and the age she is, and with the series being a lot about her character’s personal growth, you need an imperfect starting point so that you can move forward. I wasn’t quite as sure about Bodhi in this book, largely because I was finding him about as annoying as Riley was, but I think that’s just a sign of Riley’s voice being so strong.
Overall, Radiance worked for me a lot more than my previous Alyson Nöel experience and made me look forward to reading my next Riley Bloom book.