by Diana Peterfreund
Killer Unicorns series; book I
I won a Rampant bookmark from Cecelia, and I was so so excited when she said that since Amazon had this book on sale, she would send me a copy as well! Thank you so much, and once again she is an example of the kindness and generosity book bloggers have :) I'd love it if you guys hopped over to her blog and tell her how awesome she is!!
Summary (goodreads): Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student ... an attraction that could jeopardize everything
My Expectations: You know when there's a book about a subject that is completely foreign but you've heard great stuff about it? Well, that's me, I thought it would be really good!
Delivery: It was a little below my expectations, I guess. I did really enjoy it thoughg.
Put-down-ability: I was hindered by time constraints, lots of places to go! Read it in little gaps (except I read the whole second half in one sitting... thank god for that break in traveling). 7/10
Straight to the point: I liked it, but I also had some issues with it. Let's start with the things I thought were made of pretty wicked awesomesauce: the killer unicorns. I mean come on, I'm not a big fan of them in general, but the whole thought process behind it and their portrayal in the book was incredibly unique and made the whole premise fascinating. The idea of unicorn huntresses were cool as well.
I thought the overall plot was okay, it did feel like the pacing was shaky at times; also (I think this is just me), it felt like a bunch of shorter storylines joined together rather than a larger plot. The big climax scene was lacking a bit, whether it was in vividness or substance, it just wasn't the great big explosive bang I was hoping for.
I did really like Astrid's voice and the writing in this novel, but in general I wasn't that big a fan of Astrid. I thought her lack of backbone when dealing with her mother (disliked the psychotic mother as well, but can see her reasoning behind ridiculous actions) was annoying and not warrior-like, as she claims to be. Especially the part where her mother was insulting Phil, I was dumbstruck at Astrid's pathetic rebuttals. I also disliked Astrid's relationship with Giovanni through the first bit of their fling-or-whatever, it felt superficial, and apart from the knight-in-shining-armor moment, there was really little depth. I can't really see her attraction to him, is it just 'cause he's a hot a
I thought many of the characters were inconsistent, and some of their sudden actions seemed out of the blue. Astrid's whole opinion on being a virgin huntress got frustrating because she just has flip-flopping feelings that don’t result to any action. I really disliked how she fails to see the imperfections of her mother's and other people's plans, she just always ends up agreeing with them. Ethics and morality-induced scenes lacked conviction as well.
Astrid also makes some stupid decisions, and is a bit slow in piecing together rather obvious pieces which can be just a bit distracting for the reader. There were some parts of the novel which I found really predictable as well (her change-of-heart, for one). Bonegrinder? Awesome. Neil naming her Bonegrinder? *cue headscratching*.
Parting Thoughts: Will be reading the sequel, Ascendant, but most likely borrowing from the library. I think I'm still torn between unicorns and zombies though.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
8.2/10 - because I really loved the idea of killer unicorns Reemerging to kill us all :P. Also, thought the unique premise and enjoyable voice of the character added to the good-ness of the book. However, there were just some times where Astrid would get on my nerves, along with some predictability to the plot. I would recommend it to people who would like to jump onto the Unicorn Bandwagon, some action books with cool heroines, and YA book lovers looking for something new. B