This review can also be read on my blog, Stumptown Books
I first read this book the year it was released, 1995, when I was in the fifth grade. I have remembered it all these years when other books from my childhood have faded into dim memories, and I remember how disappointed I was when I couldn't find any sequels. This year I finally searched for it again and was quite pleased to discover that Bruce Coville had finished the series. I even recognized the cover art! I'm glad I waited as long as I did, as there are only four books in the series but it took him 15 years to publish all of them.
This first installment in the series has, in my opinion, stood the test of time. From the first scene where the main character, Cara, inexplicably jumps off a building and is transported to the magical world of Luster...I was hooked when I was 10 and I was hooked again in this recent rereading. The story is obviously meant for younger readers, but with how popular fantasy is nowadays, I feel that everyone can get something out of this story. Unicorns are still so mysterious and beautiful, who wouldn't want to be in Cara's shoes! Best of all the heroine is only 12 but is quite clever and resourceful. This novel won't change your life, but it is a cute and quick read, especially for younger readers.
Dealing with unicorns as the main subject matter of course makes this series extremely girl-centric, and probably of little interest to young men. There is some action but it is kept pretty PG and ok for youngsters if they can handle Harry Potter
. The whole cast of fantasy critters is endearing, and I can't wait to find out where the story goes.