{Review} WONDER LIGHT by R. R. Russell


Check out yesterday's guest post with author R. R. Russell
on the unicorns in WONDER LIGHT!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
KEELY TURNED OFF THE ignition and pointed at the haunted island. "Well, Twig," she said, "there it is."

Mist swirled around the island in circles of warning. Spirals of rain and wind and secrets seemed to say, If you come, twig, we will break you on our rocks like the waves. No one had lived on Lonehorn Island in recent memory, until the Murleys--and now a bunch of unwanted girls.  Soon Twig would join them.
(pg. 6, US e-book edition)

Most children love unicorns.  I know I did (I blame My Little Pony). I loved reading horse-themed books growing up, and would have loved a book for older kids centered around unicorns. There's certainly an audience for WONDER LIGHT: Unicorns of the Mist.  There are unicorns, but not quite like any you've encountered before.  There's also mystery and intrigue, since the island may or may not be haunted. Certainly something for everyone!

Twig arrives on Lonehorn Island feeling alone and miserable.  She's to live out the next year with the Murley family and other troubled girls after an incident that occurred back home.  At first, she's scared of the horse she's assigned and not thrilled with the prospect of doing chores such as mucking out his stall. She's also scared by the surrounding woods.  On the way onto the island, she saw a ghost boy lurking in the mist.  One night, she can't sleep, and she sees him again.  And he's dropped off a horse about to go into labor.  Twig later finds out the truth about the boy, the unicorn masquerading as a horse, and so much more. Her life will never be the same again, especially when she finds out that the fate of the island and its mysterious unicorns may be in her hands.

Russell builds a great environment as a safe haven for troubled girls. The island and its inhabitants are just what Twig needs to come out of her shell and start blossoming in a way she couldn't in the past.  Twig's home life was far from perfect, and it's easy to sympathize with her.  The unicorn lore found in WONDER LIGHT is intriguing and unique.  They aren't the magical beings everyone thinks them to be, and they're also more wild and vicious than they appear. This is definitely a fantasy novel for older children who want more than the traditional unicorns they grew up with, but still covet the whimsy of fantasy they bring to a story.   Readers will want to be in Twig's shoes, experiencing much of her adventure first-hand.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I really like the artsy look of this cover.  It looks like it was created with colored pencils; you can see the sketching at times. This feel is perfect because Twig is an artist.  She even sketches Wild Light at one point. 

I really like the way the cover was able to share an element from the book while still creating intrigue by showing off a mysterious hooded girl (in a pop of red!) and an observant unicorn. 

This one will catch many eyes!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  WONDER LIGHT: Unicorns of the Mist
Author: R. R. Russell
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Received: For Review

Deep in the heart of a mist-shrouded island, an impossible secret is about to be discovered.

Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for "troubled" girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.

Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.

A baby unicorn.

Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island's mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig's to care for. That she needs Twig's love and protection. Because there's something out there in the deep, dense shadows that's hunting for them...


  1. Really like the cover, I thought from looking at it the story might be a little young for my tastes, then I read your review and now I'm not so sure. Sounds intriguing.

    1. I would say it's pretty solidly 9~12. If I recall correctly, Twig is 12 herself. There are issues at home, so things aren't rosy and perfect for Twig. The unicorns aren't made of sugar and laughter, so there's mystery and intrigue there. It certainly could have gone deeper and had a little more meat, but I expect future books will since first books are always a set-up.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!