An Unexpected and Enlightened Review

My darling wife’s book, THE UNEXPECTED ENLIGHTENMENT OF RACHEL GRIFFIN is reviewed Allie O’Neal of Geek Girl:

Ever since the students of Hogwarts captured the imagination of children and adults alike, YA Fantasy has remained a favorite genre for bookworms of all ages. L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Rachel Griffin is an adorable answer for all of us who wished Hermione Granger had been the title character instead of Harry Potter.

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin is an amusing YA adventure, set at Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, on an island invisible to the Unwary, but the destination for the children of The Wise from all over the world


The students are of many origins, and it seems that many areas of the world have secret magical royalty. If Rachel brings to mind Hermione, Sigfried is her Harry, the orphan raised by nuns who has already defeated a dragon before even entering Sorcery school. His utter distrust of adults is a perfect foil for Rachel’s deep respect for authority. There’s also a budding romance between Rachel and one of the older students. I’m very interested to see how it plays out over the course of the series.

The book at once has a whirlwind pace, taking place over the space of just a few days, while slowing at times, nearly getting bogged down with details about every single person Rachel encounters. It’s also made apparent from the beginning that this world is not quite the one we live in; though it is inexplicable at first that Rachel can’t identify an angel on sight, more apparent gaps in the world begin to appear to be made somehow… on purpose. The story itself is full of surprises as Rachel and her friends work to uncover the mysteries that surround them and turn out to be connected in unexpected ways.

Readers are periodically treated to whimsical drawings, done by Lamplighter’s husband, John C. Wright.

Of course, I wanted to hear more about the whimsical drawings! What about the feathering technique, eh? Note the intricate crosshatching, the use of chiaroscuro, the elegant subliminal perspective nuances created by a deliberately minimalist yet violently passive use of ante-pre-raphealite pre-postsubmodernistic metaphor! Look at Sigfried igniting a skunk with Phandaal’s Excellent Prismatic Spray!  Look at the sardonic expression on the face of Giaus!


Just kidding. The drawings are not bad, but the book is quite good. Please rush out and buy four dozen copies. My long-suffering wife needs the praise and the money, and you need the vacation from dreary real life fantasy kid-detective yarns alone can deliver.