SHIMMER by Alyson Noël


From the "Riley Bloom" series, volume 2
Age Range: 9 - 12
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More serious in tone than Radiance (2010), this supernatural adventure story finds perpetually 12-year-old Riley and her 14-year-old guide, Bodhi, first battling then helping Rebecca, an angry ghost child who initially seems to be evil personified. After the death of her mother, Rebecca, the daughter of an unloving plantation owner in the 1700s, was ignored by her father and reared by her family’s uncaring household slaves, leaving her bereft and psychologically damaged. The slaves on the plantation were cruelly and barbarically treated, and they eventually rebelled, killing Rebecca and her father. Rebecca is holding the ghosts of some of these slaves in what could be called memory hell, a place where they must constantly relive their most nightmarish remembrances. Riley, who is dead and existing in the “Here & Now,” is compelled to go where angels fear to tread when Rebecca captures Bodhi and Riley’s faithful dog Buttercup. In the rather tedious adventure that follows, Riley frees her friends, then, with their help, tries to bring forgiveness and peace to the slaves and Rebecca, so they can all cross the bridge to the happiness that awaits on the other side.  The backdrop of the story, a slave revolt in the West Indies, adds some historical weight, but the situation remains abstract and the characters only marginally interesting, leaving readers ultimately unengaged. (Ghost story. 9-12)
Pub Date: March 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-64825-1
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Square Fish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2011


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