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Radiant Shadows


Radiant - This type of novella is exactly the reason why I dislike them so much. In Radiant, other than learning who the mysterious Italian boy Angela's been dating during her summers, we learn seemingly nothing of importance.So, to save you from the $2 that Radiant will cost you on Amazon, I'm just going to tell you exactly what happens. While vacationing with Angela in Italy for the summer, Clara is plagued by the same vision several times.Something about the vision this time, about what I feel inside of it - it's bad. Like people dying, bad. But not like last time. Last time my vision was marked by grief; this time what I feel is fear. Sharp, heart-squeezing, abject terror.As for Angela, we learn that her mother was raped by a black wing, resulting in Angela's conception.My conception was not an act of love. To her, I was a curse.After being visited by a white wing, Angela's mother is told that she has not been cursed, but that she has been blessed with a "remarkable child, born of angels and men. A shining child...a miracle." We also learn that her first kiss was with Christian Prescott when they were thirteen years old, during a game of spin-the-bottle. When she didn't feel a spark, she promised herself that her next kiss would be better, that it would be with someone remarkable.And that's exactly what I did. I waited. I knew the moment I saw him that he was the one I was waiting for. The one whose kiss would make me see stars.Someone remarkable.It turns out this remarkable person isn't actually a human. Remember back in Unearthly, when Angela said she had met an angel name Penamue in Italy, who taught her about angels?At first he was hesitant to tell me about the angels, and the war between them, but he did let me in on the ways to tell the good from the bad. I thought that the wing-color thing was a bit cliche, really - white for good, black for bad; definitely not politically correct - but it wasn't about color, he said. It was about light. Black is the absence of light. White is the gathering of it.Meet Phen. Angela's angel-lover, who can promise her nothing but heartache and pain. That doesn't stop her from falling deeply, and irrevocably, in love with him.He lowered his lips to mine.I was undone.I was reborn.This was actually happening. I was kissing him, my fingers in his hair, and it was like setting a match to gasoline. I couldn't get close enough.An ambivalent angel, Phen refuses to choose a side. He's Switzerland. And Clara can't help but notice that he doesn't give her a good vibe.His soul is gray. Cold. Almost colourless I feel how weary he is with himself, how resigned that this existence is all that there will ever by for him, day after day after day, until the end of the world, and even then he doesn't know what will happen or if anything will truly change.She jumps to Angela's defence, and tells Phen if he cares for her at all, then he should just leave Angela alone.Angela deserves someone good. Phen may not be evil. But he's not good. She deserves someone who will be crazy about her for her, her zany intelligence and spurts of kindness, her little quirks. Not just for her "humanness". She deserves someone real.Angela is quick to jump to her relationships' defence, telling Clara that it was only ever "temporary" and that they're "just friends".And so I don't talk about what I saw in Phen that day on the top of St. Peter's. I tell myself that it's her life, and I stay out of it.It's a decision that I will always regret.Thus, Radiant concludes. Two stars for showing me a side of Angela I hadn't known, even if it was only a mere morsel.