So what are we waiting for? On with the preview– my review, that is:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.” That old saying explains why I enjoyed the second book in the Wonder Light series even more than the first. It helped that about half was in Ben’s point of view. This is not a standalone. Most of the characters are already established. The newest is a unicorn thief who set up the book’s theme, unicorn robberies. The first target is the Queen. Soon, the thief also takes Ben’s unicorn. Twig and Wonder Light go with Ben to track Indy. The unicorn thief and Ben both have secrets, and you might guess that Twig’s going to discover Ben’s when they end up on Terracornus, in danger.
Oh, there’s going to be war if the Lonehorn Island team can’t find a way to prevent it. In fact, they might end up starting it. No spoilers there because it’s in the blurb. How it all happens makes for a very twisty and interesting read. I suspected who the thief might be. I was right, but it’s not obvious. Russell does an excellent job mixing internal conflicts, doubts about personal abilities and family relationships in particular, with external events such as tracking through hostile territory to keep a fast pace. However, there were still a couple of places I had a hard time believing adult reactions, especially when the Murleys let Twig go camping with Ben without a chaperone. Uh, no. And because of my mothering mindset, I had a hard time believing the Queen’s reactions even with the motivations explained.
There was plenty of mystery mixed in the action. The pages flew by, and I was happy to see the other girls and the Murleys participate more in unicorn care and represent the island’s interests. By the end, at least one relationship was restored, and I was happy with the messages of forgiveness and a person’s ability to change for the better. Finally, I liked the complete plot arc with a teaser for book three. References to prayer and the bible were a plus for me but might bother non-Christians. Four and a half stars for tweens and adults on the Goodreads scale. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
But wait, that’s not all. Let’s not forget my favorite twelve-year-old’s reviews:
Wonder Light almost made me believe in Unicorns. The world seemed real, easy to believe in, because the details mixed everyday life with the fantasy elements. I can’t pick any one thing I liked the most. I liked the wild boy, Ben, some claimed was a ghost. I liked the unicorns being real, as in non-magical, creatures. I liked Twig, especially how her character evolved through the book. I also liked the other troubled girls, and that the adults were positive role models.
The beginning was hard to get into. I didn’t know Keely was Twig’s mom. In fact, I thought she must be another troubled girl. I think most of the confusion came from the author withholding information. Once I understood who was who, it was a great book. Twig went from being stubborn and withdrawn to being agreeable and her attitude softened, showing people can change for the better. I give Wonder Light 4.5 stars. I think I would have enjoyed the book even when I was nine. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sher again. How’s that for awesome? I’m overjoyed to find another book lover who’s willing to take the time to spread the good book news! We both hope R. R. Russell is busy writing book three. If you haven’t read either, here’s your chance. Click the pictures below to purchase.
Purchase on Amazon:
R.R. Russell lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up traveling the world as an army brat and now travels the country as a coach with a nonprofit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns.
To find out more about her writing and publishing process, her other books, and other overly caffeinated craziness, visit RRRussellauthor.com.
She writes as R.R. Russell for kids and R.H. Russell for teens and adults. Also see the social media links below.