Friday, April 20, 2012

ARC Review: Whisper by Alyson Noel

Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: April 24th, 2012

This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for. After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator—Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world. To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave? 
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I really adore this series.  I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago because *surprise* I liked the cover of the first book, Radiance.  I didn't much care for Ever, the star of Alyson's companion series, The Immortals, but I sure do love her little sister Riley (the star of this series).  Riley is a spunky, stubborn, 12 year old dead girl whose job in the afterlife is to lead lost souls to the other side.  She doesn't really listen very well to authority, but she has matured a little in each book, and it's been great to be along for the ride.

Whisper is the fourth book in the series, and it is my favorite book yet. (You can read my reviews of Radiance and Shimmer HERE and my review of Dreamland HERE.)  In the first three books, her job as a Soul Catcher have been difficult.  The powers that be have assigned her some of the toughest, most stubborn souls out there, but Riley is really good at her job, and has been pretty successful.  This time around, her job is more than difficult, it's downright dangerous.  She has been assigned a Roman gladiator named Theocoles, who has not only refused to cross for every Soul Catcher sent his way, but has managed to suck them all into his world.  Countless Soul Catchers have been lost over the centuries, and now it's Riley's job to cross him- alone.  She has always had her mentor, Bodhi, and her trusty dog, Buttercup, by her side, but this time she has been assigned the job solo...  When Riley meets Messalina, a girl near her age who can give her everything she's ever thought she's wanted, she starts to get sucked in herself, which, previously, was something her ego could never imagine possible.

The story was pretty well paced, with only one or two places where I felt like it was repetitive.  That said, there was definitely a purpose in the repetition, I just felt like it could have been accomplished with less of it.  As I touched on briefly before, the characters and the character growth and development were great; the best I've seen yet, in any of Alyson's books.  The story itself was exciting and I felt satisfied at the end. 

This book (and series, as a whole) is great for both MG and YA readers.  Riley's got a great voice that most kids and teens will relate to in one way or another.  This series is also great for reluctant readers.  Each book is short enough and paced so that the reader will not lose interest, and although the covers are pretty, boys and girls alike will enjoy these books.

My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ½  

Grade Level Recommendation:  Riley experiences her first kiss in this book, but it is still perfectly fine for grades 3 and up (ages 8+).


  1. aww that cute cover is so irresistable, that dooooggg eeep<3 and the plot seems promising. Glad you enjoyed this book, I havent read any of Alyson N'sbooks but Ive got Fated on my shelf for review and this one will be added on my goodreads list. thanks for sharing and great review Karis!x <3


  2. Followed your post here from #MyWANA, and I have to say you have me intrigued. I think I'll add this series to my reading list and give it a chance. Thanks for posting the review!

  3. Hi! I just joined Southern Book Bloggers, and I'm trying to connect with the other people on the site. I'm following your blog now—I like your layout! Here's mine if you want to check it out:


  4. OOOOOOhhhhh....the cover is just lovely!!! It is really mesmerizing. I just picked up Shimmer the other day, so I'll need to find Radiance before I begin it. Love your blog!


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