Review: Shimmer by Alyson Noel

Shimmer (Riley Bloom #2) 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?

I read the first Riley Bloom book, Radiance, a few months ago and really enjoyed it. I was a bit skeptical to start with because I really did not get into Alyson Noel's The Immortals series, but I totally loved Radiance and Shimmer, I don't have a review posted for Radiance, but I'm just going to go straight to Shimmer!

What I loved about this book was the length. At 176 pages, it's just the right length for a middle grade read and I personally wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if it had been strung out. I also love how the storyline itself is very separate to that in Radiance, we have the same characters but the actual events and the bad guy is a different story to that in Radiance. It makes the story more fun - rather than this long, strung out, angsty series, it's just a set of books with a girl battling a different bad guy each time and growing in character. I liked this!  

I also loved the characters. Riley is as sarcastic and hard headed as always and Noel has written her very convincingly for her age, Bodhi is as likeable as ever, the voice of reason to Riley, I think their relationship is so sweet. We also get other characters like the eccentric Prince Kanta and the angry Rebecca, who added their own unique tone to the book.

My problem was that even though the book was sweet, it wasn't really all that engaging. The fact that it was short meant that I got through it but had it been any longer I would have lost interest. Noel's writing never really grabbed me and neither did the story, I can't say that I was ever bored but it just wasn't the most fantastic read ever. I would have liked a little more action, rather than 'I did this, then saw this, then did this...', in Radiance the action with Radiant Boy was quite thrilling but I didn't get any thrill at all at the end of Shimmer.

Overall, Shimmer was a quick and cute read which didn't didn't really grab me but I liked nonetheless. I'd definitely recommend it to middle grade readers, but probably not to 
YA/older readers.

Overall rating: B

Stand alone/series: Second in a series (preceded by Radiance)
UK Release: May 5th 2011
Publisher: PanMacmillan
Book obtained via: Received from the publisher for review

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