Twelve-year-old Riley Bloom - ace Soul Catcher - faces her toughest challenge yet. She must travel to ancient Rome and convince dead gladiator Theocoles to accept his fate and move on. Then she meets the charming Messalina, who gives Riley a dramatic makeover, transforming her into a beautiful teenager. Finally Riley experiences her first kiss . . . In a world this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?
A big thanks to MacMillan for sending me a review copy of this book!
Ever since her death, twelve-year-old Riley Bloom has been a Soul Catcher and her next assignment will become her most challenging one of all. But how can an average twelve-year-old girl possibly face down the furious and strong Theocoles, a Roman gladiator who is also known as the Pillar of Doom? Well, many Soul Catchers before her time have tried to make Theocoles move on from his spiritual afterlife, but no one has ever actually succeeded and it's now up to Riley to seek help where necessary in order to bring this gladiator down once and for all. With more challenges, more dangers and even new love on the horizon, Riley will soon be caught up in a world where everything is possible, even when you're dead.
WHISPER, the fourth installment of Alyson Noel's Riley Bloom series, might not be my typical read since it's a middle-grade novel, but it's a very sweet novel regardless of that factor. The thing I love most about this little delightful series is Riley herself and as a character it's great to see her finally growing up and becoming the Soul Catcher she has always was meant to be. The same goes with the side characters too, including Bodhi, Riley's guardian and guide to the spiritual world, whom has also grown within this series but I kind of wished Bodhi played more of part in this book but I'll guess we'll see in the future.
Without revealing too much of the book since it's a quick read for me, I will say I was a bit wary of how Noel would tackle the whole gladiator aspect of the story. For once, I haven't read a single book about gladiators and secondly I didn't see how well everything would play out in this particular novel . . . but since I love Rome and since everything in this novel was solved in the end, like seen in the previous books, I'm still happy to have quickly read through this new chapter of the series and it was all so very cleverly written. So I applaud the author for writing such a great read even in the shortest amount of pages. It was very well done.
Overall, WHISPER was yet another great installment in the Riley Bloom series and while most of my readers may not like reading middle-grade novels, but I think if you're a fan of Alyson Noel's Immortals series then you'll like this series as well since our heroine Riley is Ever's younger sister and she's remains to be a fun character with a lot of feelings. So definitely give this one a shot if and when you can!