Wonder Light by R.R Russell

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Title: Wonder Light
Author: R.R Russell
Series: Unicorns of the Mist
Edition: e-Book 248 pages
Publication Details: May 7th 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre(s): Fantasy; Children’s
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Amazon

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…

Review


I read the second book in this series last year (over-zealous Netgalley request fail) and really wanted to love it but I didn’t know what the hell was going on. After seeing my review, the author got in touch and asked if I wanted the first book to see how the story began – and it might have taken me a lonnnnnnng time to get round to it, but I’m so glad I did.

Wonder Light is the story of Twig who is on her way to a secluded, potentially haunted island to live on a pony ranch for troubled children following an unknown incident.

Twig doesn’t expect to have a good time, fall in love with the ponies, or even make friends, but she does, and slowly she not only comes out of her shell, but also realises that she’s not a terrible person, in fact, she’s pretty cool.

A lot of this is down to Ben, a boy who seems to appear and disappear into the mist. And that’s not the only strange thing going on; there’s a herd of wild, vicious horses out there…but are they just horses?

I did have some issues with this book in the beginning, and I was worried that I would never get into it, but thankfully I did. Initially I found the world-building lacking and felt like some things should have been explained and described in more depth, especially considering the target audience, but this got much better as the book went on.

I wish that we got to understand Twig a lot sooner – I felt like I didn’t really know her or her story until mid-way which was frustrating. I really loved her by the end though!

From the cover, I was expecting this book to be kind of cutesy, but it’s really not. Wonder Light has moments of intensity, and even some scary ones. It’s full of action and felt like a real adventure. Sometimes however, it did feel like there was a lot going on. Good unicorns, bad unicorns, portals to another mysterious island, unicorn hunters, herders… I could go on!

I loved that it had a bit of everything and I was really surprised by how dark it was in places. I actually think boisterous boys would love this, and would look up to Ben and Merrill, and girls will want Twig as a BFF and be entranced by the ponies, unicorns and magic. Something for everyone!

unicorn rating 3

End of Summer SALE now on in my Etsy Vintage Book Store! 30 % Off Everything!

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Hi guys, I’ve decided to celebrate the Bank Holiday by having a sale in my Etsy Store.

I’ve been busy adding new stock (and continue to do so over the weekend) and working on a range of handmade gifts to sell at a later date too. I’m currently in ‘perfecting’ mode as I don’t want to sell anything that isn’t the highest quality!

You can get 30% Off anything in store until the end of Tuesday 1st September. Simply use the code L1P5YY30 at checkout.

 

 

Here’s what’s been going on since my last post, two weeks ago…

Added to the shelves

Click on the book titles to view in store.

Ghosts and Two Other Plays (1949) – Henrik Ibsen
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Scottish Scenes Drinking Set (1950/60s)
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OK so it’s not a book, but look how awesome these little whisky/shot glasses are. So kitsch!

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What Katy Did at School ~ Susan Coolidge (1920s)
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I’m so glad this has gone to a good home!

About the Shop

I opened the shop because I love nothing more than scouring second-hand bookshops, markets and car-boot sales for vintage books. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way you can imagine the history of them.

I can’t however keep buying books indefinitely. I have limited space, and limited funds, and therefore I opened this shop in order to generate a bit of a return in order to carry on doing what I love – buying books! And the way I look at it, if they don’t sell I get to keep them – DOUBLE WIN!

30% Off anything in store until the end of Tuesday 1st September. Simply use the code L1P5YY30 at checkout.

This Week in Books 26.08.2015

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: Beneath the Lake ~ Christopher Ransom // The Turning Test ~ Chris Beckett

I’m liking Beneath the Lake so far – and intrigued to see where it goes. I’m still going on The Turing Test too, which is my lunch time read.

Then: Memoirs of a Dipper ~ Nell Leyshon

I’ve kind of fallen behind on reviews again but will hopefully get back on track and post about this soon. The talk she did at my work was amazing; really inspiring.

Next: ???

It’s back to the review request pile, so the next one will be This Crumbling Pageant by Patricia Burroughs.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Christmas We Met ~ Kate Lord Brown

Seriously guys, I’m already so excited about the prospect of some festive reading! The Summer can bore off now.

christmaswemetA gorgeous winter tale about the secrets revealed by a collection of family jewels.

A talented young jewellery designer fights to rebuild her life and family by solving the mystery surrounding a diamond brooch given to her by her grandmother.

When Grace Manners takes up residence on the Wittering Manor estate in Sussex, she little realizes working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life.

Since her husband disappeared, along with most of their money, Grace has struggled to make ends meet and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It’s only when Grace begins to uncover the story behind a beautiful diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left…

Expected Publication: October 22nd 2015 by Orion

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

This Week in Books 19.08.15 #TWIB

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: Memoirs of a Dipper ~ Nell Leyshon // The Turning Test ~ Chris Beckett

Nell Leyshon is doing a talk and Q&A session in the prison library I work in tomorrow so I thought I better check out her book. I’m really enjoying it and hopefully tomorrow will go well!

The Turing Test is my lunch time read – it’s pretty insane. In a good way.

Then: My Soul Immortal ~Jen Printy

This was such an addictive, quick read. Loved it! My review will be up next week.

Next: ???

It’s back to the review request pile, so the next one will be This Crumbling Pageant by Patricia Burroughs.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Vengeance Road ~ Erin Bowman

The cover drew me to this one!

vengeanceroadWhen Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

Expected Publication: September 1st 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: You gonna write it, I’m gonna buy it! #TTT

icon4-tttTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it’s about…you’ll buy it from these authors!).

I actually don’t have that many auto-buy authors because I get books from so many different places – friends, Netgalley, etc. Even some of my favourite authors like Patrick Ness I don’t actually own many books by…terrible really!

Here are the few that I do count as Auto-buy authors…

Scarlett Thomas: I still haven’t got round to buying her latest novel, The Seed Collectors, though!

Marcus Sedgwick: I don’t own ALL of Sedgwick’s books, but I’m getting there!

Colin Bateman: I love both of his series, Mystery Man and the Dan Starkey novels. The only ones of his I haven’t tried yet are his kids books.

James Frey: I haven’t read any of the Pittacus Lore books, but I will buy any of Frey’s other books!

Marissa Meyer: OK so she’s only written the one series so far, but I love everything about her books and will now buy everything she writes.

Darren Shan: With the exception of his books aimed at the younger audience such as the Zom-B series, I’ll pretty much buy all of Shan’s books.

Lipsyy Lost & Found Vintage Book Shop Update

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It’s been a really lonnnnnnnng time since I last did a shop update! And to be honest, that’s because not a lot has been going on. I haven’t sold any books in the last few months, but now I’ve added more stock I hope it picks up.

Click on the book titles to view in store.

Added to the shelves (on sale now!)

Christine (1984) & Night Shift (1987) – Stephen King
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I love these retro paperbacks. If I had the space I’d keep them and try to collect them all, but I don’t! Night Shift is King’s first short story collection which includes The Children of the Corn and the story which was adapted into the movie Cat’s Eye. Both of these books have creased spines but I think it adds to the retro feel. They would look awesome on any bookshelf!

The Running Man (1989) – Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
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The original dystopia? If you haven’t read this book or seen the movie adaptation you might not realise how much it has in common with The Hunger Games – and if you’re a fan then you MUST read it. So, so good. This movie tie-in paperback is in great condition and I love how 80s it looks.

The Shorter Poems of William Wordsworth (1927)
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This is my Book of the Month! It is so stunning. I am completely in love with the old Everyman’s Library collection with their beautiful endpapers. Every book in the earlycollection has these, and along with the gold gilt text…just LOVE. I’ll be really surprised if this doesn’t get snapped up quickly (but I’m secretly hoping that it doesn’t so I can keep it)!

The Anatomy of Melancholy, Volume 1 (first edition) by Richard Burton (1932)
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Another of the Everyman’s Library collection and just as stunning. I wasn’t sure how much to sell this for, seeing as it’s a first edition, but I don’t want to be greedy – I just want them to go to a good home and get a bit of pocket money in return – LOL. So this could be the deal of a century…who knows? 😉

About the Shop

I opened the shop because I love nothing more than scouring second-hand bookshops, markets and car-boot sales for vintage books. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way you can imagine the history of them.

I can’t however keep buying books indefinitely. I have limited space, and limited funds, and therefore I opened this shop in order to generate a bit of a return in order to carry on doing what I love – buying books! And the way I look at it, if they don’t sell I get to keep them – DOUBLE WIN!

Exciting News

I have decided to widen the range of things I sell on Etsy as well. At Christmas, when I was out of work, instead of buying presents I made each member of my family Christmas hampers, and they went down a storm. I am now back in work (and I love my job soooooo much), but having taken a large pay cut I find myself struggling for money, so I thought why not try to make some extra spends by selling handmade gifts!?

It might all go terribly wrong, but I’m currently working on a range of handmade candles using all recycled materials, and other handmade gifts to sell. I’m hoping to add these to my shop in the coming months, and especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

So if you want to help a girl out, keep checking back. xxx

This Week in Books 12.08.15

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: My Soul Immortal ~Jen Printy

Really enjoying this so far, it’s pretty addictive!

Then: Wonder Light ~ R.R Russell

I’m so glad I stuck this one out. I didn’t love it at the beginning but I did by the end! My review will up next week.

Next: ???

It’s back to the review request pile, so the next one will be Prophecy of Stones by Mishka Jenkins.

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I am completely broke at the moment so I’m back on a book buying ban!

Netgalley: I was approved for The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore which was my WoW pick last week. That’s twice in row that’s happened. Whoop! More info here.

I’m Waiting On…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Our Lady of the Ice ~ Cassandra Rose Clarke

I haven’t read anything by this author (The Assassin’s Curse; The Pirates Wish) yet, but I’ve fallen in love with the cover and premise of this one!

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Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:

Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.

Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.

Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.

Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.

But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, factions will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over… Expected Publication: October 27th 2015 by Saga Press

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most

icon4-tttTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: The Top Ten Authors You’ve read the Most Books From.

If you’re experiencing dejá vu right now you can be forgiven. We did a similar list (Authors we OWN the most books by) last year, and because I’m lazy and would like to save some time I’m going to re-use that post – the answers are pretty much the same.

The only additions I would make is that I’ve read at least 3 more Bateman books listed, and maybe 4 more Stephen King ones but didn’t keep them. I would also add Alice Hoffman and Susan Hill to the list – I’ve read at least 5 each of theirs.

Here was my original post

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Ooooh I liked this one! There’s something really satisfying about having multiple books by the same author. I particularly enjoy my Derek Landy shelf because I have them all in hardback and they’re beautiful!

Firstly, here is my main bookshelf in all its glory. It’s actually quite tidy at the moment.

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1. Darren Shan (16)

  • The Saga of Darren Shan (12)
  • The City Trilogy (as D.B Shan (3))
  • Lady of the Shades

2. Derek Landy (10)

  • Skulduggery Pleasant (9)
  • The Maleficent Seven

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3. William Shakespeare (9)

  • Hamlet
  • Othello (2)
  • King Lear
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Tempest
  • The Complete works of… (2)
  • Tales from Shakespeare

4. C.S Lewis (8)

  • The Chronicles of Narnia (7)
  • That Hideous Strength

5. Scarlett Thomas (7)

  • Dead Clever
  • Bright Young Things
  • Going Out
  • PopCo
  • The End of Mr Y
  • Our Tragic Universe
  • Monkeys with Typewriters

6. Rachel Caine (7)

  • The Morganville Vampires (7)

 

7. R .L Stine (6)

  • Assorted Point Horror (6)

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= Philip Pullman (6)

  • His Dark Materials (3)
  • Sally Lockhart (2)
  • Clockwork 

=Stephenie Meyer (6)

  • Twilight (5)
  • The Host

8. Stephen King (5)

  • The Shining/Doctor Sleep (2)
  • Needful Things
  • Cujo
  • Under the Dome

9. James Frey (4)

  • A Million Little Pieces/ My Friend Leonard (2)
  • Bright Shiny Morning
  • The Final Testament of the Holy Bible

10. Bateman (4)

  • Mystery Man (4)

I could keep going with the 4’s for a while  but I won’t. I also felt like I should have included Alice Hoffman and Susan Hill because I’ve read so many books by them, but for one reason or another I haven’t kept them all.

I’m especially interested to see if everyone else’s owned and read books are as similar as mine. Do you keep most of the books you read? Feel free to leave a link to yours 🙂

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

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Title: The Curse of Crow Hollow
Author: Billy Coffey
Series: N/A
Edition: Digital ARC, 414 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2015 by Thomas Nelson
Genre(s): Horror
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse.

Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.

Review

I finished this book last week and I’m still not quite sure what I think about it. What I am sure about though, is that Billy Coffey is a talented writer.

Crow Hollow is a small southern town with a secretive, tumultuous past. When a group of teenagers celebrate a birthday in the mountain’s mines, they disturb the equilibrium between the town and the resident weirdo, old Alvaretta Graves.

The younger generation in Crow Hollow grew up swapping fanciful stories about Alvaretta ‘the witch’, but most of them think it’s just small-town superstition… little do they know that their parents know a lot more about the mysterious Alvaretta than they could ever imagine.

I can’t even go into what I liked and disliked about this book without first saying just how much Coffey’s style reminded me of Stephen King. It was uncanny, and actually really distracting because that’s all I could think about the whole way through!

The Curse of Crow Hollow is narrated by a local who is introducing an out-of-towner to Crow Hollow and the events that recently occurred – it was very Needful Things, but worked well.

I loved how a very simple plot of ‘teens partying goes wrong’ becomes something much more complex. There’s superstition, politics, secrets and confessions, and Coffey brings it all together with some great scary moments and well executed spooky atmosphere throughout.

I also really liked the mystery surrounding the parents and what they ‘did’ to Alvaretta in the past. It was interesting to see their reactions when you find out that their children are basically being punished (in some pretty horrible ways) for something they did – it reminded me of A Nightmare on Elm Street a little bit.

The other King-esque trait was the abundance of characters, but unfortunately this is what let it down for me. I didn’t feel the vast amount of characters were developed enough, and I never really cared about any of them individually, which considering what happens to them, is pretty bad, and my interest really waned because of that.

Despite not loving the characterisation (or the whole Christianity thang going on), I really enjoyed Coffey’s style. It made for a really intriguing, atmospheric read, and I’d certainly like to see more from him.

unicorn rating 3

This Month in Books: July 2015

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July was a bit of a bitch to be honest. I got into a severe blogging and reading slump and came pretty close to throwing in the towel. I love blogging, but I started this when I had a boring office job, and I was able to manage most of my blog admin at work. But now I work in an environment that is really full on and has no internet access anyway, I’m really struggling to keep up.

I feel bad for not reading my favourite blogs, replying to emails and comments, as much as I used to, but it’s just not possible.

However, I had a good think about it and I’m not ready to give up, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and I’m trying to go easy on myself. If I only post twice a week, so what. If it takes me a year to write that review I promised, so what! I officially declare this as a pressure-free zone!

In July, I caught up on a lot of reviews, but got very little reading done…I blame the summer. I’m really looking forward to Autumn and long nights indoors hibernating away. Summer is too busy for my liking. LOL.

Anyway, on to the stats!

July 2015 Stats

Total Posts: 16 (+2 from last month)

Books Read: 4 (- 3)
The Ring of Morgana ~ Donna Hosie
Horns ~ Joe Hill
Kiss Kiss ~ Roald Dahl
Dinner with a Vampire ~ Abigail Gibbs

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Horror (1/4); Romance (1/4); Short Stories (1/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (0/4); Digital (1/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (3/4); Owned (2/4); Borrowed (2/4)

Most Surprising: The Ring of Morgana
Most Disappointing: Kiss Kiss
Most Exciting: Horns
Most Swoon-worthy: Dinner with a Vampire
Most Beautifully Written: Horns

Reviews: 7 (+2)

  • There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff, 2/5 (View)
  • A Few That Got Away: The Testimony of a Hanged Man/ Kiss Kiss/ Badjelly the Witch – Various (View)
  • The Ring of Morgana by Donna Hoise, 4/5 (View)
  • Horns by Joe Hill, 4/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 22.07.15 (View Post)
  2. TTT: Top Ten Hyped Books (View Post)
  3. TTT: Celebrating Diversity (View Post)

Guest Posts, Promos and Other Highlights

  • Book Promo: The Water Travelers by Daniel Waltz (View Post)
  • An Over-Due Apology (& What’s Coming Up)! (View Post)
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Nerds (View Post)

Awards

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August Releases

Here’s my pick of the August releases:

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What are you looking forward to this month?