Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Unicorn Thief by RR. Russell

Title: Unicorn Thief
Author: R.R. Russell
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 270
Age Range: 9-12
Goodreads Rating: 3.94/5 Stars
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:  Danger lurks in the mist.

Twig and Ben are unicorn riders--guardians whose job it is to keep the last free unicorn herd safe. But a new danger is threatening the beautiful, mysterious creatures of Lonehorn Island. A thief from Terracornus has snuck onto the misty island and stolen Ben's loyal unicorn, Indy. There's only one path for Ben and Twig--straight into the secret, shadowy heart of the island and through the passage to Terracornus.

But their rescue mission is unexpectedly complicated by a secret Ben has been hiding. A secret about the Queen of Terracornus who has enslaved all the unicorns of Ben's homeland. A secret that could save them all--or start a war.

The Unicorn Thief is a really fun and adventurous follow-up to Wonderlight!  My 10-year-old daughter and I have both really enjoyed this series, and we can't wait to read more!

What I loved:
  • Unicorn Riders.  I love the concept of these books.  Ben is a unicorn rider, and Twig discovers that she's one as well.  The unicorns in this series are not really magical creatures - they're simply incredibly intelligent creatures that have a bond with their riders.  In this book, Twig struggles with what it means to be a unicorn rider, and how she can live up to her responsibilities as a rider while still living with the rules that are set for her by her "family" on Lonehorn Island (where she was sent in the first book when her family thought that she had tried to hurt her step-sister - that was all resolved in book #1, but Twig has stayed on the island for the time being).
  • Ben's secret.  Ben has a secret that he works hard to keep from Twig.  There is something about his past that he doesn't want to face.  Now, as an adult, I figured out pretty quickly what the secret was, but it definitely added an interesting dynamic to the book.  Once Ben's secret is revealed, Twig and Ben's journey to rescue Ben's unicorn becomes much more complicated!
  • The mystery of the unicorn thief.  The mystery of who the unicorn thief was and why he was stealing unicorns (especially Ben's!) was really well done.  I was surprised by the outcome!
  • The swamp.  I think that the very best thing about this book was the swamp and the competition of sorts that took place there.  The swamp is full of strange and dangerous creatures, not to mention the swamp fire.  The trip through the swamp was exciting and full of peril! 
The negatives:
  • Permissive adults.  The adults in these books sometimes surprise me with how okay they are with letting Twig face danger.  They do put up the occasional argument, but it's not much.  When Twig's dad comes back from his military deployment, he doesn't seem at all alarmed at everything Twig has been through.  This part feels just a little bit unrealistic, but I know it's kind of necessary for the story to happen.
I highly recommend  this series to kids who love adventurous books.  My daughter and I are looking forward to reading more!  I give this 4.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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About the Author
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.

Author Links:
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1 comment:

  1. I like how you broke down your positives and negatives! Very helpful. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Always love having you there!