Wonder Light is a fantastic series starter. The world and character building are very well done, with little bits of Twig slowly being revealed to the reader. I found her personality and trials to be touching and something most middle grade and even older readers can relate to. I particularly liked that even with the fantastic elements, the real life troubles of Twig are not simply swept under the carpet- instead the two come together in order to help her come to terms with her life and the world in general. Ben is a complicated character, with many mysteries that still need to be revealed but still makes the reader feel for him and root for him. The other characters were less developed, but they did not feel neglected, rather I felt like I knew what I needed to in order to keep the story and personal connections intact but without a massive information dump that might overwhelm the heart of the story.
I highly recommend Wonder Light to readers that enjoy coming of age stories, mystery, adventure, and fantasy. There is a good balance of emotional and physical struggles to keep most readers turning pages and eager to see what happens next. I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes from here.
Writing as R.R. Russell for kids and R.H. Russell for teens and adults. 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 rrrussellauthor.com.