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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wonder Light (Paperback) Blog Tour {Review & Interview}

I'm so excited to have the Wonder Light Blog Tour (to celebrate its paperback release) stopping by today with my Review and an Interview with author R.R. Russell...

Wonder Light
(Unicorns of the Mist #1)
by R.R. Russell
paperback release: April 1, 2014
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

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...

I received a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Unicorns + spooky, misty island + wild boy + home for “troubled” girls= an instant read for this girl! I went into R.R. Russell’s Wonder Light already loving the premise and am so happy to report that the book lived up to and surpassed my expectations!

Twelve year old Twig is sent to live on a pony ranch for “troubled” girls, after a dangerous incident at home involving her new step-family. The misty, mysterious island spooks Twig at first, but then she discovers something magical, miraculous, and marvelous: a pure white, baby unicorn! Ben, a wild boy from the woods, tells Twig that she must keep the baby unicorn safe from the otherworldly dangers that lurk in the woods. Twig must overcome her own fears and past to protect her new home, friends, and Wonder Light (the unicorn).

Wonder Light is one of those magical, enchanting books that had me tingling with anticipation before I even read a word, and left me completely charmed and dazzled! With a spectacularly spooky setting, wonderful storytelling, and irresistible characters, this is one fantastically fun fantasy.

With a pitch-perfect middle-grade voice, mesmerizing atmosphere, and palpable emotion, Russell weaves a captivating and unique fantasy tale. The mist shrouded island, which is equal parts eerie; inviting; and intriguing, provides the perfect backdrop to such a fantastical story. Unicorns, magic, other worlds- the lovely fantasy elements are both familiar and refreshingly spun, dark and whimsical, beautiful and frightening. Part fantasy adventure and part coming of age story, Wonder Light is a grand mix of thrills, mystery, humor, heart, and wonder. I loved getting swept away into and falling in love with this world with Twig!

Twig is such an awesome, relatable heroine! I just love her wit, compassion, spunk, and spirit. Twig’s new home is filled with wonderful characters, from the loving Murleys to the other lovable girls and the sweet ponies. And Ben, the mysterious “wild” boy of the woods, is such a fun, endearing character to get to know. But Wonder Light, the breathtaking unicorn, really shines and stole my heart! The relationship and bond between Twig and Wonder is just so gorgeous and special and heartwarming.

The last couple of chapters had me turning pages especially fast, desperate to know what happens. The ending of book one totally thrilled and satisfied me, but definitely has me excited for book two!

My Final Thoughts: There’s so much about Wonder Light that I love: the sparkling storytelling, beautiful fantasy elements, lovable characters, and so much more! R.R. Russell has crafted a truly special and unforgettable middle-grade tale, that will have readers of all ages believing in wonders and miracles!


What three words best describe Wonder Light?

Mystery, Mist, wonder.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Wonder Light a try?

I’ll do it in half a sentence! A scrawny, unwanted girl named Twig, a mist-shrouded island, a mysterious boy—and unicorns!

What inspired Wonder Light? How did the story come to be?
My family likes to camp at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island, and from there we can see some of the many small islands off the coast of Washington. Those islands, often encircled by mist, inspire so many questions. Does anyone live there? Who owns them? What sorts of things could be hidden on a small, private island, draped with mist?
Mysterious creatures? Maybe even unicorns?
Who better to discover such secrets than a girl who wants nothing to do with anything fantastical? A girl who wants only to stay safe in her shell with her own secrets for company.

Of all the characters in Wonder Light, do you have an absolute favorite? What do you love about him/her?
Twig is my favorite. She’s is the last person who’d dream of discovering wild unicorns. She doesn’t believe in magic or miracles. She’s never even dreamed of having a pony like other girls. She just wants to be left alone, and she’s given up on dreaming. She’s almost given up on herself. But Twig discovers that these mysterious creatures, who at first seemed to be ghosts—always slipping into the shadows, hiding in the mist—really want to be known. To be understood.
Twig does some very brave things in spite of feeling helpless and afraid. Faced with the howling, hunting danger on Lonehorn Island, she steps up and defends the ranch and all that is good on Lonehorn Island.

In Wonder Light, your character Twig discovers a baby unicorn...what magical/mythical creature would you love to find?

A unicorn, of course!

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Wonder Light, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

My wonderful friend, Karyn, already did it! She made the perfect cupcakes for Wonder Light’s hardcover release last year. They were all different flavors—black forest, coconut, double chocolate, lemon, caramel . . . with all the variety of the girls and the unicorns of Lonehorn Island. They were decorated in shimmery white and silver like the unicorns, and in ferns and violets like the misty woods of the island.

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 non-profit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns. Visit her at


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for having me, and for taking the time to read and review!

Unknown said...

I can't wait to get this for my niece... Though I'm going to read it first before handing it over! :-)

Unknown said...

I love your reviews!!!