Author: Alyson Noël
Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)!
Whisper is Dreamland’s sequel. The Council has finally found a challenging Soul Catch for Riley: She is going to Rome, Italy, where she has to find a gladiator named Theocoles (Pillar of Doom) and convince him to move on. Even though she knows she asked for it, Riley is having doubts about the mission. What makes Theocoles a real challenge is that all the other previous Soul Catchers who tried to get him across the bridge got sucked into his world and now they are stuck. Riley expresses her concerns to Bodhi and he reassures her, saying the Council assigns only what they know the individual can handle. This reassurance does nothing to relieve Riley’s doubts.
Riley meets Messalina, a beautiful teenage girl who’s been around for centuries. Messalina tells Riley that Theocoles only sees only what he chooses to see; he’s so sucked into his world that he’s unaware of anything outside of it. Messalina says the only way to get to Theocoles is to become a part of the gladiator world. Riley goes through a dramatic makeover and ends up fifteen. Messalina tells her she’ll need a new name to go with her new image. She gives Riley two choices: Aurelia or Lauricia. Riley chooses Aurelia because it sounds like Aurora, head of the Council.
While under the disguise of Aurelia—which is how Riley will look when she’s fifteen for real—she notices a boy who has his eye on her: Dacian. Despite some difficulty, Riley manages to get through to Theocoles. But Messalina says Theocoles will move on because of her; they were secret lovers when they were alive.
Meanwhile, Bodhi—who wasn’t allowed to go in with Riley—he was waiting for her with Buttercup at a restaurant—goes to the gladiator world to try and remind Riley of who she really is; he knows she’s been enchanted. Bodhi reminds Riley that she’s dead and needs to convince Theocoles to move on; with his help, she finds her way out of Messalina’s world.
Riley and Bodhi go to the Colosseum, and Riley—as Aurelia—has already learned that Theocoles and Messalina repeat only two days: A party before the gladiator fight and the day of the fight itself, which is the day Theocoles died. Riley realises the party is keeping her from reaching her goal: Messalina created this (along with giving Riley a teenage dream) in order to distract her. Messalina apologises for distracting Riley from her job, but says she’s not ready to move on—even though she aids Riley in convincing Theocoles to.
After getting Theocoles across the bridge, Riley, Bodhi, Buttercup, and Messalina go to Venice. The group goes to a palace on St. Marks Square, where “Happy Birthday” is being sung. When the group enters the palace, they see Riley’s parents, grandparents, all the members of the Council (Aurora, Claude, Royce, Sampson, and Celia), Bodhi’s girlfriend Jasmine, Mort, Prince Kanta, Rebecca, Shuckey, and the Radiant Boys. Basically, that’s her family, the Council, and everyone she’s worked with.
Bodhi brings out a cake and Riley notices something unusual about the candles—they keep changing; they range from twelve to fifteen. Aurora explains that the choice is Riley’s; she’s come a long way since her first Soul Catch. Riley chooses to be thirteen and a half. At her party, Riley sees Dacian, and she asks Messalina if he was a fake meant to distract her. Messalina says no and that he liked Riley from the moment he saw her. Dacian is a Soul Catcher.
This book was great. I especially like how whenever Riley was getting closer to convincing Theocoles to move on, Messalina cleared her memory. Because Messalina clears Riley’s memory a few times, some of the dialogue is repeated, and it felt like a scène being rehearsed for a play. Another part I liked a lot was when Bodhi saw Aurelia for the first time; he thought she was hot. The very first time Bodhi saw Aurelia, he didn’t know it was Riley. I really liked that part because Bodhi and Riley rarely get along, and this means they’ll get along when she gets older.
Whisper was my favourite book in the Riley Bloom Series, and it was the last. Five stars out of five!!